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History of United Sports Club.

United Sports Club was formed in 1969 by a group of young Asian men who had left Kenya, East Africa and

emigrated to England to make a living for themselves. The young men were seasoned cricketers in Kenya and on arrival in England found that opportunities to play cricket was rather limited and restrictive.

To join local established clubs was a problem bearing in mind the language and cultural differences that existed between them and the local clubs. Back in Kenya most of them played for a club called Bharat Sports Club and to pursue their interest in England they formed a club in 1968 inheriting the same name of the club they left behind. However, a breakaway club was formed a year later in 1969 by the name of United Youngsters, renamed to United Sports Club by the end of the season. They made their base at Vale Farm in Wembley and the club is still based in Wembley.

After some early difficulties, the club established a solid management and operational structure, funding itself by organising family oriented social and cultural functions to raise finance and to promote itself in the wider community. Due to member’s financial restraints in the 70's, the club provided a shared kit which was always a problem travelling to away games. The kit had to be ferried on London buses.

 

However, the interest and bond to the game was strong and the members persevered. From these humble beginnings the club grew from strength to strength and for the last few seasons the club has consistently fielded 4 sides over one weekend.

 

For the first few years the club mostly played friendly time based games against local opposition and sometimes entertaining other Asian sides from the Midlands. There was no real league structure that catered for a small club like United Sports and leagues that existed mostly catered for well-established clubs with private ground and bar facilities. With such limited access to league games, the games that were played were against similar small clubs based in North and West London. However, the club moved on and as more Asians settled in UK, the club expanded and recruited a new young generation of players. In the mid 1980's the early founder members started to retire or reduced their participation, the new recruits took on the responsibility to move the club forward.

 

Cricket along with the international cricket also started to change and now the focus was on limited overs. In and around Middlesex many Asian based clubs started to crop up and a new league structure in Middlesex was created .

 

This league - called Middlesex Premier Cricket League (MPCL) allowed small clubs like United Sports to play cricket at a more competitive level and also where the club standard could be measured against similar sized clubs. With the league introducing neutral umpires the overall competition between teams improved and fair outcomes materialised. Such changes brought about a different style of play and United Sports initially suffered to make the necessary transition. After a few more years the club's hard work of investing in more new players paid off in late 80's and early 90's when United Sports started to win titles and trophies in the league. Being competitive brought about further investment and the club started a colt’s side, mainly young boys aged 8 to 13 years. This investment bore fruit and some colts continued to play for United Sports and for other clubs in and around the area.

 

Approaching the millennium, as the game's focus internationally changed further towards more limited overs and T20s, even at a grass roots level a new set of bold players started to emerge. Those with stronger physique, who were willing to take chances, who were not afraid and were more 'athlete cricketers' started to flourish. Fortunately for United Sports, recruitment of players after the millennium of such bold players has been healthy and the club has fielded competitive sides in the league. The clubs biggest achievement however must be that despite all the stumbles, falls and setbacks, the club has survived for more 50 years. Many clubs formed decades later no longer exists - they have folded and disappeared. The sheer fact that United Sports has survived for so long is that they have stood United together.

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