Welcome to The 100 Football Grounds Club

Welcome to Shaun Smith's Groundhopping blog ...
 'The 100 Football Grounds Club'(est.2006) ... the original internet ground logging website.
Check out my blog reports and pictures from over 400 different football grounds in the A-Z Matchday Index

site updated on post date

✔595 The Harold Wilson Centre

Thornaby Dubliners 2-1 St Mary's 1947
Lou Moore Trophy 
Saturday 3rd February 2018
Thornaby-on-Tees is a royal charter town and civil parish, 4 miles southwest of Middlesbrough and historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire(population almost 25,000)
The town name came into existence about 800 AD when the land was given by Halfdene - King of the Danes, to Thormod, one of his noblemen, therefore "Thormods-by" – Thormod's farmstead.
Birthplace of Grace Pace (mother of Captain James Cook) actor Richard Griffiths,  award winning author Pat Barker and the former home of RAF Thornaby (1925-1958)
The former Royal Air Force Station operated Fighter Command, Bomber Command and Coastal Command, but its stint under Coastal Command is what the base was notable for, particularly in the air-sea rescue environment and the development of the Thornaby Bag. This was an emergency bag dropped to downed aircrew at sea and contained food, cigarettes and drink.
Thornaby Dubliners FC formed in 2006 out of the Dubliners pub in the north end of the town. Their best performance in the Teesside League came in 2012-13 season, finishing runners-up to Acklam Steelworks, missing out of the league title on goal difference.
I set off down the A19 in the driving rain just before 1pm. From the motorway its a quick drive along the A174, which brings you to the south end of Thornaby where the football ground is, so I arrived a good quarter of an hour before kick off.
The Dubliners are based at the Harold Wilson Recreation Centre, which has three football pitches one of which is fully railed, with a changing room block at one side and plenty of car park space behind the goal.
Thornaby Dubliners v St Mary’s 1947
Lou Moore Trophy Quarter-Final

2pm ko
Weather:light rain
The Dubliners got off to a dream start, gaining possession from the kick-off, they broke down the left flank and the cross found Gaz Mitchell, who slotted home with just 28 seconds gone.
After a nervy start the visitors finally settled and equalised on 2o minutes when the ball broke free in the box for Chris Norlund to fire in with his right foot.
St Mary’s shaded the second half on chances created and they looked to have won the tie when they were awarded a penalty with twenty minutes remaining. When clear through on goal the no.7 was brought down by the ‘keeper, although the home team reckoned that the player actually slipped on the clarty pitch and wasn’t fouled at all. The resulting spot kick was saved by Pat Pisani, who celebrated with a volley of verbal abuse towards his opponents.
The match looked to be heading towards penalties, but with just five minutes left the Dubliners clinched it, when a ball from the left was fired in by close range Jake Maughan to book their place in the semi-finals of the Lou Moore trophy.  

Matchday Stats
TDFC 2(Mitchell 1 Maughan 85) scorers TBC
StM1947 1(Norlund 20)
Entertainment 7/10
Top Bloke - Patrick Pisani(Thornaby Dubliners)

✔594 Conyers School

Yarm & Eaglescliffe 1-1 Redcar Town
North Riding Football League Premier Division
Saturday 27th January 2018

Yarm and Eaglescliffe are small towns in North Yorkshire on the banks of the River Tees. Yarm is on the south bank, the name deriving from the Old English  - gearum or yair - which translates as a 'pool for catching fish'. Yarm was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, originally a chapelry in the Kirklevington parish and historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire.

The name of Eaglescliffe is believed to be derived from a misspelling of the name of the nearby village of Egglescliffe, the common myth being that in the Victorian times, the sign for the new railway station turned up incorrect after the signwriter thought that Egglescliffe was a mistake and altered it. The stone bridge which divided the two towns, marked the furthest reach of tidal flow up the River Tees until the opening of the Tees Barrage in 1995, which now regulates river flow above Stockton. As the last bridge on the river before the sea, it was succeeded by a new toll bridge opened in Stockton in 1771. The oldest part of Yarm is situated in a loop of the river, and the newer parts of the town extend to the point where the River Leven meets the River Tees.

Yarm & Eaglescliffe FC are based at Conyers School on Green Lane. It was founded in 1594 as 'the Free Grammar School' by Thomas Conyers, then following the change to comprehensive education, it was renamed to reflect its founder. Matches are played on the 4G pitch in the school grounds, which is fully caged, with dugouts and spectator area on one side.

The club joined the newly formed North Riding League for this, its debut season, and after a terrible start, losing every game in August and September, the team has showed great improvement with the recruitment of new players to the squad.
I set off at 12.45 for the 45 mile drive, but stupidly decided to go via the A1/A689/A177 route, which meant I lost my way at one point, but luckily I arrived at the ground just as the teams kicked off at 2.05. I stuck with the reliable A19 on returning back to Gallowgate View.

Yarm & Eaglescliffe (10th) v Redcar Town (2nd)

North Riding FL Premier Division matchday 14
2.05pm ko (kicked off 5 minutes late)
The “Y and E” made a positive start and took a well deserved lead in the 15th minute when a Craig Norman corner was met by debutant Dion McGrother at the near post, his touch went in off the post to give him a fab start at the club.
The home team had chances to increase their lead, but were denied by a couple of outstanding saves by the Redcar ‘keeper. The visitors pushed for an equaliser before half time and they were rewarded when a long pass saw Stuart Poulter beat the ‘keeper to the fifty-fifty ball and fire into an empty net.
The swirling wind which got stronger in the second half, somewhat spoiling the game, with a lot of mistimed challenged and passes, meant the teams had to settle for a share of the points.
Matchday Stats
Y&EFC 1(McGrother 15)
RTFC 1(Poulter 39)
Top Bloke - Dion McGrother (Yarm & Eaglecliffe)
Entertainment 6/10
North Riding League grounds visited 3/13

New Year's Honours List

The 100FgC 2017 Accolades

*Best Match Attended*
Newcastle United U-18 3-5 Tottenham Hotspur U-18
FA Youth Cup QF, 27th February

*Best Goal of the Year*
Coutinho for Liverpool away at Newcastle
1st October

*Favourite Previously Uncharted Senior Ground*
Gayfield Park - Arbroath

*Favourite Previously Uncharted Non-League Ground*
Gander Green Lane - Sutton United

*Best My Matchday*
Yoker and Ashfield (Glasgow Beano)

*Best Pre/Post-Match Bevvy*
Imperial Brewery Tap - Mexborough

*Silver 'Spoon Award*
Old Unicorn - Bramley

Bit of a struggle to pick a best of this year, not even a 'Scabby-eye of the Year' award giving for 2017. :(
Last year's winners

✔593 London Stadium

West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United
Premier League
Saturday 23rd December 2017
London Stadium

(Premier & EFL grounds visited 92/92)
Capacity 66,000 (restricted to 57,000 on match days)
London Stadium is located in Stratford, east London at Marshgate Lane in the Lower Lea Valley. The stadium was built for the 2012 Olympics, with the construction costing around £486m. Since the Games a further £200m has been spent on further upgrading the facilities, including the construction of the largest cantilevered roof in the world. The stadium has also had its capacity reduced from the original 80,000 and awarded UEFA ‘Category Four’ status.

The stadium is a bowl like design, split into two tiers with 14 large triangular towers fitted into the front of the translucent roof. In 2016 West Ham United were awarded the stadium tenancy, the decision was a controversial one, with the initial tenancy process having to be rerun. Since then the black and white seating design from the Olympic games, have been replaced with white, claret and blue colours. The new design includes West Ham's name on the East Kop Stand and the club crest on all lower tier stands, and the retention of the 2012 shard design on the upper tier in new colouring to match the Stadium's tenant. During 2016 the stadium became more homely, with the club's colours and giant model West Ham shirts added to the stadium concourse, plus a club store and coffee shop.
 West Ham United reformed in 1900 originating from Thames Ironworks who were founded in 1895. The Hammers moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904 which remained their home for the next 112 years. I only visited Upton Park the once, as once was enough for me, way back in February 1985 for a First Division clash. I nearly got my head kicked in and feared for my personal safety all afternoon, made to feel as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit, so after that experience I was never keen to return. The match finished in a 1-1 draw with Paul Allen scoring for the hosts and Chris Waddle replying for the Magpies.

The following season the Hammers finished 3rd in Football League First Division in 1985-86, their highest placing in England’s top tier. They have won the FA Cup on three occasions in 1964, 1975 and 1980 (runners-up 1923,2006) and have also lifted the European Cup-Winners-Cup in 1965 (runners-up 1981)

West Ham United (15th) v Newcastle United(18th)

Premier League matchday 19
3pm ko
In an entertaining encounter at the London Stadium, it was Senegalese midfielder Henri Saivet,  making his first Premier League start for the Magpies, that played a big part in the opening period.
After six minutes his sloppy crossfield pass was picked up by Hammers forward Marko Arnautovic, who raced into the area before slotting past Rob Elliot, but he soon made amends four minutes later, curling in a 25-yard free-kick that sneaked inside Adrian's near post.
The Toon should have been ahead before the break, with Gayle and Ritchie both hitting the woodwork, before deservingly going in front, when Mo Diame fired in from Christian Atsu's pass in the 53rd minute.
That lead looked short-lived after the hosts won a penalty when Michail Antonio was brought down by Ciaran Clark, although replays show the tackle was made just outside the penalty area. However justice was done, when Elliot pulled off a fine save to keep out Andre Ayew's low effort.
The visitors went further ahead, when a quick break saw Joselu tee up Atsu to make it 3-1, but David Moyes' side got themselves back in it with 20 minutes remaining, when Ayew smashed home after Andy Carroll's header was parried.
As a pessimistic Toon fan, I thought it was just a matter of time before Newcastle conceded the equaliser, but we survived a frantic closing spell to secure a much needed victory that brought huge relief for the 3,000 travelling fans.

Matchday Stats

WHU 2(Arnautovic 6, Ayew 69)
NUFC 3(Saivet 10, Diame 53, Atsu 61)
Top Bloke - Christian Atsu (Newcastle United)
Entertainment 9/10
Admission £30
Programme £3.50


278 miles door-to-door via A1/M1/M11
I wasn’t looking forward to this trip at all. Spending half the day on the crackerjacks party bus to go and see my team, who are in stinking form with just one point from the last nine games. It’s a rarity nowadays for Newcastle to play at a ground I’ve never been to, so this match was always on my t’do list when the fixtures were released in the summer.
My old Toon fan mucker Ian Patrick with his son Lee, picked me up at 5am to head to the pick-up point for the coach. Apart from stopping off at a service station to bin hundreds of empty beer cans, the charabanc made good time to get us to the stadium just after noon.  
On arrival I sloped off by myself for a few pints in Stratford, calling at the Goldengrove (JDW) The Goose and the King Edward VII, being the only Geordie amongst a sea of claret and blue in each pub.
So after dreading this trip it ended up being a cracking day, with a nice drink in Stratford followed by a tremendous away win for the Toon and to top it off the coach made great time to drop us off at 10.30pm. There’s no better feeling than seeing your team win away, especially at this time of the year when we’re desperate for a victory, so all I can say is.. Merry Christmas the run is over!

At the beginning of the season the Premier League odds suggested that Spurs were going to have another good season, although not quite as good as their second place finish in the 2016/17 season. They are expected to finish in the top four this season, meaning that as they move into their new stadium ready for the 2018/19 season, it is expected that the fans will get to witness Champions League football in their new stadium.
With a capacity of 61,000 the new stadium will be slightly bigger than their rivals’ Arsenal as well as other big clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea. We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest stadiums in English football in our infographic below.