BURLEY Cricket Club is celebrating after its crowd funder appeal achieved its target of £35,000 to improve the club's facilities for its talented youngsters.

The idea of a crowd funder was first suggested at a Burley CC committee meeting last February with the idea that the club gave rewards for any donations received.

The club needed to raise funds to replace the surface of the practice nets which have done great service over the last 20 years. They helped to produce England batter Harry Brook and Yorkshire all rounder Matty Revis.

Harry Brook immediately backed the idea by appearing in a promotional video explaining the need to renovate the club nets and to build some secure storage buildings for the ground equipment.

Once the video was finished the appeal went live and the club held its breath to see if anything might be donated

Director of Cricket, Dave Cooper, said there were various criteria the club had to meet in order to be successful. Sport England promised a donation of £10,000 but there were strict rules governing this award. Firstly the club had to get donations from a minimum of 100 different people.

"It had to be a community effort, " says Cooper, "clubs wouldn't qualify if they just relied on two or three benefactors to reach the target."

In the end 148 different people responded to the appeal and made donations ranging from £1 up to £1,250. Donations came in from all over. Club members played their part but it was the generosity of people who had no direct link to the club that was really gratifying.

Donors could leave messages of support if they liked and people like 80-year-old John Fordham said: "I learned my cricket at Burley-in-Wharfedale many years ago and glad to give a little in return."

Donations also came from people whose family members have now passed but wished to be remembered.

Local businesses such as Crown Removals, of Ilkley and RN Stratum, of Burley also made generous donations, as did a core of former players like Brian Soppitt, Jeff Colclough, Richard Fleming, David Lee, Mark Cooper, David Wadsworth, Marcus Lee, Lewis Bolton and Robert Flack.

Once the first £10,000 had been raised Sport England then matched it with another £10,000 with the proviso that the club had to rise the rest of its target of £35,000. The club wish to thank two local organisations who stepped in at this moment, firstly Burley Parish Council who donated £2,000 and then Ilkley Round Table stepped in with an incredible £8,000 to get the club over the line.