Sunday, 4 February 2018

DW Stadium - Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic - DW Stadium

Wigan Athletic Football Club
DW Stadium
Loire Drive
Greater Manchester


  • Wigan Athletic Football Club were formed in 1932 following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year. Wigan Athletic was the 5th attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan Town, Wigan County, Wigan United and Wigan Borough.
  • Despite having their initial application turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected in the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central. On the 27th August 1932, the club played it's first ever League game against Port Vale reserves and wore the kit of red and white shirts with black shorts.
  • The club won it's first honours in the 1933-34 season when the club finished the season as Champions of the Cheshire League. The following season, the club won a second League Championship and entered the FA Cup for the 1st time, beating Carlisle United 6-1 in the 1st Round, a cup record for the biggest victory by a non-league club over a league club.
  • In the 1964-65 season, Wigan Athletic won the Cheshire League title since returning to the League with top scorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the club's greatest goalscorer of all time.
  • Later on in the years, finished in 2nd place in the Northern Premier League in the 1977-78 season, behind Boston United. But as Boston's ground did not meet Football League criteria for a League club, whereas Wigan's old ground Springfield Park did, Wigan were put forward for election to the League.
  • Speaking of Springfield Park, of course Springfield Park was the former home of Wigan Athletic between 1932 and 1999. The ground held a maximum of 40,000. It was also home of Wigan Borough, Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Springfield Borough. Also it was home of Rugby League side Wigan Warriors.
  • The club have won the FA Cup the once, in 2013 beating Manchester City at Wembley in the 91st minute with Ben Watson getting the winning goal.
  • Wigan's main rivalry is with Bolton Wanderers. Although they do have a long and recently forgotten rivalry with Lancashire based club Chorley FC. Wigan also have rivalries with Preston North End, Oldham Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Bury and Rochdale.


Wigan Athletic have been playing at The DW Stadium, previously known as The JJB Stadium since 1999. The club had been playing at Springfield Park between 1932 and 1999. The DW Stadium holds 25,138. Away supporters are housed in the North Stand, which is behind the goal and can allocated of 5,500 seats. Both Wigan North Western and Wigan Wallgate are a good 20 minute walk from the ground.


VISIT 1: Wigan Athletic 2-0 Gillingham 3/2/18


Wigan Athletic 2-0 Gillingham
Saturday 3rd February 2018
League One

My 1st visit to Wigan came in a wet very cold February of 2018. My original 1st visit was meant to be January 2016 but thanks to the geniuses of Sky Sports, they decided to move the game to a Thursday night which was a pain in the arse for me. So for that one I opted to watch it on Sky at home which of course which started the demise of Justin Edinburgh as boss as we of course suffered the curse of being in front of Sky Cameras and lost, but also went on a terrible run till the end of the 2015/16 season and carry on into the following season. But anyway, I was quite looking forward to visiting Wigan for my 83rd ground of the 92, although in the previous week I had been feeling rough, as there has been some flu/sickness bugs flying around. I wasn't feeling 100% heading up to Wigan on the train, but I was hoping it would soon pass, but felt a bit better as the day went on. After leaving home at 7.45am, I arrived into Euston around half 9, or just slightly before. Was nice to see 3 ex Gills players at Euston in Danny Kedwell, Jack Payne and Myles Weston, although I didn't chat to them, just a quick hello to Jack, as Ebbsfleet were away at Tranmere. Also seeing ex Preston and Sunderland boss Simon Grayson at Euston as well and apparently was on the same train as I was, but only from what I heard. I arrived into Wigan shortly after half 12, and headed for Ladbrokes to put some bets on. I arrived to the ground around 2.10pm and took some pics outside the ground. Not much to say about the game although it was expected. Before the game, I would have happily taken a point at league leaders Wigan, but it was a shame to see a great run come to an end and suffer our 1st defeat in the league in 2018. But we didn't play too bad, but Wigan were just better, with goals coming from Will Grigg and Nick Powell. A decent ground but not the greatest of atmospheres from the Wigan end, despite having a drum. Atmosphere from us was brilliant, was non-stop singing even at 2-0 down. We go again next week with Peterborough at home. After a cold horrible weather at Wigan, I arrived home around 10.15 with now being on 83 of 92 grounds done and edging closer to completing the 92.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

New Lawn - Forest Green Rovers

The New Lawn - Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers Football Club
The New Lawn
Another Way


  • Forest Green Rovers Football Club were formed in 1889. The club were established by Reverend E.J.H. Peach, representing the Forest Green area of Nailsworth. The name Rovers was adopted in 1893, and the following year the club were founding members of the Mid-Gloucestershire League.
  • Forest Green's first home match was against Brimscombe in a 1-1 draw, and the club went onto finish 3rd in the 1894-95 season.
  • After the club withdrew from the league in 1897, the club was re-established a year later under the Forest Green Rovers name and absorbed Nailsworth shortly afterwards. They joined both Division One of the Mid-Gloucestershire League and also the Dursley & District League for the 1899-1900 season.
  • In 1911, Forest Green merged with Nailsworth to form Nailsworth & Forest Green United continuing to play at the Old Lawn Ground in the Stroud & District League, the new club with only losing 1 game all season. Later on they became Forest Green Rovers.
  • In the 1997-98 season, the club won the Southern League Premier Division securing a 2nd promotion and entry for the 1st time to the Conference.
  • In the 2014-15 season, the club finished 5th in the Conference, losing out to Bristol Rovers in the Play Off Semis. The following season they finished runners-up and lost out to Grimsby Town at Wembley, but finally won promotion at Wembley the following year beating Tranmere Rovers at Wembley 3-1. After winning promotion, this made Nailsworth the smallest town to ever host a Football League club.
  • As mentioned, Forest Green used to play at the Old Lawn Ground from 1890 to 2006. It also used to host local cup finals as well as being home to Forest Green Ladies and youth sides. The Lawn Ground was demolished in 2006 for housing and the club moved a few hundred yards to The New Lawn.
  • The club are also the first vegan football club. The club was taken over by Ecotricity owner Dale Vince in 2010. Vince set out plans to make the club more eco-friendly, including removing red meat from the players diets, stopping selling meat products in the ground and treating the pitch with organic fertiliser.


Forest Green Rovers have been playing at The New Lawn in Nailsworth since 2006, whilst also seeking to look to move to a new ground so I've heard online. The ground holds 5,141 with 2,000 seating. When I went, I was really impressed with the ground, a nice tidy ground. The nearest train station is Stroud, although it's about 5 miles away. You can get a bus, number 63 from Merrywalks Shopping Centre, straight to Forest Green, takes about 20-30 mins.


VISIT 1: Forest Green Rovers 5-2 Cambridge United 20/1/18


Forest Green Rovers 5-2 Cambridge United
Saturday 20th January 2018
League Two

My first visit to The New Lawn came in January 2018. I hadn't originally planned on going to Scunthorpe with Gillingham as it wasn't a happy hunting ground for me, all the times I've been, it's pissed it down with rain and we've lost. So I decided to give Scunthorpe a miss and continue my path on completing the 92, and it's getting closer as well. I thought I'd give Forest Green a visit, as I've heard it can be a bit of a pain to get to, so I thought I'd get it out the way, but it actually turns out it's not too bad to get to. I left home just before 8am, and I arrived into Stroud station, the nearest to the ground just after 12. I nipped to Ladbrokes and put some bets on, and made my way to Merrywalks Shopping Centre which is about a 5 minute walk from the station, and got on the 63 bus towards Forest Green, which took about 25 minutes. I arrived to the ground at 1.50pm, taking some pictures outside. Surprisingly despite having my bag with me, I walked straight in the ground without being searched, not that I had anything dangerous with me anyway. After taking some pics, I went and bought myself a portion of chips for £2.70, a bit expensive but certainly worth the money, one of the best chips I've had a football ground in a long time I must say. I was really impressed with the ground, a tidy little ground to visit, and a really friendly place as well. The game as well was one I luckily chose the best one to go to. Although I missed Forest Green's 5th goal at the end, seeing 6 goals wasn't a bad choice overall! Cambridge started out brightly and looked like they could have gone onto win, but with Forest Green hitting back twice to equalise, they made it more comfortable in the end. I was impressed with the lad Christian Doige for Forest Green, scoring goals for fun for them, a player I wouldn't mind seeing in a Gillingham shirt. After the game, I got in my taxi I booked the night before to take me back to Stroud station as I wanted to be back on the 17.35 train straight back to London Paddington. Also hearing as well that Gillingham won 3-1 at Scunthorpe, first win there since 1999 and a 2nd win since 1966, bloody marvellous. Overall a really good day in Forest Green, a ground I would recommend visiting, a nice little ground to visit. I arrived home shortly after 9pm from Forest Green, a good day in all.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Sports Ground - Rochester United

Rochester United - Sports Ground

Rochester United Football Club
Rochester United Sports Ground
Rede Court Road


Rochester United were formed in 1982 by Bernard Hurst, who still owns the club to this very day. At that point, the club were known as Templars and joined the Sunday Medway Football League. From there onwards, they changed their name to Bly Spartans. In 1997, the club applied to join the Rochester and District Football League Division One, and were successful in it as well. They became Champions in 1998. They were later accepted in the Kent County Football League in 2000 and placed in the Division Three West. In 2012, the club were Champions of the Kent Invicta Football League and then a year later renamed as Rochester United.