Saturday 16 May 2009

FC Torino; Grace Hollogne, Belgium

I have not yet been able to track down which level of the local Liege leagues FC Torino play in, but it is a low level. This ground was a complete bonus to photograph, as it happened to be a couple of minutes walk from the one I was visiting, & it's certainly a place I doubt I will ever go back to again. I would guess they are an Italian immigrant club, or were originally founded by Italian immigrants.

The ground is another basic railed off one, the 'shack' ahead is the bar and the changing rooms.

The famous Torino 'bull' emblem is on the side.

Railed off behind the goal, players were relaxing/warming down, as a match had just finished.

Along the far side, away from the road, were the dug outs, and a small area of cover.

Set back, behind them in the corner, were a couple of sheds, with the club name painted on one of them.

And Torino graffiti on the back of the covered spectator shed.

The rail continues down the full length of the pitch.

But does not extend behind the goal.

Though it does run the length of the roadside touchline.

And that was FC Torino, a basic Belgian non-league ground, which I doubt many English groundhoppers have ever visited! (Though my one doesn't actually count, as I'd not seen an actual match)

Thursday 14 May 2009

Boitsfort Rugby Club

I wasn't looking for this ground, I was wandering 'blind' around Brussels with a street map in my hand. An un-named ground was marked, & it turned out ot be the home of Boitsfort Rugby Club.
Rugby Union is a fairly popular sport in Belgium.

I'm guessing the pitch may have had some grass on it at the start of the season!

No terracing, just steep grass banking on both sides.

And a very small stand behind the goal!

Wednesday 13 May 2009

R. Ixelles SC; Brussels, Belgium

R. Ixelles play at the Albert Demuyter Stadium, & appear to be in the fourth tier of the local leagues.

The following information is take from the 'Football Grounds of Brussels' group on Facebook, run by Stpehane Lievens:

"IXELLES, Stade Albert Demuyter Rue Volta 18, 1050 Ixelles Current club : R.Ixelles SC (4th Provincial division) Home of Royal Ixelles Sporting Club, an old club born on the ashes of Union Ixelles, who took part in the early championship of Belgium. Ixelles is a commune near the center of the city, near the University"

The ground was locked up when I saw it in February 2009. Fortunately I could take some snaps through the railings.

Here is the main entrance, you can see the stadium at the end, past the buildings.

Hard standing, down the side with the dug outs.

Here is a similar snap, through the mesh fencing.

Railed off behind the nearest goal, the buildings behind this end.

A nice stretch of covered terrace down the side. There didn't appear to be anything down the far end, though I couldn't get down there to a picture.

From this same corner we look across to the dugs outs.

Another shot of the cover, showing the terracing to the left of it.

Monday 11 May 2009


What a delight Crockenhill is! I've been here a couple of times before, but took the opportunity recently to catch an end of season midweek First Team game here. It's a bit of a trek from Swanley station, along some part of the road without pavements, but it's well worth the walk!

A totally ramshackle ground, but no less beautiful for it. This venue really is a delight, &-as you will see- the bar is practically a mini-museum! The Crocks currently languish in Division One West of the Kent County League, having been members of the Kent League in the past, but forced out through a lack of floodlights.

See what I mean about no pavements!

This is the entrance to the ground.

A car park leads up to the club buildings.

This is the back of the changing rooms & main stand. Surely the only club around with a wind sock? !

Past the back of the stand, once in the ground itself, is this building, to your left. This is the bar. We will come back to that later...

From past the bar I'm going to take you round the ground, clockwise. There is hard standing here, & the pitch is railed off.

Behind the goal it is overgrown, with a small wooden 'shack' directly behind the goal. It would be unfair to call it 'covered terracing'! ;-)

Before we go round there we can look back along the side where we'll finish up. You can see the main stand in the middle, plus an open concrete standing area. I'm not sure what the buildings are, as they were not open on my visit.

Looking across you can see it's open on the far side, where the dugouts are.

Now we're going behind the goal, open & overgrown.

I'm not sure if that barrier was just erected in the past atop the grass banking, or whether there is some old terracing underneath it.

From behind the goal we get a good look down th main side. Note a small area of cover past the stand.

This is the cover behind the goal. It actually looks in good condition close up.

Past this is more grass banking, to the next corner.

And down the side, with a slightly steeper grass bank.

From this side we look across the pitch to the main stand.

The home dugout, you won't get much of a view from the back row!

The visitors one is further along.

Here we see the grass banking continuing behind and past it.

A look back down the side, from the corner, with 'terrace' tree in shot!

The fence continues round the corner, but if you want to stand there you have to go over the stile!

There is very little space behind this goal, so despite it being railed off it's not really a proper vantage point for spectators.

Here's the stile, with the stand in the background.

Open behind the goal, with a player looking for a football as a backdrop!

Bit of a junkyard at this end!

Just overgrown grass to the next corner flag.

From behind this goal we see the cover & the stand along the side.

Here we view the same structures along the touchline.

Hard standing on this side, leading up to the one stepped covered terrace. Also bearing in mind Crockenhill is outside London, in Kent, has anyone any idea who nicked the London Borough of Sutton wheelybins? ;-)

And here it is! It won't win any 'engineering' awards, but I like it! Note the old beer barrels painted in club colours. I had no idea why though, but have been informed by DaveU on the Tony Kempster forum that there had once been wooden planks across them, to form seating.

Just past this cover is an old turnstile. Not in use this evening, presumably from their Kent League days.

Here's a view of both the cover & turnstiles, from on the pitch, at half time.

This is the stand.

From here we look across for the start of the second half.

A bit blurred, perhaps to hide groundhoppers identities! ;-)

From up in the seats we look right to the beer barrel enclosure.

And left, across it. As you can see, there's not much room in the back rows!

Which is just as well, as you can't see too much of the pitch from the highest bench!

Not too bad though if you moved a couple of rows down.

The changing rooms are part of the stand. This is the tunnel in the middle.

And here's a shot of it from on the pitch.

And so to the area where we came in, the open concrete area, with grassed area in the corner.

Not time to leave yet! A few snaps from the bar. Full of football souvenirs from all over the country & beyond! As well as a decent selection of Crockenhill memorabilia. I couldn't resist taking a few snaps of them to share with you!

It may be a small bar, but without a doubt one of the most delightful I've ever been in!