Day: February 26, 2013

Football’s Not Coming Home: Gloucester City’s New Ground Plans Falter

Just a week shy of Gloucester City AFC’s 130th anniversary the club’s future has been thrown into doubt with the news that plans for a return to Gloucester are emphatically on hold until further notice. Safe in the anonymous mid-table of the Conference North the club take on Altrincham tonight at their current adopted home, 11 miles down the road in Cheltenham and while a decent battle is expected on the pitch the thoughts of those in the stands are likely to be elsewhere. After almost six years in exile and five years of promises that ‘the club will be home soon’ the club has come up against a brick wall, without a sod on any new ground being cut. To recap for those who might not know, City’s ground was engulfed in flood water in July 2007, along with much of the county, when the River Severn burst it’s banks. It was the third major flood in a decade and water rose up to the cross bar. Remember that meme when the England game was called off because of the rain – that was Meadow Park. The City Council formed a special cross party group and worked with the club to find some way of bringing them back to the city, guiding them through the planning process. Various sites were mooted and dismissed, ultimately it was back to...

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Philliskirk’s Famous Five… Which Never Happened

A recent tweet by the BBC’s Ian Dennis brought some memories flooding back. Not of Dennis’s angry reaction to my criticism of a Radio 5 Live show he hosted about UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative (although I thought Dennis was the programme’s only decent contributor). But memories of a curious FA Cup first-round tie from 1992. Dennis’s tweet concerned Oldham Athletic caretaker-supremo Tony Philliskirk. On February 16th, before the 2-2 draw with Everton at Boundary Park which set up tonight’s FA Cup fifth-round replay at Goodison Park, Dennis tweeted “Until today highlight of Tony Philliskirk career in FA Cup was scoring five goals for Peterborough only to have them expunged.“ Indeed, Philliskirk scored six times in the tie – a remarkable effort considering his Peterborough United side progressed 1-0 in a replay at their London Road ground, after a 1-1 draw in the first match. So, how so? More people will almost certainly be aware that Dennis Law is the answer the pub quiz-style question “Who scored seven goals in an FA Cup tie but ended up on the losing side?” In 1961, Law scored all six Manchester City goals as they led 6-2 in a fourth-round tie at Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road. The match was abandoned after 69 minutes due to a waterlogged pitch. And when they started again, Law scored again, only for City to lose 3-1....

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