Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Sunday, February 3, 2013

City Park (Edinburgh)

City Park is/was a football ground located on Ferry Road in the north Edinburgh with a very rich history. Originally farmland and an orchard it was made into a football ground for amateur and youth matches.

Edinburgh City, a Scottish League club of the time moved into City Park in 1935 and built up banking around the pitch and constructed a Main Stand. The capacity was said to be around 30,000 at the time. The original City club eventually folded in 1955, with the ground resorting back to amateur and youth football.

In 1969 the works team Ferranti Thistle became the latest tenants at the council owned arena. However, in 1975 they were elected to the Scottish League as Meadowbank Thistle, as the League didn't allow trade names, and moved across town to Meadowbank Stadium. Spartans FC moved in to replace Thistle, attracting a couple of gates of over 3,000 for Scottish Cup clashes.

In 2004 the stand at City Park was demolished, while in a decaying state. Four years later Spartans moved out to their new Ainslee Park home as the Link Housing Association and Smart builders looked to build flats on the disused site.

The original City Park stand
image taken from the internet
However, a group of local residents formed a Save City Park group to try and keep it as a recreational area, which was said to be home to wildlife, youngsters playing sport as well as people picnicking.

Their website can be seen by clicking on: http://savecitypark.co.uk/

My visit

Tuesday 29th January 2013

After reading the situation regarding City Park online and realising its history and the chances that it could be swallowed up, I put it on my must do list while visiting several clubs on a day out in Edinburgh. I'd had a good walk between Meadowbank, Hibernian and Craigroyston before taking a bus a bit of the way along Ferry Road. A hundred yards over the other side of the road from City Park was the home of Stewart's Melville Former Pupils Rugby Club with its fine stand.

The iron gates to the park were locked but I could see along the side where the stand once stood, but was only replaced by portable buildings as a substitute. I walked round and managed to see through the wooden hoardings on Picton Drive looking down to the pitch from the top of the banking, which continued behind the goal. The railings around the overgrown but not unrepairable pitch remained.

City Park certainly looked a fine venue and oozed character, even in its dilapidated state. Reports said that the pitch very rarely flooded. It seemed such a shame that it was no longer in use and that the council seemed intent on allowing housing to replace it, especially when there were clubs playing in the city who could have really done with a compact specially designated football ground.

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