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Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead

Balmoor Stadium is the home of Peterhead FC.

I visited it for the first time when Sons played up there in August last year.

From access road:-

Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead From Access Road

The photos below take you on a clockwise circuit of the interior.

East Stand from northwest:-

East Stand, Balmoor Stadium

Main Stand from north-ish:-

Main Stand, Balmoor Stadium

Main Stand from northeast:-

Main Stand, Balmoor Stadium

East Stand:-

East Stand, Balmoor Stadium

North end:-

North End, Balmoor Stadium

East Stand from north:-

East Stand Balmoor Stadium

East Stand from south:-

Balmoor Stadium, East Stand

Main Stand from southeast corner:-

Balmoor Stadium, Main Stand

South end and part of Main Stand:-

Balmoor Stadium, South End and Main Stand

Galabank

Just in case you (and I) had forgotten what a football ground looked like, these are pictures taken at Sons’ first game of last season, the League Cup tie at Galabank, home of Annan Athletic FC.

Ground as seen from road from town centre:-

Galabank As seen From South

Entrance:-

Entrance to Galabank, Annan Athletic FC

Annan Athletic Club Logo on Galabank’s gates:-

Annan Athletic Club Logo

Galabank From North. Ground is in background beyond gates at the left of the picture:-

Galabank From North

Pitch at Galabank, from northeast:-

Pitch at Galabank, From Northeast

From northwest corner looking south, showing pitch-side stand:-

Galabank From Northwest Corner Looking South

Northwest corner:-

Galabank From Northwest Corner

From southeast:-

Galabank From Southeast

From southwest corner:-

Galabank From Southwest Corner

Looking north:-

Galabank Looking North

South enclosure:-

Galabank South Enclosure

Jack Charlton

So, with the passing of Jack Charlton, another of that select group, English footballers to have won a World Cup, has gone.

Not the most cultured of players, unlike his brother Bobby, Jack was said to have thought when he learned of his England call-up that they’d picked the wrong Charlton. His position at centre-half though, has not historically been the preserve of the cultured. In his club career at Leeds United he had big shoes to fill, taking over from the Gentle Giant, John Charles, after his transfer to Juventus. In all he appeared for Leeds 629 times – a club record unlikely to be surpassed.

As a manager I remember him leading Middlesbrough to promotion to the top flight before spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United but it was as manager of the Republic of Ireland international team that he made his greatest mark, taking them to a World Cup quarter-final in 1990. Four years later they had a famous 1-0 win over Italy (who went on to reach the final) in New York.

John (Jack) Charlton: 8/5/1935 – 10/7/2020. So it goes.

Leaving Leningrad

Or leaving St Petersburg (as it is again.) I liked the alliteration though.

I snatched these through the coach window on the way back to the ship’s berth.

An old bridge over a waterway:-

An Old Bridge, St Petersburg

This one I realised later is on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt at the Anichkov Bridge over the River Fontanka and I had photographed it from the street:-

Palace, St Petersburg

A Fire Station:-

Fire Station, St Petersburg

This is the bridge almost hidden behind the building under construction I photographed from the ship’s prow:-

Bridge, St Petersburg

And this is the one between the ship and the Zenit Arena (aka Krestovsky Stadium) – see same link above:-

Bridge in St Petersburg

Bridge and Krestovsky Stadium:-

A Bridge  + Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg

Krestovsky Stadium/Zenit Arena plus part of the bridge, also two blurred birds:-

Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg (Zenit Arena)

Season’s End

Well, no.

But today’s the day that would have been. Sons were due to play Montrose at home but of course have not played at all for eight weeks.

Goodness knows when we’ll see a Sons team on a pitch again.

It won’t be in July, as is normal for a pre-season, that’s for sure.

Football. The Lost Game.

Normally at this time on a Saturday I’m composing a post on how well Sons have done that day. (Or not as the case may be.)

I wonder when I’ll do that again.

It’s not even like a close season (a normal close season) when you know exactly when you can go to a game again. Football (lower league football, with crowds; without crowds is a total non-starter) will be one of the last things to return to normal. The risk with even small numbers of people in anything resembling close proximity for 90 minutes plus added time is just too great.

Still, the club seems to be looking ahead as it’s already planning what next season’s home strip will be. (There might not be a next season, of course.) None of the choices is very appealing. If not a white strip with black and gold trimmings/bands/stripes I wish we could at least have a black and gold strip, instead of yellow; but at our level beggars can’t be choosers and we can only go with what strip manufacturers offer.

The crowd funding campaign has reached over £18,000 but is still about £6,500 short of its target.

Worrying times.

Modern Architecture, St Petersburg

The view from the MS Magellan’s bow in dock at St Petersburg. New building construction with bridge behind:

A Bridge in St Petersburg

The view towards the city. Flats. We were told most Russians live in flats. All sorts of folks in similar flats in the same block. Only the insides would let you know how well off anyone is:-

Flats, St Petersburg

Gazprom Tower:-

Gazprom Tower, St Petersburg

This breaks the height restriction on buidlngs in St Petersburg. They let it go because it was way out of town and, well, Gazprom. Closer view:-

Gazprom Tower, St Petersburg

Krestovsky Stadium, or Zenit Arena, home of Zenit St Petersburg FC. This was a venue for games at the 2018 Football World Cup. Modern bridge in front with cruise terminal building in foreground:-

Bridge and St Petersburg Stadium

This was the nearest thing I saw in St Petersburg to an Art Deco building:-

A Decoish Building, St Petersburg

Peter the Great statue, photographed through coach windows so the statue is difficult to make out; a modern building behind.

Peter the Great Statue, in St Petersburg

St Petersburg (iii)

A touch of the new (and temporary) and the old.

Fifa 2018 World Cup fan park:-

FIFA, World Cup 2018 Fan Zone, St Petersburg

Reverse of fan park + canal and bridge:-

A Canal in St Petersburg + FIFA World Cup Fan Zone

Main road aspect:-

St Petersburg, FIFA World Cup Fan Zone

Contrast that with this typically Russian building right beside the fan park:-

Building Opposite Church on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg

But just over the road from that:-

Church on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg

The stunning Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood:-

St Petersburg, Church on the Spilled Blood

The church’s peculiar name arises because it was built as a memorial over the spot where Tsar Alexander II had been assassinated. Unfortunately it was swathed in scaffolding last May.

Church on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, from Field of Mars:-

Church on the Spilled Blood, St Petersburg From Field of Mars

Crowdfunding Sons

In these dark days of no football and nothing to light up (or darken) Saturday afternoons, thoughts can easily turn to gloom.

This is especially so since there is a real prospect that without an income stream for what would have been the remainder of the season many clubs – Sons included – could struggle to survive.

In a generous gesture the staff and players have already agreed to defer half the wages they were due, which will go some way to ease the financial pressures on the club.

However that was always unlikely to be enough. To enable fans to play a part in (with hope) tiding the club over scary times, a crowdfunding page has been set up for them – and others – to contribute towards helping Dumbarton FC as a club through a difficult time.

Yes, I have already donated.

Spotland Stadium

Home of Rochdale AFC. The stadium is known as the Crown Oil Arena due to sponsorship.

View from Willbutts Lane:-

Spotland Stadium, Home of Rochdale AFC

Pearl Street stand:-

Spotland, Pearl Street Stand

From bend in Pearl Street, Pearl Street stand to right, main stand to left:-

Spotland From Bend in Pearl Street

Turnstiles at Sandy Lane stand and turnstiles for Main stand west:-

Spotland, Turnstiles at Sandy Lane Stand

From Sandy Lane:-

Spotland from Sandy Lane

Willbutts Lane stand from main stand:-

Spotland, Willbutts Lane Stand

Pearl Street stand from main stand:-

Spotland, Pearl Street Stand

Sandy Lane stand/enclosure from main stand. This end is terraced rather than containing seating:-

Spotland, Sandy Lane Stand/Enclosure

Main stand from Sandy Lane End:-

Spotland, Main Stand

Rochdale AFC’s mascot, Desmond the Dragon, with young fans:-

Spotland Desmond the Dragon With Young Fans

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