Tag: Walsall

100 Owners: Number 76 – Ken Wheldon (Walsall & Birmingham City)

The 1980s were a period of decline for football in the West Midlands. A decade which had started with one of its clubs, Aston Villa, winning the Football League Championship and the European Cup in successive season soon saw several of its most notable clubs hit hitherto unseen low points in their histories and one man, a scrap metal dealer from the Black Country, seemed to be at the centre of much of the tumult of the decade, with vitriolic anger being hurled his way from the supporters of two different clubs at which promises of a brighter future were lost amid desperate struggles to keep failing businesses afloat. At both Walsall and Birmingham City, Ken Wheldon is remembered with little great affection, but to what extent was Wheldon responsible for his own legacy and to what extent was he a victim of an era of rapid decline during which he was involved in the game? Wheldon’s arrival at Walsall’s Fellows Park in 1972 was greeted with enthusiasm and some relief by the club’s support. He was a local businessman made good, and Walsall was a club that had slipped into financial difficulty with the decline which followed the game’s post-war boom in attendances. For the first few years of his time in charge of the club, it looked as if Walsall might even be able to establish itself...

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Those We Have Lost: Fellows Park, Walsall FC

In 1990, Walsall became one of the first clubs of the modern era to leave their home for pastures new, when they departed Fellows Park for the Bescot Stadium. Tom Lines tells the story of their original home. If you support a club that has moved home and fancy writing about its old ground, feel free to drop us a line via the Contact page. There is plenty more on the history of Fellows Park here. Objectively, there are few reasons to mourn Fellows Park – the ramshackle hotchpotch of timber, concrete and corrugated iron that served as Walsall FC’s home for 94 years. Of course, like snoods and DJ Spoony, objectivity has no place in football and with two decades having passed since Fellows Park was torn down to make way for a supermarket, Saddlers’ fans old enough to remember the former ground have had plenty of time to allow their memories to percolate. Fellows Park was actually known as Hillary Street for the first 34 years of its existence before the club decided to honour director HL Fellows in 1930. Following the amalgamation of Walsall Swifts and Walsall Town (both successful sides in their own right) in 1888, the club had played at a variety of locations in the borough before Hillary Street became their permanent home in 1896. Even then the club had to move back...

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Walsall, Cypriot Flags and Freedom of Speech

The West Midlands will have four league teams in the top flight next season for the first time since 1986, but while the rest of the Black Country and Birmingham get to reflect on good times, the county’s smallest professional club is going through a period of turmoil.

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