A few weeks ago we wrote about that ridiculous practice of selling naming rights to grounds and stands. Such was the feedback from the piece that we have dug a bit deeper and found a few more. So we thought we would list our top ten ground names in England. These are their original names, not bastardised in anyway by sponsors cash which has ruled out the fantastically named aRMadillo stadium, now the home of Arlesey Town.
The Hand Stadium – Clevedon Town. The Hand Stadium took its name from the Hand family, successive generations of which were involved in running the club for nearly 100 years. The facility includes an all weather pitch, training facilities, a 300-seater stand, tiered terracing around the whole ground and a clubhouse. The complex also includes function/conference facilities as well as Vibe, Clevedon’s only nightclub.
The Dovecote – Shepshed Dynamo FC. Not so much the ground name but its location in Butthole Lane is enough to give even the most conservative vicar a fit of the giggles. The ground has been home to Northern Premier League Division One South Shepshed for over 100 years.
The Dripping Pan – Lewes FC. Home of the Rooks, from Blue Square Bet South, The Dripping Pan is so named because the site was where monks from the local priory used to dry water from the nearby river to make salt. This also accounted for the pitch being sunk below ground level and being surrounded by grass banks on all sides. Still a wonderful place to watch a game with the chalky South Downs in the background.
The Eyrie – Bedford Town FC. Zamaretto Premier League team Bedford’s ground’s name is easy to explain. The club are nicknamed The Eagles, after some of the residents that used to frequent the countryside around the original ground. For all of you who didn’t study zoology at school (shame on you) then an Eyrie is another name for an Eagles nest. Simple really.
The Beveree – Hampton & Richmond Borough FC. The ground is known as Beveree and it lies adjacent to Beaver Close, which would seem to suggest as to where the tag originates. Furthermore, an ancient stream (which currently flows underneath the pitch) heads towards the river Thames some 200 yards away, which may indicate that the area could have been the habitat of the animal before it became extinct in the UK hundreds of years ago. Still amusing though and recently included in The Inbetweeners 50 rude place names in England.
The Snake Pit – Atherstone Town FC. Despite some extensive research into this one, I cannot see one logical reason why Zamaretto League Southern Division Atherstone’s ground is called the Snake Pit. They are nicknamed “The Adders” but it is unclear as to what came first – the nickname or the ground. Either way, looking at some of the forums from visiting teams there is enough bite in the home fans to make travelling supporters very wary.
The Butchers Arms – Droylsden FC. The ground is named after the Butcher’s Arms public house, whose landlord in 1892 instigated the formation of Droylsden FC to play on land behind the pub, which became the ground. Now playing in the Blue Square Bet North division the club celebrate the Butchers name at a designated home game once a year, when the stadium floor is sprinkled with saw dust and fans are invited to wear white overalls and hairnets however due to new health and safety regulations the smearing of pigs blood on each others faces has been outlawed.
Victoria Pleasure Gardens – Goole AFC. A strange one this as you would expect it to be located by the sea side. But Goole is actually 45 miles inland, located in the West Ridings of Yorkshire. As a travelling Lincoln fan who visited it recently for a pre-season friendly commented, “I can see its Victorian from the age of the facilities, but pleasurable it certainly ain’t”.
Giant Axe – Lancaster City FC. Located close to Lancaster railway station, The Giant Axe has been Northern Premier League Lancaster City’s home ground since 1905. It was given its name as it was the centrepiece of a sports club, the exterior wall of which was, when viewed from above, the same shape as an axe head.
The Scholars – Chasetown FC. Chasetown have come to the nations attention due to their FA Cup exploits in the past few years. They can also boast once funny comedian Frank Carson as one of their directors. The club currently plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and is nicknamed The Scholars, having been formed by affiliates of nearby Chase Terrace High School in the Chase Terrace area of Burntwood.
I am sure we have missed a few, so please if you know of any more interestingly named grounds then let us know.