Sources date the foundation of Dunfermline Cricket Club as 1857. The club has, for most of its existence, played at its current ground in the south of this town. This was originally known as Ladysmill Park but was later renamed McKane Park after a wealthy benefactor. See below
The club has played the majority of its first eleven league cricket in the former Scottish Counties Championship as Fife.
The most successful phase in the history of the club was immediately prior to the Second World War when the championship was won six times out of seven. The club was also founder members of the Scottish Cricket League and of the fully fledged Scottish National Cricket League.
In recent years, the club has acquired the service of a number of fine professionals including the Indian test players Anshuman Gaekwad and Ashok Malhotra and most recently Waqas Ahmed Stephen Fryer and in 2009 Alistair Gray from South Africa.
In 2009 the club won the SNCL Division 1 and will in 2010 compete in the SNCL Premier League. In 2009 the club reached the final of the Scottish Cup and were in the finals day of the National 20/20.
The second eleven has also achieved some degree of success in recent times in both the Forth Cricket Union and the East of Scotland League. The club also ran a 3rd XI in the east of Scotland League and received many positive comments from teams for the way we intergrated some of our colts into the adult game, a policy which saw a number of colts picked for regional teams in the 2009 season.
In season 2004 the Under 13 team won the Scottish Cup beating Fauldhouse in the Final after beating Arbroath in the semi final.
JOHN McKANE 1862 – 1911
Sources date the foundation of Dunfermline Cricket Club as 1857. The club has, for most of its existence, played at its current ground in the south of this town. This was originally known as Ladysmill Park but was later renamed McKane Park after a wealthy benefactor. View History
John McKane, born at Kingskettle, Fife in 1862, was brought to Dunfermline as a child when his father was appointed police constable at Oakley, Fife. He finished his education at the High School and on leaving became an apprentice clerk at the Royal Bank, Dunfermline under Dr Rose.
On completion of his apprenticeship at the age of 22, John McKane made his first trip abroad when he applied for and was successful in obtaining a banking post in Canada. Being of an adventurous disposition, he was soon caught up in the gold and silver fever of the 1890’s and in 1896 decided to go prospecting for silver at Rossland in Canada. There he staked his claim and believing it to be successful, returned to Dunfermline in an effort to raise sufficient capital to finance the development.
He secured loans from various friends and associates in Dunfermline, floated a company and returned to Rossland to pursue his silver strike. Unfortunately, the venture failed and all the money was lost.
He then heard of the gold discoveries in Nevada and there joined the many prospectors, becoming owner of the first claim in the famous “Death Valley”. He obtained money to develop it from a Mr Schwabb, who was associated with Andrew Carnegie in the steel industry and was lucky to find gold ore on his claim. Within months John McKane became a very wealthy man and eventually became one of the “Gold Millionaires” of Nevada.
He returned to Dunfermline, repaid all his friends with interest and made various gifts to his home town.
On returning to Canada he acquired an interest in a timber track in British Columbia and was also an unsuccessful candidate for the Federal Parliament of Canada.
In 1906 he again visited Dunfermline, during which time he bought Ladysmill Park from Colonel John Hunt for £2,500 and presented it to Dunfermline Cricket Club. The ground was renamed McKane Park in his honour. The gift of the ground coincided with Dunfermline’s acceptance of the invitation to participate in the Scottish Counties Championship as Fifeshire. By chance the first County Match was against old rivals Perthshire on 19th May 1906.
His other gifts at this time included £500 to a University extension scheme, £250 towards the restoration of Culross Abbey and a sum of money to assist with renovations to Dunfermline Abbey.
John McKane became engaged to a wealthy American lady, but it was characteristic of him in that he made a vow not to marry until he was as wealthy as she, which was some months later. There were no children of the marriage. John McKane died in Oakland, California on Thursday, 22nd June 1911. News of his death was sent by Mrs McKane to his sister, Mrs Aitken, who resided at North Queensferry at that time. This coincided with the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.
The Club and Grounds
Dunfermline Cricket Club is owned by The Dunfermline Cricket Park Trustees in terms of the Trust Deed by John McKane in 1906. The said Trustees own the land known as McKane Park and own the buildings comprising the ‘old cricket pavilion’ currently used by DRFC and the ‘new cricket pavilion’ as well as the access driveway.
The Trustees, in terms of the said Trust Deed, are instructed to maintain the policies for the playing of cricket, employ professional cricketers and groundstaff, keep records of income and expenditure and generally to handle all matters relating to McKane Park. The Trustees delegate such responsibilities on an annual basis to The Committee of Dunfermline Cricket Club whilst retaining overall control.
Eric Spreng is the Chairman of the said Trustees, Nancy Gibson is Secretary. The remaining Trustees are Tom Gibson, Derek Wilson, Colin Boyle, Jim Stark, Andrew Miller, Richard Cox, John Robertson, Mary Bruce and Douglas Rennie.
Nancy Gibson is the President of Dunfermline Cricket Club and the other members of the Committee are: Lindsay Ferguson, Dr Neal Service, Alan Leitch, Linda Penman (Secretary), Duncan Penman (Treasurer) David Cooper.