The occasion for my return to Shielfield after 14 years was for another of our days on the lash, this time for the pending 47th birthday of best pal Zippy. Apart from a map with a list of pubs, I also took my camera to click together a web album of the home of Berwick Rangers.
The Borderers entered the Scottish League in 1951, some 70 years after their formation in 1881. Shielfield Park dates back to 1890, named after land owned and local butcher William Shiel Dods. The club moved from an adjacent ground pitch to the present site in 1954, purchasing steelwork from Bradford City to build the main stand. Aston Villa were their first opponents and over its 60 year history the record attendance stands at 13,365, for the famous 1-0 Scottish Cup victory over Glasgow Rangers in January 1967.
Berwick Rangers was forced to sell Shielfield Park to the local council in 1985 due to financial difficulties, who in turn leased it to a greyhound company. The leaseholder sub-let Shielfield to the club, then after nearly going out of business in 1992 they were locked out , forcing the club to ground share. The company eventually relented and allowed the club back for three days a week, until the club's supporters bought the lease out in August 1995.
The ground is oval shaped due to its surrounding cinder track used by the Berwick Bandits speedway team and formerly the greyhounds. The Main Stand runs pitch length, fully covered with a single tier of 1,366 seats decked out in sections of red, grey and mostly yellow seats, The stand has a row of floodlights running across the front which were switched on in 1972. There's open terracing behind each goal and at the far side is a small covered section known as the 'Ducket Enclosure' with a total capacity of 4,500.
As this is a revisit it doesn't get the full 'My Matchday' report, so the tale of how me, Zippy, Jimmy Jimmy, Plymouth Pete and Honest Paul were all stranded in Berwick will have to be told another time.
18th October 2014
Berwick Rangers 1(Currie 31) Elgin City 1(Gunn 43)
Scottish League Division Two
Ground no.74 Shielfield Park
Tuesday 1st August 2000
Pre Season Friendly
Berwick Rangers 2(Woods 71 Smith 85) Newcastle United 5(Ameobi 17 Ketsbaia 25,45 Coppinger 88 90+1)
Foetoes - Matchday Web Album (35 pics from Shielfield)