Cricket enthusiast Nick Chamberlain has penned a new book charting the history of the former Cross Cup - and has had it published so other fans can indulge themselves.

The book looks back at teams and players who have graced the competition formerly linked with the old Bolton Association.

There are scorecards from every Cross Cup final and more than 60 photographs of clubs involved

And Chamberlain, who has been involved at Adlington Cricket Club since the 1980s, says the idea came about due to his love of statistics as the club’s former scorer.

He explained: “I have always been interested in statistics. I am from Liverpool originally and an Everton fan and have always been an avid collector of proper stats, not like so-and-so ran 300 yards in a game - just appearances, goals scored, all that information.

“I have got Everton programmes going back to the 1930s. I was just gradually drawn into the statistical side.

“Adlington didn’t have a lot of information about their past history when I joined. There were just a couple of photographs on the wall and I thought that’s not right.

“I started getting interested in dragging up all score books from wherever I could.

“When I had found out everything I could about Adlington I wondered what the Association figures were. I just built up a whole library of bits and pieces. Then it becomes an obsession where I had to get everything.

“Staff at the Bolton News, including the old sports editor, Peter Mensforth, let me use the old library to fill in the gaps.

“For the book, the league had 100-odd years history, which was too much to research so I looked to specialise and thought about the Cross Cup as it was once a year in the early days - it was the first and second team in the league so just one game every year until the 20s.

“I just gathered information and it was very much a labour of love.”

Chamberlain has a long connection with local cricket and Adlington having been secretary and chairman, with wife Liz also involved as treasurer.

And he says the book has been three years in the making, though he admits most of his collection of cricketing records was already in place.

He went on: “I did a series of articles in The Bolton News on the Association after gathering information altogether since about 1989.

“About three years ago I just thought of producing say scorecard and a picture - say 40 pictures of Cross Cup winning sides that’s enough to do a book and it just grew from there.

“The more information I got the more I wanted, and it just went on from there.

“Lots of clubs were very helpful and lots of people promised things that didn’t come to fruition. There are people that could be in there that have missed out.

“I’ve got photographs going back to about 1960 upwards of most of them yet but I’m sure there will be some 50s stuff.

“There are some match reports I have used thanks to The Bolton News.

“We even went to the British Library just outside Leeds and looked up the original papers but they had none of The Buff surprisingly. Some pictures have come out okay from microfilm but technology has moved on.”

Chamberlain hopes it will stir interest and memories for the local cricketing community, and maybe even find some missing stats for him.

“There may be old cricketers out there who read this, who I haven’t got any contact with, who will hopefully see it and may be in there - or maybe they have information I have missed out. I can’t wait to see if there is.”

n To get a copy of the book 'The History of the Cross Cup', contact Nick Chamberlain by email at or call 01942 818554 or 07751 501796. The book is priced at £19.95.