The young Bernard first came on to the cricket scene at the age of thirteen – volunteering to make the side up by cycling to away matches. He remembers playing at Knottingley and Whitley Bridge have to bike it home without any lights. At the age of seventeen he entered straight into the batting honours list with a total of 236 runs at an average of 15.7 which included an unbeaten 50. Not bad for an introduction to senior cricket.
But then, he was only following in the footsteps of his father Albert (Rugger 1016) Richardson who had for some years played for the team mostly as its main strike bowler.
The following year Bernard continued his success in the second XI with an accumulation of 368 runs at an average of 20.4 beefed up by his first century against Yorkshire Copper works. He continued his apprenticeship and in the following season (1960) he was being considered for the First XI where he also made some promising scores.
The young ‘Rugger’ was now maturing into more than a promising player. He took on 1st Xi captaincy in 1968, at the time he was the youngest player to be so elected.
In 1974 Bernard was the first player to win the newly introduced fielding prize, having been appointed captain that year – a position he was to hold until 1980. During the whole of his captaincy years he was to prove to be a reliable and often prolific run accumulator, being runner up for the batting prize with 500 runs in 1975. All in the background of steadily improving team selections and performances. The club it is claimed had achieved more consistent success in this period than at any other time.
It must have given him great satisfaction, when in 1983 a best individual innings of 95 out of a total of 247 achieved victory in the Hepworth Cup against a strong Knottingley outfit.
1984 brought captaincy again and that year enjoyed an unbeaten 117 against YCW along with his usual contribution to the team scores. In 1987, now as a veteran he was once again encouraged to take up the leadership reins, a position which he retained the following season.
You can’t keep a good man down, because two years later duty called once again, and he took on captaincy of the Seconds a position in which he was supported by a number of former First XI players.
Since those days Bernard has held close interest in the wider requirements of the club keeping an experienced eye on its continuing development and playing a pro-active role in organisation and management of the club.
A later redirection of his love of the game took him to become well known in a white overall coat circuit as an umpire.
in 2016 he was awarded the status of ‘Club Legend’ along with the now new club President Michael Smart.
Bernard has always appreciated his role in the club and wonders how players of present times would manage like his father who on certain occasions would turn out for the club after having done an early Saturday shift at the pit. He reminds me of an instance of having given assistance to Peter Bell at Savile Pit regarding the setting up of a retail outlet at the pit. Bernard turned down the offer of a payment for services rendered and in return requested an underground visit. This went ahead and it gave him a reality check on what the work involved especially the part played by his father. I suspect that Peter Bell also gave him the enhanced tour taking in the lowest and narrowest route possible. – Well done Pete, and Bernard.