Wednesday 29 December 2010


Whyteleafe are a club who are firmly established in the Ryman League Division One South, & are comfortably at the level they belong. I first went there in the very early eighties, when they were in the London-Spartan League, to see a pre-season game. The ground was less built up then, but despite the additions at either end the ground has lost none of its character. It is still a delightfully picturesque ground, with a nice clubhouse, albeit one where they tend to keep opposition fans waiting a little, & serve regulars first, which is a bit naughty.

These snaps are from the end of the 2008/09 season, when I popped along on a Sunday afternoon for a womens match between Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The reason I'm finally getting round to publishing them out of my 'backlog of grounds' today is that we should have been away to Whyteleafe on Monday, in an Isthmian League match, but it was postponed because of the frozen pitch, so although I never got to see Whyteleafe over the holiday period, you all can!

From the 'main road', it's rather rural round here, despite being close to London, this is the club bar, set back from the ground.

There is also this sign, for Diamond FC, who appear to be a chairty side.

moving down the slope to the car park, this is te entrance to the clubhouse, which also includes the boardroom & club offices.

Staight ahead is a fairly new all-weather pitch, useful for both training, & bringing in much needed funds to the club.

By that enclosed pitch are the main turnstiles.

Here they are from the other side, with the club shop to the right.

We are going to head round in a clockwise direction, there are some steps of open terracing, before we get to the small main stand.

I like these seats, old fashioned design, & traditional 'small non-league'.

Here we are at the back of them, note the covered terrace at the far end.

Taking a couple of steps back, before the stand, we look behind the other goal. A bigger, more modern, stand, with the tea bar & changing rooms to the right. Despite this stand being better than the old one I call the smaller one the 'main' one because not only is it on the halfway line, but it is also where the home & away officials sit.

This is the enclosure for the club hierachy in the centre of the main stand.

Past this stand there is more open terracing.

Before we move on time for a glimse back along it.

And a look over the pitch, where the dugouts are. At first glance it looks open, but there are two bits of cover, either side of the dugouts, if you look carefully.

Now on the open terrace, we see the cover behind the far goal.

Moving toward the corner we get both stands in the same picture.

Right in the corner are these turnstiles. I've neve known them to be used, no doubt built-at a complete waste of money-just to satisfy ground grading regulations.

Looking along the touchline.

Now we're behind the goal. Open hard standing, up to the covered area in the middle.

Just a few steps of shallow terrace, but more than adequate.

From behind the net we look up the pitch.

Before moving on to the next corner.

Glancing along the next touchline we see the open hard standing, with a small section of covered steps just before the dugouts.

A corner flag shot, looking over to the two stand sides.

And back along the covered terrace end, before we crack on with the rest of our stroll around Church Road.

Here we reach the first section of cover along the side. Better than no cover at all, & the raised steps give a higher vantage point, but I'm not sure how much protection from the elements you would actually get under here when it rains.

Across the halfway line we see the main stand. Perfectly placed for seats, where they should be in all non-league grounds!

From behind the dugout we see the newer stand, at the Church Road end.

Past the dugouts is the second of the covered shelters on this side.

From here we get an excellent snap of the new stand.

In the corner we look over the pitch, gate presumably for ground maintenance equipment to get onto the playing surface.

On our last leg, almost. Open hard standing in front of the stand. What's behind the fence on te left?

A 'dead' void area. Before the stand was built it was a steep grass bank all the way along this end.

Here we look down onto that area, from the corner of the stand.

Deom up here we look down the dugouts side.

And directly down the pitch, to the covered end.

And next, across the goal, toward the old main stand.

At the back is a small, slightly shabby, press area.

Here we look across the seats.

From the centre we look down the pitch once more.

Past the stand is the tea bar, on a raised area, above the pitch. One of the better ones at this level.

Beyond them, past the gates, are the changing rooms.

From up in front of the tea bar area, we look down to the main stand side.

Back down at the front we now look back at these seats behind the goal.

Here are the steps going up to the changing rooms.

Now we're back along the side where we came in, more open terracing leading to the turnstile block.

A final look to the right, to the new stand.

On the way home now, one last snap. From outside the ground, up on Church Road.

1 comment:

Jacob Stamer said...

Seems like a charming classic non-league ground..

I hope I am wrong.. but, it seems like on the last picture it is possible for immoral people to see the action, without paying..?