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Home: Ground Hopping & Programmes: General:
Ex-League Grounds

 



1dringMinstrel
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Jul 4, 2018, 5:13 PM

Posts: 101
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Ex-League Grounds Can't Post or Reply Privately

Whilst many people achieve "The 92", how many go on to visit the grounds of the ex-League clubs? Is there a formal recognition of how many (and who) those clubs are? Depending on your criteria I reckon it could stretch to a further 35-37 clubs as diverse as Barnet and Darwen. Is there an agreed list in the groundhopping world?


leohoenig
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Jul 4, 2018, 6:18 PM

Posts: 13304
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
Team(s): Cheltenham Town

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Re: [1dringMinstrel] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I think there is a major can of worms here that you can open up.As far as where 92 club members go to increase after the 92, I think it is non-League general rather than a specific subset and they are more likely to drop to National League, and then down the steps.
As far as grounds are concerned, there are resources that allow you to find out where all the ex-football league grounds areI would then say they can be categorised as
1) Those still in use by the same club (or a successor club) to the one in the league. Examples would be Boston United and Chester
2) Those still in use by a team in another sport, such as Peel Croft in Burton at least through to last season (although Burton Rugby Club may now have left here)
3) Those in use by a football team unconnected with the Football League team. Someone may find an example of this, but I can't think of one directly - I did see a team called Glossopians (then Manchester League) playing at the former league ground of Glossop (with Glossop as the away team), but I do not think the ground is still used
4) Those where all sports use has been ended, with something else built there. Which is where the majority of ex-football league grounds I have ticked, from Arsenal downwards would now be.

In addition, we have the ex-League clubs and successor clubs who no longer play at former league venues (such as Darwen in your example)



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



(This post was edited by leohoenig on Jul 4, 2018, 6:20 PM)


SME
Youth Team Sub

Jul 4, 2018, 6:22 PM

Posts: 178
Location: Luton
Team(s): Bradford Park Avenue Sutton United

Post #3 of 17 (3782 views)
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Re: [1dringMinstrel] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I, too, have an interest in the ex-Football League teams and I tend to count the clubs that I have visited rather than the grounds. Whilst I acknowledge the question of whether the current club represents the original FL team or not, I have seen a game at Barrow, Bradford (Park Avenue), Darwen, Durham City, Gainsborough Trinity, Gateshead, Glossop North End, Leeds City (no relation to the original who became Leeds United), Loughborough (represented by Loughborough Dynamo and Loughborough University), Merthyr, Northwich Victoria, Southport, Stalybridge and Workington. The more recent departures I have witnessed in the Football League itself (Barnet, Chesterfield, Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockport County, etc.) with the exception of Maidstone whom I have visited as the reformed NL outfit. This leaves Ashington and Nelson, both of whom I plan to see in the next few weeks, Bootle and Aberdare, who still have relatively high-profile clubs, New Brighton (there must be a minor league team going under this name ?) and the mysterious Thames - any suggestions as to their modern equivalent might be would be welcomed.


leohoenig
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Jul 4, 2018, 6:39 PM

Posts: 13304
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
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Re: [SME] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Some of the comments may be open to debate, but you may want to consider this list

https://en.wikipedia.org/..._former_member_clubs



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



1dringMinstrel
Junior Team Star

Jul 4, 2018, 6:51 PM

Posts: 101
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Re: [SME] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I find the concept of sticking to grounds far too fraught with difficulty in this area for all the reasons stated above.
By comparison it is easier to focus on visiting the actual or 'successor' clubs who have spent at least one full season in the Football League. There appear to be no 'successor' clubs at all for some, such as New Brighton or Thames. Others may have re-formed or relocated but still seem worth a visit such as Northwich Victoria or Bradford Park Avenue.
By my count, there are 37 clubs who should be next on the list once 'The 92' have been completed with the lion's share in the National League.

It seems odd that there is not an agreed number in the groundhopping fraternity given the history. I reckon this lot are worthy of entertaining those who want a new post-92 adventure.

Aberdare Town 1921-1927 Aldershot Town 1932-2013 Ashington
1921-1929 Barnet 2013-2018 Barrow 1921-1972 Bootle
1892-1893 Boston United 2002-2007 Bradford Park Avenue 1908-1970 Chester 1931-2009 Chesterfield 1921-2018 Dagenham & Redbridge 2007-2016 Darlington 1921-2010 Darwen 1891-1899 Durham City 1921-1928 Gainsborough Trinity 1896-1912 Gateshead United 1930-1960 Glossop North End 1898-1915 Halifax Town 1921-2002 Hartlepool United 1921-2017 Hereford United 1972-2012 Kidderminster Harriers 2000-2005 Leyton Orient 1905-2017 Loughborough Dynamo 1895-1899 Maidstone United 1989-1992 Merthyr Town 1920-1929 Nelson 1921-1931 Northwich Victoria 1892-1894 Rushden & Diamonds 2001-2006 Scarborough 1987-1999 Southport 1921-1978 South Shields 1919-1930 Stalybridge Celtic 1921-1923 Stockport County 1900-2011 Torquay United 1927-2014 Workington
1951-1977 Wrexham 1921-2008 York City 1929-2016


Bigaitch
Reserve Team Star

Jul 4, 2018, 8:17 PM

Posts: 755
Location: Darn sarff
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Post #6 of 17 (3693 views)
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Re: [1dringMinstrel] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

This is of huge interest to me as I am seeking to do all the ex-League grounds still in use, that I have not already done. I can think of about ten off the top of my head.
I am not too phased about doing ‘Phoenix’ clubs if they are at different grounds, however I am looking to visit Bradford Park Avenue at Horsfall .


paulh66
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Jul 4, 2018, 8:35 PM

Posts: 18847
Location: Surrey
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Post #7 of 17 (3666 views)
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Re: [Bigaitch] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

There was a thread on here a few years ago which detailed every ground to have hosted league football, even the one-offs like Ebbsfleet's ground which hosted a Gillingham FL game in the 60s.


mick
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Jul 4, 2018, 9:27 PM

Posts: 4457
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Post #8 of 17 (3622 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
3) Those in use by a football team unconnected with the Football League team. Someone may find an example of this, but I can't think of one directly


Millmoor in Rotherham fits into this category.


paulh66
Qatar World Cup bid member!


Jul 4, 2018, 9:30 PM

Posts: 18847
Location: Surrey
Team(s): Tranmere Rovers, South Liverpool (the South will rise again), Cammell Laird

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Re: [paulh66] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Here's the thread I referred to: https://nonleaguematters.co.uk/...est=258166105#790077


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Jul 4, 2018, 9:37 PM

Posts: 4430
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #10 of 17 (3609 views)
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Re: [leohoenig] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
3) Those in use by a football team unconnected with the Football League team. Someone may find an example of this, but I can't think of one directly - I did see a team called Glossopians (then Manchester League) playing at the former league ground of Glossop (with Glossop as the away team), but I do not think the ground is still used.


You can take this a step further, with grounds used by a league club before they joined the football league.

For example - the ground used by Reading FC immediately before their move to Elm Park in 1896 was Christchurch Meadows in Caversham, which is still used today for Thames Valley League/Reading Sunday League matches. I appreciate that it isn't an ex-League ground, because Reading didn't become a league club until 1920, but it's still an important location for anyone interested in Reading's early history, or early 20th century football in general. Here is my WDYG entry for Sunday 5th May 2013...


In Reply To
Reading & District Sunday League Div.1 East
The Mod 0 RG.Athletic 4

at Christchurch Meadows, Caversham, Reading
Attendance: headcount of 31

The Christchurch Meadows lay on the northern bank of the River Thames, in the Caversham neighbourhood, and just a ten minute walk from Reading's sparkly new railway station: come out of the northern entrance and head across Reading Bridge, with the ground at the top end of the parkland that stretches along the riverbank below Gosbrook Road. (Another, more peaceful, stroll is to head east along the southern riverbank to Caversham Lock, cross here and walk across View and Heron islands).

Despite its modest park-pitch appearance, the Christchurch Meadows ground has an important place in local football history, as it was here that Reading FC played some of their last and most important matches as an amateur club before turning professional.. Having previously played at locations dotted all over the town, notably Kings Meadow (close to Caversham Lock), Sonning and Coley Park, Reading FC moved to Christchurch Meadows on the Oxfordshire bank in 1889 to share with the local cricket club.

As local football grew in popularity through the 1890s, so the crowds attending swelled. By the time Reading FC reached the quarter-finals of the FA Amateur Cup in February 1894, losing at home to Old Carthusians, the local Adam&Gingell's boathouse were running three large horse-drawn ferries as well as smaller punts to get fans across the river from the town-side (this was before the building of Reading Bridge, with the only other available crossing being Caversham Bridge half a mile upstream). The oldest surviving Reading programme is from that match, and includes the advertisement:

NOTICE:
The MOST DIRECT WAY
to the Ground is to ferry the Thames from
ADAMS & GINGELL'S BOAT-HOUSE
Fare ~ 1d. Return


Both the Great Western Railway and Adams&Gingell's began to sell combined train, ferry and match tickets to ease the congestion, and when new ferries were brought in it was estimated that over 1000 people were crossing the river by boat in the half-hour immediately before kick-off.

The decision to turn professional was made in 1895, with the move to Elm Park coming a year later. The last two Reading FC matches on the Christchurch Meadows pitch took place in April 1896, with 3000 attending a 0-2 defeat to Everton, and a similar gate watching a 5-0 victory against Aldershot.

Before Elm Park was finalised as the site for Reading's new home, there had been serious talk of building the new ground on land behind The Moderation pub, just south of Caversham Bridge on the southern town-bank of the river. This plan fell through, though its fitting that today the pub's own team (The Mod) now play on the old Christchurch pitch where Reading FC used to play.


Another example - the very first home of Oxford United (from back in 1893, when they were still called Headington United) is also still used, for Oxfordshire Senior League matches. Here is my WDYG for Thursday 18th April 2013...


In Reply To
Oxon Senior League Division Three
Oxford Irish Reserves 1 Oakley Reserves 2

at Headington Quarry recreation ground
Attendance: headcount of 10

Despite its modest appearance, the Quarry recreation ground at the eastern end of Headington is a historic location in the area's local football, with matches having been played here since the late 19th century. It is still the roughly triangular shape it appears on old Victorian maps of the area, sandwiched between Margaret Road and Ramsay Road, and not far from bus-stops on the main A420 London Road, served by bus service no.8 among others, in a part of Oxford that is home to some particularly good pubs.

Quarry Rec was the very first home to Oxford United FC (then, of course, still playing under their original name of Headington) during their opening 1893/94 season, with the first known home match taking place on 13th January 1894, a 3-3 draw v. Victoria. At the same time, a rival football club was set up as Headington Quarry FC in direct opposition to Headington United FC, and apparently there was much trouble between the citizens of Quarry and Headington over use of the football field. In the 'Oxford Journal' of 25th January 1898, a weary Headington witness is quoted as saying:

"They used to come across - if you weren't pretty smart, your football would disappear pretty quick. They'd just take the ball away from you. P'haps about six or eight'd come running across, and if you kicked the ball where they were that ball just disappeared - they pinched the ball and went back to Quarry."

After bouncing around various fields close to their future Manor Ground, Headington United returned to playing at Quarry Rec from 1910 to 1918, a period that included a big derby match v. Headington Quarry on 8th October 1910 in the first round of the County Junior Shield, which Quarry won 3-0 infront of a crowd of over 500.

From 1936, the ground became home to Quarry Nomads FC, who later played Hellenic matches here, before being consumed into Oxford City Nomads and moving off to Court Place Farm in 2006. The metal railings around the Quarry pitch then found their way down to Chinnor FC, and all that remains today in the way of football 'structure' at the Quarry Rec is a couple of brick built dugouts.

Despite being a step10 mid-table-end-of-season affair, this was enjoyable enough entertainment for a sunny (but breezy) evening, with an opener from distance for Irish and some good saves from both keepers.


Obviously not ex-League grounds, but I find the history of these sites really interesting. Likewise, when I went for a drink at the Peel Park Hotel in Accrington last year, I learnt that there is still a local Saturday morning club playing at the ground.

Can anyone else name some other examples?


Loiner
First Team Star

Jul 4, 2018, 9:52 PM

Posts: 2520
Location: North of the Aire
Team(s): None. A supporter of grassroots football

Post #11 of 17 (3589 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

In Reply To
3) Those in use by a football team unconnected with the Football League team. Someone may find an example of this, but I can't think of one directly - I did see a team called Glossopians (then Manchester League) playing at the former league ground of Glossop (with Glossop as the away team), but I do not think the ground is still used.


You can take this a step further, with grounds used by a league club before they joined the football league.

For example - the ground used by Reading FC immediately before their move to Elm Park in 1896 was Christchurch Meadows in Caversham, which is still used today for Thames Valley League/Reading Sunday League matches. I appreciate that it isn't an ex-League ground, because Reading didn't become a league club until 1920, but it's still an important location for anyone interested in Reading's early history, or early 20th century football in general. Here is my WDYG entry for Sunday 5th May 2013...


In Reply To
Reading & District Sunday League Div.1 East
The Mod 0 RG.Athletic 4

at Christchurch Meadows, Caversham, Reading
Attendance: headcount of 31

The Christchurch Meadows lay on the northern bank of the River Thames, in the Caversham neighbourhood, and just a ten minute walk from Reading's sparkly new railway station: come out of the northern entrance and head across Reading Bridge, with the ground at the top end of the parkland that stretches along the riverbank below Gosbrook Road. (Another, more peaceful, stroll is to head east along the southern riverbank to Caversham Lock, cross here and walk across View and Heron islands).

Despite its modest park-pitch appearance, the Christchurch Meadows ground has an important place in local football history, as it was here that Reading FC played some of their last and most important matches as an amateur club before turning professional.. Having previously played at locations dotted all over the town, notably Kings Meadow (close to Caversham Lock), Sonning and Coley Park, Reading FC moved to Christchurch Meadows on the Oxfordshire bank in 1889 to share with the local cricket club.

As local football grew in popularity through the 1890s, so the crowds attending swelled. By the time Reading FC reached the quarter-finals of the FA Amateur Cup in February 1894, losing at home to Old Carthusians, the local Adam&Gingell's boathouse were running three large horse-drawn ferries as well as smaller punts to get fans across the river from the town-side (this was before the building of Reading Bridge, with the only other available crossing being Caversham Bridge half a mile upstream). The oldest surviving Reading programme is from that match, and includes the advertisement:

NOTICE:
The MOST DIRECT WAY
to the Ground is to ferry the Thames from
ADAMS & GINGELL'S BOAT-HOUSE
Fare ~ 1d. Return


Both the Great Western Railway and Adams&Gingell's began to sell combined train, ferry and match tickets to ease the congestion, and when new ferries were brought in it was estimated that over 1000 people were crossing the river by boat in the half-hour immediately before kick-off.

The decision to turn professional was made in 1895, with the move to Elm Park coming a year later. The last two Reading FC matches on the Christchurch Meadows pitch took place in April 1896, with 3000 attending a 0-2 defeat to Everton, and a similar gate watching a 5-0 victory against Aldershot.

Before Elm Park was finalised as the site for Reading's new home, there had been serious talk of building the new ground on land behind The Moderation pub, just south of Caversham Bridge on the southern town-bank of the river. This plan fell through, though its fitting that today the pub's own team (The Mod) now play on the old Christchurch pitch where Reading FC used to play.


Another example - the very first home of Oxford United (from back in 1893, when they were still called Headington United) is also still used, for Oxfordshire Senior League matches. Here is my WDYG for Thursday 18th April 2013...


In Reply To
Oxon Senior League Division Three
Oxford Irish Reserves 1 Oakley Reserves 2

at Headington Quarry recreation ground
Attendance: headcount of 10

Despite its modest appearance, the Quarry recreation ground at the eastern end of Headington is a historic location in the area's local football, with matches having been played here since the late 19th century. It is still the roughly triangular shape it appears on old Victorian maps of the area, sandwiched between Margaret Road and Ramsay Road, and not far from bus-stops on the main A420 London Road, served by bus service no.8 among others, in a part of Oxford that is home to some particularly good pubs.

Quarry Rec was the very first home to Oxford United FC (then, of course, still playing under their original name of Headington) during their opening 1893/94 season, with the first known home match taking place on 13th January 1894, a 3-3 draw v. Victoria. At the same time, a rival football club was set up as Headington Quarry FC in direct opposition to Headington United FC, and apparently there was much trouble between the citizens of Quarry and Headington over use of the football field. In the 'Oxford Journal' of 25th January 1898, a weary Headington witness is quoted as saying:

"They used to come across - if you weren't pretty smart, your football would disappear pretty quick. They'd just take the ball away from you. P'haps about six or eight'd come running across, and if you kicked the ball where they were that ball just disappeared - they pinched the ball and went back to Quarry."

After bouncing around various fields close to their future Manor Ground, Headington United returned to playing at Quarry Rec from 1910 to 1918, a period that included a big derby match v. Headington Quarry on 8th October 1910 in the first round of the County Junior Shield, which Quarry won 3-0 infront of a crowd of over 500.

From 1936, the ground became home to Quarry Nomads FC, who later played Hellenic matches here, before being consumed into Oxford City Nomads and moving off to Court Place Farm in 2006. The metal railings around the Quarry pitch then found their way down to Chinnor FC, and all that remains today in the way of football 'structure' at the Quarry Rec is a couple of brick built dugouts.

Despite being a step10 mid-table-end-of-season affair, this was enjoyable enough entertainment for a sunny (but breezy) evening, with an opener from distance for Irish and some good saves from both keepers.


Obviously not ex-League grounds, but I find the history of these sites really interesting. Likewise, when I went for a drink at the Peel Park Hotel in Accrington last year, I learnt that there is still a local Saturday morning club playing at the ground.

Can anyone else name some other examples?


Peel Park play there on Saturday's in the East Lancashire League.


IAN S
First Team Star

Jul 4, 2018, 10:02 PM

Posts: 2439
Location: Stocksbridge, Sheffield
Team(s): Sheffield United, Sheffield Eagles, Kendal Town

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Re: [mick] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Is there a team playing at Millmoor these days?



We'll be, as we are, when all the fools who doubt us fade away.


Ropemaker
Man City Transfer Target!

Jul 4, 2018, 10:33 PM

Posts: 7376
Location: Surrey
Team(s): Hailsham Town

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Re: [leohoenig] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
3) Those in use by a football team unconnected with the Football League team. Someone may find an example of this, but I can't think of one directly - I did see a team called Glossopians (then Manchester League) playing at the former league ground of Glossop (with Glossop as the away team), but I do not think the ground is still used

AFC Varndeanians in Southern Combination Div 1 play at Brighton's old ground at Withdean Stadium



Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.


New Forest
Youth Team Sub


Jul 11, 2018, 9:30 AM

Posts: 106
Location: Aldershot
Team(s): Leyton then Waltham Forest now Walthamstow

Post #14 of 17 (2880 views)
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Re: [Ropemaker] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I am not a Ground Hopper in any form and frankly, I just do not get it. Why travel hundreds of miles to watch two teams you hardly know on a wet Wednesday at the back end of January. Having said that I do like to see new grounds and especially league grounds. I follow Leyton in all its variations - Leyton, Matlock Swifts, Leyton Wingate, Leyton Pennant, Waltham Forest and from this coming season, Walthamstow. Not bad for a club that also celebrates its 150 anniversary. So really an ideal time for Ground Hoppers to get along to Wadham Lodge over the nest few months.


Over the last forty years Leyton have only managed to play on four league grounds, apart from the Barnets and Dagenham's of this world. They have been Swansea in the FA Cup, the old Millwall Den and Craven Cottage and a few years back Brentford in the FA Youth Cup.


Interested in your arrgument about clubs who have moved ground or clubs no longeer in existence. But what about clubs who change theiir name? What about grounds that have almost ddisappeared. Surely the new White Hart Lane is the top visit for all Ground Hopppeers in 2018/9.


The old Claton Orient Ground at what was Lea Bridge Speedway is now mostly gone but a few bits remain. Does that count?


paulh66
Qatar World Cup bid member!


Jul 11, 2018, 11:46 AM

Posts: 18847
Location: Surrey
Team(s): Tranmere Rovers, South Liverpool (the South will rise again), Cammell Laird

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Re: [New Forest] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Usually you'd want to see a match on the ground in order to "count" it. But I'm sure people go around visiting ex-grounds or the site of ex-grounds as a hobby too. I'll sometimes look out for some of these places if I'm going to a game in the area and have time to kill - it can be quite evocative, especially if it's the site of a ground you've been to before to see a game. Unless it's now just a supermarket car park!


(This post was edited by paulh66 on Jul 11, 2018, 11:47 AM)


leohoenig
Administrator

Jul 11, 2018, 1:13 PM

Posts: 13304
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
Team(s): Cheltenham Town

Post #16 of 17 (2796 views)
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Re: [paulh66] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I was at a supermarket car park yesterday.
My first visit was a 0-0 draw against Hazells.
Still have not seen a goal there



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



mip
Man City Transfer Target!


Jul 11, 2018, 1:29 PM

Posts: 9850
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Re: [paulh66] Ex-League Grounds [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Usually you'd want to see a match on the ground in order to "count" it. But I'm sure people go around visiting ex-grounds or the site of ex-grounds as a hobby too. I'll sometimes look out for some of these places if I'm going to a game in the area and have time to kill - it can be quite evocative, especially if it's the site of a ground you've been to before to see a game. Unless it's now just a supermarket car park!


At the Morrison in Falkirk, site of Brockville, there's an old turnstile standing in the car park.
https://scottishfootballgroundswordpresscom.wordpress.com/...ockville-falkirk-fc/

 
 


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