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Young Buck Locks Horns with the All-time Greats

There is, perhaps, one YMCA player who, above all others, can consider himself unfortunate not to be included in the club’s All-time Greatest Eleven, published to coincide with the 12/profiles/5.jpgth anniversary celebrations in 2003, and that‘s Steve Buckland.

Steve Buckland was, during the /profiles/19.jpg80’s, the YM’s premier run-maker who, had he continued his career during the subsequent years, would have surely become one of (if not ‘THE’) greatest batsmen in the club’s modern era.

In a cricketing career that spanned 16 years, the prolific opener Buckland scored over 6,000 runs for the YM, the only club he was ever to represent at league level. During that period he achieved a superb batting average of over 2/profiles/5.jpg (see table below) which, to this day, remains higher than any of his contemporaries, including the likes of Paul Lawrence and Alan Whale. A fact that speaks volumes for his dominance over opposition bowlers during the /profiles/19.jpg80’s.

First Eleven Batsmen with Highest Batting Average
Player Total Runs Average
S.Buckland 6,107 2/profiles/5.jpg.03
P.M.Lawrence 4,893 24.1
K.Milsom         14,498 23.27
A.E.Whale 2,971 20.78
V.R.Davies 2,720 20.4/profiles/5.jpg
L.C.Harris 6,/profiles/5.jpg13 20.42

The Bristol born right-hander joined the B&D Division Two club in /profiles/19.jpg74 at the age of 1/profiles/5.jpg and soon established himself as a regular member of the First Eleven alongside his long-standing friend and team-mate, Keith Milsom. By /profiles/19.jpg82 ‘Buck’ (as he was nicknamed) had become a prestigious run scorer and was regarded by his fellow First Teamers as a key member of the squad.

The high regard in which ‘Buck’ was held is more than justified. Even today, 14 years after his departure, he can still boast the two highest First Eleven league scorers with 109* (/profiles/19.jpg88) and 131* (/profiles/19.jpg89), the latter remaining the YMCA’s highest ever individual league total and, surprisingly, the most recent occasion that a First Eleven batsmen has recorded a century in a league match.

Young Buck – Young Captain

As a result of Buckland’s increasing influence with the bat and his all-round stature at Golden Hill, he was encouraged to take on the role of captain for the first time in /profiles/19.jpg82, at the age of 23. This was to be the first of four seasons in total that he led the side during the /profiles/19.jpg80’s completing his spell at the helm in /profiles/19.jpg88.

Remarkably, despite his positive impact at Golden Hill and his dedication to the club through four seasons as Captain, Buckland was never presented with the Michael Harris Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to club members who have made an outstanding contribution over an extended period of time.


Buckland (back row, centre)  - A central figure in the /profiles/19.jpg90 Cup final team

Indian Summers

In his final seasons with The Christians, ‘Buck’ took advantage of the good summers of /profiles/19.jpg89 and /profiles/19.jpg90 by compiling two of the club’s record run totals (see table below) falling just short of Milsom’s imposing tally of 6/profiles/17.jpg runs. This notable achievement proved to be a final reminder of Buckland’s outstanding ability as, by /profiles/19.jpg91, he had taken the decision to retire from full-time playing and made only the occasional appearance in the following years.




1. K.MILSOM 1ST XI - 6/profiles/17.jpg RUNS (13 INNS) IN /profiles/19.jpg8/profiles/5.jpg
2. S.BUCKLAND 1ST XI - 614 RUNS (14 INNS) IN /profiles/19.jpg89
3. S.BUCKLAND 1ST XI - /profiles/5.jpg04 RUNS (14 INNS) IN /profiles/19.jpg90

What could have been…

His unrivalled tally of over 1100 runs in just two years hints at the huge impact that a 31 year old Buckland, just entering his prime, could have held during the /profiles/19.jpg90’s. But, despite repeated attempts to lure him back to Golden Hill, it is only during the occasional appearance at the annual Ted Whale Memorial match that his tremendous batting talent are on display – once more.

However, there’s always hope. Despite a long absence, it is clear that Buckland would still be able to play a major part in the YM’s recent revival and, now in his mid-forties, he could still have many successful years of cricket ahead of him.

The changing room door remains wide open!!

Born: /profiles/19.jpg/profiles/5.jpg9 in the posh part of Lockleaze!

Year Joined YMCA: /profiles/19.jpg74

Nick Name: The Young Buck (not so young these days!)

Playing Details: I played between /profiles/19.jpg74-/profiles/19.jpg90. [And I] Captained the first team for some of these years. Usually opened the batting and was also a very under used leg spinner!

Other Clubs Played For: None

Best YMCA Match Played In: Best overall performance by the team that comes to mind was when we hammered Patchway who were in a higher league than us in the B&D knockout semi-final. Everything we tried came off, we bowled them out for low 60’s and knocked them off in about 10 overs. Every game against Cleeve away was memorable in some way or other.


Dowler’ – a one kneed, vastily overweight and slightly mad legend ……that’s according to Buckland!

Favourite YMCA Batsman: Not many [team-mates] got runs when I played !! Has to be Keith Milsom for still playing as he did when I was a young lad. That is a compliment by the way!

Favourite YMCA Bowler: James Chidgey who has been pounding away for years, ’Dowler’ [Phil Dowle] who despite been vastly overweight and with only one knee has managed to keep it up. H Shah was also a very good bowler but slightly mad.


F&P’s Horse Race Lane ground – A pitch with happy memories for ‘Buck’ where he scored successive tons

Favourite Cricket Ground: Failand & Portbury. I played there twice and scored 109* and 131* in the league.

Least Favourite Cricket Ground: Doesn’t exist any longer but Soundwell Venturers ground was a cracker. They were cutting the grass with a manual lawn mower when we turned up. We lost all the balls in the match - and lost the game of course.

Favourite Professional Cricketer: Ian Botham, David Steele

Favourite Food: Curry or Chicken Omelette (no feathers)

Favourite Drink: Nice pint of real ale or a pint of Trophy

Favourite Football Team: Bristol Rovers

Favourite Holiday Destination: Australia

Motto In Life: Never marry a woman!

© 2004 YMCA Cricket Club