Saturday 23 April 2011

Worcester City

I had the pleasure of visiting Worcester City, who are in the Blue Square Bet North, on Saturday 7th August 2010, for a pre-season match 'away' to their tenants Evesham United.The Robins return to their home town at the start of next season, when their new Cheltenham Road Stadium opens.

City's St George's Lane ground is on the 'dangerlist' as it only has two or three years left, as it has been sold for housing. If you haven't been here before then I would strogly recommend you make it a priority, if you like great, old, traditional non-league grounds. Walking in to the stadium was certainly a 'Wow!' moment for me & I am extremely pleased I made the effort to get here.

A traditional old fashioned blackboard advertises the game.

Fixture poster for Worcester City matches.

Approaching the ground old fashioned pylons tower over the houses. Anyone who says their heartrate doesn't quicken when seeing them for the first time is a liar!

The main entrance, with turnstiles.

To the right of them are some sort of club offices.

Last season's League flag flying, worcester being switched from the South to North division in the close seaason.

Club initials on the iron gates.

Inside, by them, is this plaque.

Through the turnstiles you see the back of the stand, where the club bar is. To the right are Evesham people selling programmes. I asked about souvenirs, they said the woman who does them wouldn't be here as she had fallen at home. So I went into the Worcester City club shop, on the right. Everything packed away, not open. I was told they weren't open as it wasn't their home game! It seemed neither club wanted my money...

The entrance to the clubhouse.

Fitted out under the stand.

In front of the turnstiles, back outside, there is a refreshment stand, with the changing rooms building on the left.

On the outer wall is a clock. Not working, but I thought-if it must be broken-it's a nice touch to set it to the traditional Saturday afternoon kick off time.

This cage tunnel goes from the changing rooms onto the pitch.

We are in the corner of the ground, the main stand to the right.

we're going to head round the ground clockwise, away from the stand, leaving the best bit until last, if you like. The other side of the tunnel is an open terrace, with a disabled enclosure in this corner. Over the far side we can see some covered terracing in the other corner.

Behind this goal is an open end of terracing.

From here we have our first proper view of the magnificent old wooden stand.

From the front of this terrace we see it narrows down, from the back.

Behind the goal, we look over to the terracing on the far side.

A similar angle, a pace or two along, and a few steps back up the terracing.

As it narrows most, at the far corner, we look back across it.

Behind the goal we look down the pitch, where we can see it is also open down the far end.

At the back there is this warning sign.

The terracing now peters out, and there is hard standing to the corner.

From here we have another look at the main stand.

Almost at the corner, ready to go onto the terrace along the side.

The next corner flag shot, with the grandstand again as backdrop.

Moving on to the large open terrace.

From this side we glance back behind the goal.

This is a big old ground, not surprising, at it held over 17,000 for an FA Cup tie in 1959, when they defeated Liverpool!

Game in progress here, we cast our eyes over to the stand once more.

As we move along this side we see the large covered shed at the end. i don't know what this ground was like in the dim & distant past, but I wonder if the cvoer once ran the whole length or not?

A pocket of home fans stand in front of a club banner!

Over the halfway line.

Zooming in on the dugouts.

The posh plastic seats & club sign behind them.

Moving on round, almost at the covered terrace.

Near the front we turn round to look back at the terrace.

Now we are at the shed. with graffiti at the back.

Presumably commissioned by the Club?

The back of it though, does offer a restricted view.

Toward the middle you can see the whole pitch, bar the obstructing pillars supporting the roof.

Turning the other direction we see the open terrace behind the other goal. Note how it is raised up, above the pitch.

The covered area, from the front.

Looking along the touchline you can see how far below the terracing the pitch is.

By the floddlight pylon is this old section of terracing, not going anywhere.

The third corner flag angle of the day.

Behind us now is one of the imposing pylons.

The covered terrace, from the higher open end.

Down the touchline, with the open terracing beyond it.

The main stand, from this end.

It's shallow terracing at this end.

A closed hut at the back.

From the positioning of the crossbar you can work out how far above the pitch we are at this end.

Turning back to the terraced side once more.

Standing directly behind the goal, looking over the pitch.

Turning to the main stand, the pitch below us.

Like the other end, this section of terracing narrows to the corner.

This angle gives you a good idea of the drop to the pitch.

A full length picture of the stand from this end.

Almost at the last corner.

A very tight path at this bit of the ground.

This appears to be closed turnstiles on the left, and the terracing widens past it.

Not by much though, as we almost get to the seats, at last.

Finally up in the stand.

Old fashioned wooden benches along this section.

Glancing downward, with the open terrace opposite visible.

These were along the back row.

Toward the centre are traditional wooden tip up seats.

Club cushions on some of them at the front.

On one of the sets of steps at the front, we look back to the corner already covered.

Time to move further along.

Today there was no extra charge, presumably because it was an Evesham fixture?

Down at the front a poor attempt at a 'funny angle' snap.

Walking along the hard standing area in front of the stand.

Passing the dugouts.

And directly behind one of them.

Back up some different steps, to peek at another more central section of the stand.

Turning the other way we can see the tannoy box at the back.

Back down the steps once more.

Across the halfway line, from this side.

Onwards toward the corner we started out from.

Over the pitch, to the open sides.

The first side we saw.

And ending up looking at the tunnel where we started out.

The front of the disabled section, next to it.

That should conclude our circuit of the ground, but I couldn't resist the urge to go back up into the wonderful structure that is the main stand, for more! From this corner of it we look back behind the goal.

Wooden seats at this end, with more modern plastic ones past them.

Old benches.

The same area, post match.

Staring up into them, from the front.

Here are the plastic ones.

Announcements from the rear.

From the back, over the pitch.

With the wooden tip up ones past the blue.

At the back are some press benches.

The last look at the ground, as the players warm down in the centre.

That concludes our circuit of this cracking old ground, without a doubt one of the best I've ever been to in non league football. I leave you with a few action shots of the game itself.