Archive for April, 2010

March Town United

24-04-2010: March Town United 2 Whitton United 1
(Ridgeons League Division One)

March Town United

St Wendreda’s Church, March, click me is noted for its beautiful timber roof which contains 120 carved angels. Ordinarily angles are depicted with wings folded behind their backs but not at St Wendreda’s where they have all been carved with wings wide open and appear to hang from the ceiling ready to swoop down on unsuspecting members of the congregationclick me. The roof and angels so enchanted the Poet Laureate Betjamin that he declared he would “cycle 40 miles in a head wind” to see them. The roof was Built between 1523 to 1526 by craftsmen from Suffolk.

Suffolk has a link to our next port of call (after a decent brunch in the town centre), March Town United’s GER Sports Ground, where an Ipswich Town XI turned out in August 1985 for a game to mark the christening of their new floodlights (mounted on eight pylons, four along each touchline).

March Town United

The Hares (a great but not unsurprising nickname) ground has a great old grandstand click me
along its eastern touchline. While not as ‘grand’ or even as old as the one at the Wellesley Recreation Ground, Great Yarmouth (believed to be the world’s oldest football stand in regular use) it was a very pleasant surprise nonetheless. With seating for around five hundred this all wood construction has ten rows of simple bench seating. There are no less than fourteen roof supports, and two of the eight aforementioned pylons sit directly in front of it, which adds up to a less than ideal view of the action click me taking place in front of you. But savor its form rather than function.

March Town United

In the centre of the stand towards the back is rather curious looking construction click me
which looks as though it could house several TV cameras and maybe a sheepskin coated commentator but was probably built (and I’m guessing here) as a sort of elevated VIP area. The back and sides of the stand are painted a darkish sky blue and while there are obvious signs of rot on some of the handrails at the front it all looks in a very good state of repair. A ‘must visit’ for all non-league ground buffs. Even Mrs Extreme Groundhopping was impressed.

More pictures here.

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Chatteris Town

24-04-2010: West Street, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire

Chatteris Town

Mrs Extreme Groundhopping decided to accompany me on this rather splendid sunny day as I head across Suffolk towards Fen country for the Ridgeons Division One fixture between March Town United and Whitton United. Enroute we called in at Chatteris to visit the town’s football ground and take a few pics. As you do.

Chatteris Town

Don’t know much about this Fen town, other than a good friend of mine works at the local glue factory, or about it’s football club, Chatteris Town, other than they were members of the Eastern Counties League but and now play in the Senior A Division of the Cambridgeshire League. Their West Street ground has two small stands click meclick me on either touchline with a combined capacity of 250 seats. The club has just clinched the divisional title, with three games to spare, and a number of players were congregating in the car park (ready for an away fixture) when I was taking these snaps. Congrats to them.

More pictures here.

Football Statues

No 18 (in a series of several): Valery Lobanovsky (1939-2002)

Valery Lobanovsky

Valery Lobanovsky is quiet easily the most successful coach in the history of football in the Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. He led Dynamo Kiev to five league championships and two Cup Winners’ Cups victories between 1974 and 1986 and the Soviet Union to runners-up spot in the 1988 European Championships. Returning to Dynamo Kiev for a third spell he took them to five consecutive league titles between 1997 and 2001 and also to the semi-finals of the Champions’ League in 1999. Erected in his honour this distinctive monument sits outside Dynamo’s stadium which was also renamed the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium in his memory.

More on Lobanovsky and Dynamo Kiev can be found in Andy Dougan’s highly readable ‘Dynamo: Defending the Honour of Kiev’.

Picture from Wikipedia.