Your letters, your favourite grounds
Mike,Regarding having the Royal Oak book-marked as your favourite non-league ground, (EADT March 17).I pay homage in verse to this distinguished home of Harwich & Parkeston FC, The Royal OakSurviving the cold mists of timeWith its cavernous standClose to sea and sandThe Royal Oak a treeThat once cloaked a kingAppointed for the thousandsRushing its gatesSo much history too vast to collateCompared to modern stadia blingThe Oak remains a museumFor remembered heroesIn non-league football it is the real thing.
Regarding having the Royal Oak book-marked as your favourite non-league ground, (EADT March 17).
I pay homage in verse to this distinguished home of Harwich & Parkeston FC, The Royal Oak
Surviving the cold mists of time
You may also want to watch:
With its cavernous stand
Close to sea and sand
- 1 Couple fear they will never sell home after A12 upgrade outside
- 2 Suffolk man guilty of raping schoolgirl and facing jail sentence
- 3 Man airlifted to hospital after suffering serious leg injuries in crash
- 4 Delays of 80 minutes following A12 crashes
- 5 Can Town kick on now? Predictions for the next five league games
- 6 Ipswich Town players' FIFA 22 ratings revealed
- 7 Britain's poshest train set to return to Ipswich
- 8 'We'll see how we go' - QPR boss Warburton on Bonne recall option
- 9 CCTV released following series of burglaries
- 10 Emotional moment as family decides to cease farming in-hand
The Royal Oak a tree
That once cloaked a king
Appointed for the thousands
Rushing its gates
So much history too vast to collate
Compared to modern stadia bling
The Oak remains a museum
For remembered heroes
In non-league football it is the real thing.
You asked recently which non league ground do you most rate?
My answer is - Moat Street
Church, Gresley, the home of
I visited their ground in the late 1980s and it was a typical 1950s-style ground full of character. I recall the pitch resembled the Malvern Hills whilst the ground was made up of numerous stands of various shapes and size giving it a real nostalgic feel. Yes this is my little gem of a football ground.
Locally I go for Soham Town Rangers and Braintree Town's grounds, both of which I admire for being nice and compact with plenty of cover.
Two other grounds that I liked, but are no longer in existence, are firstly my team Chelmsford City's Barn which stood the length of the pitch on the far side of the old New Writtle Street ground and Sudbury Town's old wooden stand which sank into the ground on the river side of the Old Priory Stadium.
Likewise Great Yarmouth Town's Wellesley is worth a visit just to view their fine old grandstand as mentioned in your column.
Now changing the subject to money paid to non-league players.
How pleasing to read that Owen Symonds was prepared to donate his wages back to his then club, Ipswich Wanderers, when they encountered financial problems. Well done, Owen.
There is no doubt money paid to all players at all levels is excessive as clubs attempt to buy success beyond their financial levels.
This generally sees a few seasons of success before money problems surface resulting in administration and demotion down the pyramid, just look what's happened to Telford, Boston, Scarborough and Halifax Town recently, plus the sorry state which prevailed at Weymouth.
This is why I have much respect and admiration for Brian Tatum, David Webb, Danny Crosbie and their committee at AFC Sudbury.
They are determined to ensure that the club keeps within a budget which sees the club retain its status in accordance with its financial position.
This stance resulted in the manager and most of last season's first team departing during the summer (although a forced change of leagues did not help the situation regarding players). The alternative would possibly have seen limited success (not guaranteed) ending with demotion to the Border League. So my congratulations to everybody involved at King's Marsh Stadium for putting the best interest of the club first. I Love non-league.
LET me know your favourite non-league memories. email@example.com