Monday 1 June 2009

Fisher Athletic (London)-Salter Road

I made my first visit to Salter Road to watch Fisher Athletic when they first moved there in the early eighties, having previously been based in Mitcham, in the London-Spartan League. When this stadium was built, in conjunction with the LDDC, they joined the Southern League, & played in their traditional heartland at last.

After Champion Hill, this stadium is the one I must have visited more than any other. Now it lies derelict, awaiting revised planning permission, so it can be redeveloped, & bring the Fish-albeit a new club- home to SE16.

I spent my teenage years, til my mid twenties, living at home on the Aylesbury Estate, at the Old Kent Road end of it, & it was only a half hour or so to walk there, through the Bermondsey backstreets. You could always get a late one back then in their bar, which was why I liked it there for midweek games! ;-)

Despite not supporting them, I've got a 'soft spot' for them as another Southwark side, & have always watched then two or three times a season at least.

I'm not going to comment much on this ground, it's in such a poor state of repair I'll leave you to take in the extemely sad decay & vandalism, without my tuppence worth.

This was the view from outside, I wasn't sure if I'd get in.

But found a gap here, in the corner. It has since been made secure again, so I think I just got lucky.

A vandalised toilet block.

This was a hole in the pitch, presumably made by foxes.

The next few are of changing rooms and offices, which are behind the stand.

This was the old 'executive bar' area, I think it was, up in the pavilion.

The next few snaps were taken from up in the balcony.

Salter Road R.I.P.

Sunday 31 May 2009

Merton FC

With practically no football left in the London area, I had the Tony Kempster forum to thank for this visit to Merton, of the Southern Amateur League Second Division. My visit was on 30th May, for an end of season friendly. A Merton FC Club XI were taking on a visiting Dutch amateur side from Den Bosch, OSC 45.

This wouldn't normally be a ground I'd visit, and it was certainly basic as it's possible to get. A pitch on a public recreation ground. But they are a proud old club, happy to compete at the level they're at, with seven teams!

When I arrived the home players were bringing the goals out.

This is the main building, changing rooms & clubhouse. Very 'local authority'!

Behind this they have a small bar, where I had a brief chat with a friendly home official, who made me feel very welcome, even though I wasn't with either club.

This is the chap at work, making the nets secure.

There were even some of those 'groundhopper types' present! ;-)

As you can see from the openness, & the jogger in the background, this really is a public park.

A bit of action, with the club building in the background.

A welcome break for the players at half time.

A photo that sums up the delightful amateur ethos. Presumably so poor that they can't even afford new goalnets! But the pride & spirit of the club clearly shows, as the ones they have are in club colours.

Another bit of action, with the 'hoppers' looking on.

The home team line up at the end.

And the obligatory joint team photo. Marvellous!

And personalised corner flags too! You don't see them in the Ryman League!