In Far Headingley, St Chad's Cricket Club dates its foundation from the early 1880's. In fact the Club did not establish itself in front of the church until 1922. Before that the club played in the grounds of Kirkstall Grange, and later moved to the Weetwood Hall estate, subsequently Bodington Hall playing fields.
Writing in 1960, RW Boning records:
'Those with long memories recall matches played at Harewood and Hunsingore, when the team and supporters travelled in horse drawn wagonettes. In the two years after World War One some very hard work was put into levelling off allotments formed during the war (in front of St Chads's), and during those years, on dark September or October evenings, dimmed figures armed with picks, shovels and wheelbarrows, worked on the ground by the light of storm lanterns, digging, laying ashes, forming the 'square' and generally levelling the outfield. In 1922 home matches were played for the first time'.
Cannon Charles Marshall, Vicar of St Chad's from 1907 and 1947 played for the Club during the whole of his forty years as incumbent of the parish:
It was said that if a parishioner wished to get married at 3 o'clock on a summer Saturday afternoon, Canon Marshall would do his best to persuade the happy couple to hold the ceremony at 2 o'clock, so that he could lead the eleven on to the field at the start of the match.
In 1931 a public appeal went out for funds to purchase the cricket ground (then leased to the church) plus the old allotments on the Otley Road frontage - a total 0f 21,046 square yards - from Lord Grimthorpe. £3,500 was raised which secured the future of the cricket club and protected the view of the church from Otley Road. The frontage land was due to be sold for shop sites. Instead this portion of ground was laid out as a peace garden and vested in Leeds Corporation to tend and maintain for the future. The war memorial was moved subsequently from the church drive entrance to become the focal point of the garden.
Far Headingley, Weetwood and West Park by David Hall