Home of Falkirk FC. Quite an impressive one now all but one of the sides is closed in. These photos are from April this year. The last time I was there some years ago it only had two stands. Still an improvement on the old Brockville though.
This side of the ground houses the old main stand at Stark’s Park with its round-the-corner construction. I don’t think I’ve witnessed anything like this at any other football ground. I assume the line of the road prevented building beyond the halfway line.
This is the adjacent home stand, a clone of the McDermid Stand at the other end.
And here is the disused Railway Stand. Many supporters would like to see this opened up as terracing but the authorities in Scotland don’t go much for all-seated stadia reverting to standing. areas.
Note the state of the pitch last Saturday. It’s amazing football broke out at all.
I’ve not done one of these for a while – and I’ve just realised I haven’t included East End Park, Dunfermline, in this series yet.
Stark’s Park, the home of Raith Rovers FC, is of course the Scottish Football Ground nearest to where I live. Since I started blogging though the Sons have only played there twice (and the last time, Oct 2012, I was between cameras.)
This is from the lower end of Pratt Street. From this angle you can’t see how unusual the older stand is.
This is from the upper end, nearer to my house. The McDermid Stand is nearest in this view. The bit further away, to the left, is the peculiar corner stand.
And this is the away stand, the McDermid Stand, from Pratt Street, showing how close the road is to the ground.
The reincarnation of a football team in Airdrie (Airdrieonians went defunct in 2002) was due to the fact that a local businessman, after failing to achieve election to the SFL with his new entity Airdrie United, took over the ailing Clydebank FC and moved it lock, stock and players to Airdrie, thereby effectively killing off the team who had been for 37 years Dumbarton’s local rivals.
The “Wee Rovers” heyday is long gone, being just after the First World War when they reached the Scottish Cup final and had a run in the First Division. They also achieved promotion in 1934 and mostly remained in Division 1 till the Second War. Thereafter they have been mostly in the lower divisions. For a fuller account see link.
Below is a view of the Stand and entrance gates of Cliftonhill from Main Street, Coatbridge (the A 89.)
The stand and its immediate surroundings is the only area where spectators congregate.
The Stadium is unaffectionately called the “Stadio San Giro” by its detractors.
It’s fair to say the ground has seen better days but any disparagement is out of place. It’s very homely and has a friendly atmosphere.
This is the west end. Standing may once have been allowed here but not for a long time, I think.
The east end is similar, only a mound of earth.
The North Terracing (below) is now, I believe, closed to spectators for safety reasons but it was from here that I saw Kenny Jenkins deflect with the neatest of touches with his head a Charlie Gallagher free kick to score in a 1-0 win in 1972, vital to the championship win that year.
It’s fair to say Central Park has seen better days. There is talk of a new stadium being built, though.
Here are the entrance turnstiles.
Just beyond the turnstiles you can turn right towards the main stand or ascend the steps to the terracing. Just by the steps is a memorial stone (see right, below) which I first noticed on Saturday.
At the top of the steps you get a view of the main stand – with stock car in the foreground.
As well as football, Central Park also hosts stock car racing as witnessed by the tyres as barriers and the wide expanse between the stand and the pitch. On a Saturday the racers start to turn up (revving engines and such behind the stand) midway through the football game’s second half.
This is the (uncovered, you’ll note) south terracing, not a good place to stand when it’s raining. Saturday was fine, though.
Here are two photos of the stand side taken from the south terracing:-
The fans are well back from the playing surface – and fenced off from it; but that’s due to the stock cars.
A few months ago someone posted a documentary video about Central Park on You Tube. I’ve not watched it all – it’s 18 minutes long and must have been filmed in summer, or colour enhanced – but at 1 min 35 seconds in you can see an old building up behind the stand. That building has since been demolished but I started my teaching career there in the 1980s.
When The Sun Shines
Documentary on Central Park, Cowdenbeath.