THE Bolton and District Cricket Association has gone out of existence after 130 years.

The league, the oldest in Lancashire and one of the first to be formed in the world, folded last week when officials decided there was no longer any realistic possibility that it could be revived.

It was formed in 1888 and had its last season in 2015.

More than 300 clubs played in the Association on more than 230 grounds in Bolton and the surrounding districts throughout its history.

The four members of the league’s executive committee – chairman Frank Jackson, president John Charlson, secretary Peter Crook and junior chairman Brian Gleave – decided to put the league into suspension two and a half years ago instead of folding it in the hope clubs might return and it could restart.

They have always made it clear they would be happy to revive it should clubs approach them in sufficient numbers, and 12 months ago they made a proactive move with a public offer to restart the league should clubs wish to join.

There was insufficient interest to encourage the committee to continue and the four officials, along with two fellow Association stalwarts – umpire Eric Hogg and Adlington chairman Nick Chamberlain – met at Adlington Cricket Club last Friday night to formally close down the league.

They were joined by representatives of the six clubs who never resigned from the league – Daisy Hill, Lostock, Standish, Golborne, Adlington and Little Hulton – to complete the formalities.

The major five trophies and two historic medals will be going on show in the Long Room at Lancashire’s Old Trafford ground with the rest of the trophies on show at Adlington CC.

Jackson said closing down the league was the only realistic option.

“We did our best to get it back up and running but it wasn’t to be,” he said.

“We hoped clubs might come back at some stage but there came a time when it was obvious it wasn’t going to happen.

“It’s a shame to have to end it but we had to make the decision at some time.

“It’s just good that the trophies will continue to be on show.”