Mens Premier Division Team: Cardinal Langley 1

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Contact Information

NameEmailPhone
John Cihlar johncihlar@virginmedia.com 07776 101 621

Team Information

CourtMatthew Moss High School, Matthew Moss Lane, Heywood, Rochdale.   OL113LU
Tip-OffTuesday 20:15pm
KitRoyal Blue or Black
Cardinal Langley 1 Logo

Team Photo

Cardinal Langley 1

Fixtures & Results

CompetitionWeek CommencingHome TeamResultAway TeamMatch Report
Cup 25/09/2017Whalley Range RamsTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 02/10/2017Chorlton JedisTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 09/10/2017Cardinal Langley 1TBCBury Bluedevils
League 16/10/2017Tameside TimberwolvesTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 30/10/2017Cardinal Langley 1TBCMyerscough College
League 06/11/2017St HelensTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 13/11/2017BlackpoolTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 20/11/2017Preston Pride 1TBCCardinal Langley 1
League 04/12/2017TraffordTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 11/12/2017Cardinal Langley 1TBCYMCA
League 08/01/2018TropicsTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 15/01/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCFree City YMCA
League 29/01/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCChorlton Jedis
League 05/02/2018Bury BluedevilsTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 12/02/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCTameside Timberwolves
League 19/02/2018Myerscough CollegeTBCCardinal Langley 1
League 05/03/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCSt Helens
League 12/03/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCBlackpool
League 19/03/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCPreston Pride 1
League 09/04/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCTrafford
League 16/04/2018YMCATBCCardinal Langley 1
League 23/04/2018Cardinal Langley 1TBCTropics
League 30/04/2018Free City YMCATBCCardinal Langley 1

Team History

Author: John Cihlar

Cardinal Langley is the oldest member of the Manchester Area Basketball League.

The Manchester YMCA (now the 'Y') is actually a founder member of the league so in that sense they are older members. However the 'Y' took a break from MABL for two years. It was a time when the club were experiencing difficulties so they were not able to enter a team. Thankfully they restarted when Mike Sheard (sadly dead now) took over the reigns and they are now flourishing.

To my mind that does mean that Cardinal Langley is the oldest continuous member. It is a claim that the club members are justifiably proud about. I am fairly confident of the claim, however if there is anyone reading this who thinks differently then I will be delighted to hear from them.

The following is a potted history made up of anecdotal evidence and information from records I started and kept fairly well until a few years ago. I stopped when meetings of club members became less well attended and it was apparent that we (possibly I mean 'I' ) could run the club fairly efficiently without having to meet.

The club was started in 1967 by a group of people who had attended De La Salle Teacher Training College at Hopwood Hall, which was directly opposite Cardinal Langley High School in Middleton. They were students who had played basketball at the College and wanted to continue. They were called De La Salle Old Boys and the driving force was a man called Mike Cudehey. He should be regarded as the founder of the club.

Very soon after forming the name changed to Cardinal Langley Basketball Club. This was because Mike had got a job (he was a PE teacher) at Cardinal Langley School and he managed to get the use of the sports hall at the school so the club name changed to the one we have now. This was in 1970.

The club joined the Manchester Area Basketball League...date unknown but certainly very shortly after the name change. The unfortunate thing was that the MABL management committee condemned the sports hall as being unfit to play basketball at that level. It was pretty bad, a tarmac floor with bit of a slope and fairly cold.

So in 1979 (approx) the club moved to St. Peter's RC High School in Prestwich. The court was not much better BUT it had one great advantage. We struck a deal with the caretaker. We paid him 5 pounds per night for the use of the court!! Incredibly cheap. That stopped one Friday night when just before a crucial game, with the sports hall full of players and spectators and things 'buzzing' a gentleman stepped into the hall and began questioning me about what was going on. His questions kept coming until I asked him why it was his business and he told me he was the head and the school knew nothing of our use of the sports hall!! We then began to hire it officially.

Wilf Byrne (ex England international) began to coach then (prior to this we had 'muddled' through with coaching) and in his second season we achieved our greatest success. We were equal top of the division. We only needed to win one of our last three games to claim the title. True to Langley tradition we lost all three!! Nevertheless a great season!

1981 saw the formation of a second team. Progress!

1983 was a momentous year in Manchester basketball. Cardinal Langley held the first 'Kings' tournament. A pre-season one day tournament. It was to become a prestigious event in the area calendar until its demise in 1990. It was held at Cardinal Langley High School (court had been renovated) and the first winners were an impressive Oldham. This side eventually entered the first national league under the guidance of Pat O'Donnell and Yaro Martinuick (I think that is the spelling). The tournament was hugely popular and, inevitably ended with a fine meal and a few drinks at the 'School House' a Middleton restaurant.

In the summer of 1983 Chris Wood (an old boy of the club and one of our finer players) brought a team from ERAGNY (France) where he had moved to work. We organised a days basketball ending with a splendid evening at 'The Village' in Prestwich. Needless to say the French did not win a game...but they had a great time.

During that same season we achieved our very first honours! The second team won their division...under the expert guidance of Wilf Byrne.

Publicity came in 1983/84 in the form of weekly reports in the 'Prestwich Guide' the local paper. They were written by one of our players (Tom Allen) who made us sound fantastic and for which we are eternally grateful. I hope to be able to put a couple of examples of his literary skills at the end of this 'history' but I am not sure my computer skills are up to it!! We were a club with style!!

In 1988/89 we started a third team...which included two girls. During the seven years since the onset of publicity we trundled along happily without ever winning trophies but without ever doing badly. But we did enjoy ourselves.

In 1990/91 we returned the French favour and took a team out to play them. It was a good, skilful team and we should have been successful on the court but our organiser (Bob Gill of Bacup fame. Another of our old boys and another fine player) had other ideas. The long weekend trip (I think it was a long weekend) only contained one game...and that happened after a two hour trip round a wine bottling plant during which every player took advantage! We rolled on court (literally!!) and predictably lost our only game...but had a fantastic time. The French were great hosts.

In 1992 the third team scored our second success in taking the MABL Division Three title.

1994/95 saw the club move back to Cardinal Langley, our spiritual home only to be 'turfed' out in 2000 because (so we were told) our being there interfered with their stage productions!

The club moved to the newly built 'Lancashire Health Club' and the ensuing seasons there (until we had to move again in 2005/06...I think it was that year) were fairly humdrum. We had been out of the top division for some time and our two teams were marking time in division one and division two.

We moved to Matthew Moss High School (our present home) and things began to look up. New players were attracted and we became an ambitious club. Promotion to MABL premier division came in 2006/2007. Our third trophy success. We held our own in 2007/08 ending mid table.

The club has been in existence for 41 years...consecutively. This season we have three teams in MABL. The first team in the Premier Division, the second and third teams in Division Two. The first team remain unbeaten. They are in the semi final of the K.O. Cup and if things go well for us we are on course for a 'double'. Heady days! (Why could we not have waited until our 50th year!!)

Club coaches over the forty years:

Mike Cudehey
Martin Wilde
John Cihlar
Chris Wood
Wilf Byrne
Don Davies
Steve Lavallee

An extensive team history is available to download in PDF format: Cardinal Langley 1 History


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