As early as 1883, Stillington had a cricket team in the Forest of Galtres league. They played on the Well Field, part of the Stillington Hall estate. At first, only the actual square was fenced off, but when the land was bought by the Church Commissioners, cattle were also kept clear of the outfield. For many years there were two oak trees on the field and one on the boundary; they were eventually felled when the estate was sold. Rolling of the cricket pitch was done by pony, with its feet specially covered. The entrance to the field was either through the estate gates from York Road or down South Back Lane from the rear of the Hall coach yard.
In 1959 a public meeting was held to consider purchasing the cricket field and a further 6 or 7 acres adjoining, from the Church Commissioners. An initial offer had been turned down in 1936, but this time an offer of £300 was accepted and so Stillington Playing Field was established, run by the Cricket and Football Committees.
The earliest pavilion was a white painted hut with a red roof. This became a store when a York railway carriage arrived to be used as a new pavilion and tea room. The remains of this carriage were removed from the rear of the Sports & social Club in June 1977. In 1961 an extra piece of land to the north was purchased for a new pavilion, bar and social Hall. A wooden ex-RAF building was brought from Thornaby on Tees, partly financed by a house to house collection in the village. It was opened in 1962, by Cllr Jack Wood, (later Lord Mayor of York) on what was to be the first annual village Sports and Gala Day – these ran until 1980. The brick lounge and bar extension were built in the early 1970’s; the social hall was later widened with a brick shell built and two new changing rooms.
Like many village teams in the first half of the last century, Stillington played a high standard of cricket, drawing its playing strength from local families and in 1938 the club entered a team in the York Senior League. Cricket was, of course, then disrupted by hostilities and in 1948, shortly after the league resumed after the war, a second team joined the league in the new reserve section.
Following admission to the league, the first team regularly featured in the top divisions, being 2nd division champions in 1962, a feat repeated in 1973. This,
however, was a high point which could not be maintained in the longer term. Relegation to division 4 in 1986 was followed by promotion as undefeated champions in the following season but in 1993 the club had the unwanted distinction of having both teams in the bottom division, albeit with the first XI finishing as champions.
1996 saw the start of a new era for Stillington when West Indian test star Collis King joined the club. His five centuries with an average of over 100 was not enough to secure promotion in that season but 1997 saw the club top the division and successive promotions resulted in the new millennium being marked by a return to division 1 and success in the Readman Trophy. King left the club in 2001 and was replaced for one season by 20-year-old Mohammad Hafeez, who was to go on and establish himself as a regular in the Pakistani test and international sides. His six centuries ensured first division status for a further year but 2002 was the pinnacle of recent success and could not, unfortunately, be maintained.
Nevertheless, despite the difficulties faced by smaller clubs in particular, Stillington has managed consistently to maintain two teams in the league and enjoys facilities which are the envy of many. It still depends heavily on local players, many of whom have come through the junior section.
Riding several divisional re-organisations, the first team has found a level around division 3 but between 2015 and 2018, they enjoyed three top two finishes and one relegation and are currently in Division 2 (Galtres). The second XI play in Division 4 (Galtres).
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