Capel Cricket Club was founded in 1892 at the instigation of the Rev. G. L. Lachlan, who became its first captain. He wanted to provide a suitable activity for the men of Five Oak Green, and at a meeting in the King’s Head a committee was formed, with matches played on a field provided by Mr. Baker of the Quarry Hill Brewery. From then on, even during the war years, cricket played a central role in village life, the team members, as they are today, mainly living or working in the Parish of Capel.
In the 1930s an attractive pavilion was built in memory of team member Tom Tolhurst, son of a local prominent farming family who died tragically young in a road accident. Matches were originally played only on Saturdays, but in 1946 Sunday games were allowed.
One of the most notable events in the club’s long history is the match of May 9th 1942 when the London Counties XI played Capel and District on the hallowed turf of our village ground. With professional sport substantially restricted during wartime this match must have been a welcome opportunity for the visiting team. All but one were professionals, most had played for Surrey or Middlesex; some, like Alf Gover the Surrey fast bowler, had also had a test career.
Capel and District were bolstered by three Kent players with local connections, Peter Sunnucks, John Knott and ‘Hopper’ Levett (whose nickname derived from his association with this part of the county as as he was born in nearby Matfield), the county’s wicketkeeper who played one test for England in the 1930s.