Born 17.10.1846 Rochdale.
Died 1.2.1893 Rochdale.
Son of R.Leach, The Harridge, Rochdale.
He was educated at Marlborough from October 1862 to July 1864, being a member of the cricket eleven in 1863 and 1864. His four brothers were also educated at Marlborough; Harold Leach (Lancashire 1881, Liverpool & District 1884-91), Rev.Robert Leach (Lancashire 1868-76), Roger Chadwick Leach (Lancashire 1885) and William Edmund Leach (Lancashire 1885, Canterbury 1876/7).
The Leach family had a large estate, amounting to 500,000 acres in Jujuy, Argentina, and John spent some time there, which was hardly conducive to his cricket. Nevertheless he managed to play for the Rochdale Club and later for Castleton. On 2-4 July 1868 he played for Rochdale against The Australian Aborigines on the new ground in Milnrow Road and was the top scorer in both innings with 38 and 40 not out.
On the 15th to 17th June 1876 three gentlemen of the Castleton Club, put up a guarantee to the Lancashire committee, that enabled the match against Kent to be played at Castleton. The three gentlemen, E.L.Chadwick, J.Schofield and John Leach, were called upon to make up the financial loss, as the match finished at 4.30 pm on the second day, with a ten wicket win for Lancashire. At least they had some concillation as all three were selected to play by Lancashire and had a hand in their own financial misfortune.
In June 1871 he went with the Gentlemen of Lancashire on their visit to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, where they played three day matches against the undergraduates.
He lived at the Harridge and conducted the business of woollen manufacturer at Harridge Mills.
He had been a widower for three years at the time of his death and left six children, the youngest of which was 14 years of age.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Don Ambrose)
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