Monday, 19 January 2009

Under marbled Millichip, the FA broods

I was getting the bus back from the pub on Saturday afternoon, and to see the two remaining old-style floodlights at the City Ground on full beam was a tremendous sight to behold.

Forest's ground is, if course, relatively modern and swish compared to most of the grounds in the Third and Fourth divisions, even in these days of out-of-town retail-o-stadiums. My team's current ground, Blundell Park, remains steadfastly bleak, yet has a comfy charm that most others lack. You know where you are with Blundell Park; you're roughly half way between Cleethorpes and Grimsby. And that's a comfort, believe me.

To portray the fact that grounds before Sky came along could really be places of mass, socialised worship of your team, rather than the atomised 'experience' you get at most grounds today, take a look at the cavernous stands at Turf Moor, Burnley, from the video of The Fall's masterly 1983 track, Kicker Conspiracy. Shame that Burnley were only getting about 6,000 through the gate each week, really.

10 comments:

Eric (SwansonG) said...

Hi,

Oh! 24 teams in a league! It's huge!

What's the lowest stadium capacity in the league 2?

At the same level (mean in divisions not in quality) here in Belgium, a lot of teams have just a old tiny stand of 200 places.

Not an ideal place in table for Grimsby. Did they play in higher division those last years ?

A layer of chips said...

I think it's Accrington Stanley's at around 5,000, maybe.

Grimsby have been the bottom division for five years now, but before that we played in higher divisions for most of the previous 15 years, yeah.

Pete Green said...

When we beat Tottenham in 2005 I arrived at the ground a couple of minutes late. After hurrying through the turnstile I looked over across the pitch to see the game already under way and the likes of Jenas, Keane, Carrick, Robinson and Defoe trying to feel their way in to very unfamiliar surroundings. It was a September night and the floodlights were streaming across the field, bathing the game in a milky glow, and it gave me a funny little emotional start and very briefly, while I was rushing along to my seat, I thought: "This is the most beautiful I've ever seen Blundell Park."

I was wrong, mind you. The most beautiful I've ever seen Blundell Park was about 90 minutes later when Jean-Paul Kalala scored from 20 yards to win the game for us.

A layer of chips said...

I love floodlights, despite past bad experiences with them.

There must be a book about footy ground floodlights, right?

A layer of chips said...

Bloody hell, I just checked my Playfair annual and Burnley's average attendance in the 85-86 season was just over 3,000. They must have rattled around that place.

Pete Green said...

The mid to late 80s were the low point for attendances in England, weren't they? I think they were probably a low point for Burnley too. Didn't they only just stay up in the league one year?

There are books about stadiums but I can't think of one about floodlights. I bet there is though.

Eric (SwansonG) said...

Look the link of the pic and the nice floodlights :

http://users.skynet.be/swansong/coupe.jpg

That was in october 1998, La Louvière 'D2' (my team) played at home (Tivoli) against Standard 'D1' for a 1/16 of the Belgium Cup. We have been eliminated after penalties (score of the match 4-4). The attendance was +- 12000. The atmosphere in the stands was electrical. That match was the most wonderful I've ever seen there.

Anonymous said...

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/147/348159037_ba1e7e7c50.jpg

Beautiful.

Marianthi said...

Oh! Where's that then?

A layer of chips said...

That's the City Ground! You've only been past it a trillion times...