Those We Have Lost: Redheugh Park, Gateshead

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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7 Responses

  1. John Smith says:

    The new ground will probably get named after some faceless corporation – this now being the trend in football (i.e. selling your soul for 30 pieces of silver).

  2. Paul Eke says:

    You could well be right John, but I’ll remain optimistic on the grounds that the Chairman who’s driving the project used to watch Gateshead at Redheugh Park in times past. On the other hand, if someone offers to pay, how could a non-league club turn it down?

  3. John Smith says:

    You’re probably right in what you Paul, but how long before teams have sponsor’s names incorporated into their title e.g. Newcastle ‘Northern Rock’ United.

    The trend has went from naming football stands after a sponsor to football grounds having a sponsors name. It’s only a matter of time before it happens to team names (remember when Stirling Albion were nearly renamed Stirling Meerkats).

  4. Paul Eke says:

    Good old Stirling Albion, always ahead of the pack when it comes to new ideas to make money. Now they’re charging players 200 quid for a trial up there! And there’s plenty of people taking up the offer, I just hope the club is doing it for the right reasons and not inviting people with no chance of making the cut just to get their cash….

  5. Paul Blackwell says:

    As a long time (suffering?!) supporter of Oldham Athletic, I well remember the summer of 1960 when the Worst Team Ever in the history of the club had finished 23rd in Division 4, below 22nd placed Gateshead – but the reason they survived the re-election process to go on and be Premier League founder members 32 years later was simple – they had average gates of nearly 5000 and Gateshead’s were barely 3. And still to this day I see that Gateshead can’t get 4 figure gates despite having what must be their best team since the early 50s. So how can they move on and up any further? But I wish them well all the same.

  6. Paul Eke says:

    This may be of interest Paul, from the club’s official website; Gateshead chairman Graham Wood is confident the Blue Square Bet Premier club will be playing in a new 7,000 capacity stadium in the centre of town within the next few years.

    Proposals for the Prince Consort Road development were unveiled some time ago but hopes that the club would kick-off the 2012-13 campaign in their new surroundings may now be a tall order.

    The construction of the new stadium goes hand in hand with Wood’s other vision of taking Gateshead back into the Football League.

    Wood said: “It would not be possible to sustain a team in the Football League without the benefits that a new stadium would provide.

    “In each of the past five seasons we’ve finished higher up the football pyramid than the previous term, including two promotions, and we’re now only one promotion away from achieving our ultimate objective.

    “Our average gates have risen in each of those five years from 176 to 753 and we are now looking to push on next season when the target is a top five placing.

    “Off the pitch we are working hard towards our other principal objective of building a new stadium. However, progress has not quite kept pace with that on the pitch.

    “The enabler for the new stadium, as well as for the club’s ongoing sustainability, is the inclusion of a significant element of non-football, or lettable, space within the development.

    “The original intention was to follow the successful model used at stadiums elsewhere in the country, and include medical facilities.

    “All was going well, with significant interest from GPs and other medical providers, until the government announced its plans to slash spending.

    “The Primary Care Trust, which would have been the principal tenant, had its funding withdrawn and will be disbanded in 2012.

    “We have since redirected our efforts and hopefully are now very close to securing an alternative and equally suitable tenant which will allow the project to proceed

    “The new stadium will be covered on all four sides and will be a tremendous facility, one that will help to increase crowds and the profile of the club.”

    Gateshead meanwhile will benefit from significant redevelopment at the International Stadium from next season with the introduction of much needed corporate facilities and a new and larger bar on the south east corner.

  7. Stuart Ingham says:

    It’s heartening to know that people still remember Redheugh Park. As a kid I remember exploring the ground as a player’s guest. I had great pride in my uncle (John Ingham) being a footballer full-stop. For all I knew then (circa 1962), Gateshead were the equal of our neighbours Newcastle, Tottenham or Real Madrid.

    I am sorry that Gateshead didn’t do a Wimbledon or Charlton and win the cup (in the 1950s as a small club). Instead they went into decline at the same time as money came to dominate the game. At least Gateshead were spared their own Bradford Fire–Redheugh badly needed upgrading. Gateshead will get their own stadium and hopefully taste success. There is a place for clubs with affordable tickets and loyal local support. Gateshead is a real club.

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