John was born 14 June 1845 in Keyworth. In 1869 he was engaged as a professional in Scotland to coach and play at the Glasgow Academical College and stayed in the post until 1872 thus making him only the second professional player ever from Keyworth, following John Bickley.
His talent was recognised through his selection to play for Nottinghamshire Colts in 1871 against the County team, the first ever Keyworth player to be so honoured. He opened the batting for the Colts but scored 0. He bowled 7 overs and took no wickets for 8 runs with 1 maiden over. His first recorded appearance for Keyworth CC was in 1862 although it is very probable that he had been playing earlier than this and he continued with the club until 1898, making a top score of 106, only the third centurion for Keyworth but it was as a bowler he produced amazing performances and took 261 wickets at the meagre average of 7.75 runs per wicket.
An off break bowler and hard hitting batsman, John was the first Keyworth player to achieve the feat of a ‘double’, scoring 50 runs and taking 6 wickets for 14 runs in a match played on the 31st of May in 1887 against local rivals, Ruddington CC. Sixteen times, John took more than 5 wickets in a match, his best being 7 wickets for 9 runs in a home match against East Leake CC on the 7th of July 1897. Two years later on October 6th 1899 John died.
His father John Pike (born 1811) played cricket for Keyworth in 1827 & 1828 and his sons Horace (born 1870) and Shelton (born 1872) were good sportsmen and Horace scored 52 goals in 183 appearances for Nottingham Forest FC between 1886 and 1896 and played cricket for Keyworth between 1883 and 1908. Shelton enjoyed a long career in cricket both as a player and a coach. He played for Keyworth between 1884 and 1905 then as a professional with Walsall Shannons CC during which time he made appearances for the Staffordshire County team before spending many years in North America as a professional, first playing with the Philadelphia club, then in Winnipeg, Canada before eventually settling in Saskatchewan, Regina where he coached and umpired.
John’s nephew, John Elliott Pike (born 1860) was another to follow the route to Philadelphia, having debuted for Keyworth in 1875. John Elliott emigrated to the USA in 1884 and featured prominently as a batsman in the Halifax Cup competitions for Frankford CC and was selected to represent an All Philadelphia XI playing against an All New York XI in 1918.