Tuesday 27 December 2011


Clapton currently play in the Essex Senior League, at the wonderfully named Old Spotted Dog. They have a proud, ancient history, & if any club has 'fallen on hard times' this is it!
Many non-league ground enthusiasts wax lyrically about this venue, but while I appreciate as a venerable location, I doubt if there is much, if anything, that stretches back to it's heyday.
That's not an excuse not to go there, it's still ramshacklingly lovely in it's own way, and certainly still has it's own individuality.
I took these photos at an
FA Sunday Cup first round tie between Bari & New Salamis, which the latter won 3-1, on 16th October 2011.

Club sign outside the ground, this snap give you a 'flavour' of the area!

The pub next door has been boarded up for a few years.

Pub on the right, car yard ahead, ground to the left...

Here's the entrance.

Gate kicked in!

The booth ahead is the 'turnstile' for Clapton games, no admission or programme today.

The entrance is in this corner of the pitch, small bit of cover & dugouts on the far side.

The changing rooms are in this corner, the clubhouse past it, behind the goal.

We are going to head this way, down the near side, walking round, clockwise.

Hard standing, one small step, up to the stand in the centre.

From the side, looking back behind the goal, grass banking in the centre, behind the goal.

A slight grass slope along this side, behind the hard standing path at the front.

The seats coming up.

Getting closer...

Directly across the halfway line first, to the cover opposite.

Up in the stand, looking back at the small area we've already covered.

Across the pitch, from the back of the stand.

And toward the open end, on the left.

Another view across the pitch.

Past the stand it's more open hard standing, with grass/scrubland behind, backing up to the terraced houses surrounding the ground.

The stand from the other side.

And in front, from on the pitch,side angle.

Now directly facing it.

Moving on toward the corner.

A glance back along the side.

Fencing not in too good condition here, both by the pitch, & behind!

As we turn there's grass banking behind thegoal. I'd hazrd a guess there's old rotten terracing under it from better days past.

The usual corner flag picture, so predictable! ;-)

Moving toward the goal, not sure what that old table is doing there...

On top of the banking.

Back down the front, the stand to the right.

In the centre, directly behind the goal, is this small section of concrete terrace. I don't know if it once had a roof on it or not.

An elevated view, from up behind it.

And directly down the pitch, end to end.

Now eyes to the left...the part of the ground we have yet to cover.

The terrace behind the goal, not too clear, from on the pitch.

Back over the barrier, looking toward the next corner.

Past the goal we look over to the dugouts side.

There's a fair bit of old rubble strewn about too.

Almost at the third corner.

Last look along behind this goal.

Over the pitch from this corner.

Time to head on, down this side.

No wonder some call this place a bit of a tip..

Look, it really is!

This side is open ,up to & past the first of the dugouts.

Nearly reached them.

Here's the first one.

Which is for the visitors.

There's a big gap, up to the other dugout, the hard stadning continues.

Over the halfway line, opposite the seats.

Now we come to a small raised, scaffold clad areas of standing.

Steps at the front.

Not the clearest of views from in it!

Even in the other direction.

But I'm sure it satisfies all ground gradings...

Past this structure is the other dugout.

Here we see the covered enclosure from on the pitch.

Moving on, behind the dugout.

Turning round to see the side of the 'shed'.

By the dugout, seeing over the pitch.

Here it is, from the front.

Onward, to the last corner.

Bit of a 'junkyard' feel to this area.

There's also an exit over here.

Now turning to the last side we have to cover.

Old beer barrels, nowhere near the bar!

Down the side touchline.

Behind the last corner flag, both areas of cover on either side of the photo.

The pitch rail is set back a bit more at this end, as it curves slightly, to behind the goal.

Grass banking again behind the hard standing, up to the bar.

There's a single old armchair on top of it! A unique one seater stand!

From behind the goal we see the 'main' stand.

Which we can compare with the smaller one behind the goal!

It looks better from on the pitch, don't you think?

I try it out..

It's comfy!

A fellow Dulwich Hamlet fan, who was also at the game, prefers to stand.

Over the fence is the back of the car parts scrapyard. Is that the 'spotted dog' down there?

Back to the ground, we're nearly done, moving toward the clubhouse.

Almost back to where we started.

Through that doorway to the bar,before we go in clock that pitch hoarding.

I have no idea if we will see any of this today!

Old sofas make up another 'stand' outside, but we're going in!

On the noticeboard is information on Walter Tull, who was a Clapton player.

Smart brickwork on the front of the bar.

Not much business pre-match!

Year of foundation below a trophy cabinet.

Back outside, where we began, by the players tunnel.

Now onto the game itself, kick off delayed, due to local traffic congestion, as there was an accident in the Blackwall Tunnel, & one of the match officials was caught up in the hold ups.

Eventually it's game on..

Time to go, no need to shut the door behind me!


gee said...


Unknown said...

This ground is now under threat.

The company that holds the lease have been served with Notice of Striking Off by the registrar of companies.

The demise of the company will mean the forfeiture of the lease.

The friends of Clapton FC are a supporters group who's aim is to help the club.

This latest business with the lease is very serious.
Contact secretary@friendsofclaptonfc.org for more info