Friday 27 March 2009

Sporting Bengal United/Bethnal Green United

Whilst a home is surely better than no home, Mile End Stadium really is a municipal dump! Maybe I'm a little more critical than I should be because I don't like 'running track' grounds & being from South London have a natural aversion the the east end 'over the water', each to his own eh?
Mile End is home to Sporting Bengal United, of the Kent League. Why they're not Essex Senior as is logical I have no idea. It is also currently the venue for Bethnal Green United, of the Middlesex County League, who moved from their Meath Gardens public park home at the start of the season.
These photos of the ground are from my recent trip to watch Dulwich Hamlet Under eighteens lift the London Cup, beating Thamesmead Town 5-1! I've been here for several London Cup finals on the past, as well as a Sporting Bengal home game, in their first Kent League season.

These old gates are at the entrance to the park by the stadium.

This sign gives the history of the stadium area.

Here i the entrance to the ground, through the stadium reception area.

This is a full on view of the main stand. I thought I'd show it to you first because, stadium wise, it's all downhill from here!

But before we stroll round the ground I bring you the 2009 London Under Eighteen CHAMPIONS!

I'm sitting in the stand. From here we will walk round the ground, clockwise. Over on the far side is a fairly new leisure centre, which has only been there for a few years. On my first visit that was still open park, with a few steps of open terracing, now gone, but you can see it by clicking here.

Still up in the stand we look over to the end on our right...

And over to our left.

Before we begin our walk around the ground here is a view looking up across the stand.

And a similar angle, but from in front of it. note the recent blue paint at the back, and a blue circle. There used to be a large clock here on all my previous visits.

No terracing in front, just hard standing, which is the case most of the way round.

We now going round the ground, just past the metal storage containers you can see the only terracing left in the stadium.

A glance back to the stand before we get to the terrace on the curve.

As we go along you can see the open standing is a long way from the pitch, precisely why i don't like these sort of grounds.

From the side the pitch looks distant from here.

This is the shallow terrace, if the track wasn't here this would be a lovely bit of a ground.

As I mentioned, there is no more terracing. Just hard standing all the way round, as you see here.

Though if you stood 'behind the goal' you'd be a very long way from the goal!

it contnues down the far side, where the terracing I mentioned earlier usde to be.

Looking down the touchline.

From the corner the goal is dwarfed by the athletics cage!

Now we are heading down the far stretch.

Looking across the pitch toward the stand.

Overflowing rubbish bins...sums up my feelings for this soulless place.

Our third goal has just gone in..& the Thamesmead coach is getting his marching orders for disputing it!

Another look over to the main stand. not the old warehouse type building behind it, this is home to the Ragged School Museum, worth a visit if you're ever in the area. unfortunately it doesn't open on Saturdays, when you're most likely to be in the area for football.

Even the dugouts are vandalised!

Another shot of the stand, from behind the Hamlet bench area.

Moving on we head behind the far goal, if possible even worse for viewing than the other end!

Not sure if I can face that yet, so another shot of the stand...well there's not much else to photograph! ;-)

By neccesity the barrier has to be behind the track, I doubt if anyone has ever watched a match from here.

Or here! With athletics equipment obscuring half of the pitch.

And certainly not here, in between the storage containers!

Tour nearly over, round to the last bend, our return to the stand in sight!

Note the man on the bench.

He has the half time refreshments for the match officials. Even they don't fancy the long walk back to the changing rooms!

One last look across the pitch..

And here we are! all that walking's tired me out, I'm off back to the seats for the rest of the match.


Anonymous said...

I think you are a cheeky git, I am the head groundsman here at the Stadium, and no mention of how the pitch looks....

Tower Hamlets FC said...

The pitch is great

Anonymous said...

I've some pics of USD Creteil's ground, btw

Anonymous said...

The communtity is in shambles as Sproting Bengal are meant to provide opportunities for Bengali players but if you look at the starting 11, how many are Bengali? Look at the full squad, what is the Bengali percentage?
It's all politics and a lot of the income generated through fundings, publicity etc are no where to be seen.

BFA talk about their summer league aimed to target players for the Sproting Bengal team, but some of the none-Bengali players get paid behind the scene whilst the Bengali players are mere on lookers and over shadowed in the current system. This is a fact over the past few years and I personally believe an external auditor needs to step in and investigate the current sysytem and what happens to ALL the income in details

Rabbler said...

Anonymous groundsman: I concentrate on the grounds, not the pitches! ;-)
Anonymous 2: Not been to Creteil, may do one day! ;-)
Anonymous 3: Weong & pointless place to air your gripes. You just come over as bitter & twisted! This is a blog about football grounds, not the way clubs are run! If you really are unhappy then try to change the club from within. Failing that lobby the local councillors & use the local newspapers to express your points.

I know I am, I'm sure I am, I'm Bethnal Green United till I die... said...

I went to the game today and had a fantastic time. I actually happen to love this type of ground. Being a Brighton fan I grew up watch football at the Withdean, our temporary (10 year) home. They have a new stadium now. Maybe you could critique that?

Rabbler said...

Not been to the new Brighton ground yet, I am first & foremost a Dulwich Hamlet fan, but hope to get there within a season or two. Have a full set of snaps from the Withdean, in your last season there, on a non match day, but haven't got round to publishing them yet. I just don't like watching football at athletics grounds by choice, each to his own?