Croft Park

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Croft Park is a football stadium in Blyth, Northumberland. It is home to Blyth Spartans, who play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. It was opened by Mrs Clarke of Bellister Castle, Haltwhistle on 1 September 1909.[1]

The first match was a friendly against neighbours Newcastle United which ended in a 4–2 defeat.

Redevelopment[edit]

Phase One[edit]

In 2003 Croft Park underwent an extensive redevelopment which saw much of the ash terracing levelled and replaced with concrete terracing. New dugouts and a wheelchair enclosure were also added, earlier work carried out had seen two new stairways added to improve access to the seating tier of the Main Stand. These replaced the old central stairway which would often cause congestion next to the team tunnel after full-time. Even before this the Main Stand has seen improvements with the old wooden benches replaced with plastic seats obtained from Newcastle United.

Phase Two[edit]

At the end of the 2006/07 season Croft Park underwent further developments to meet full Conference North criteria. These developments include extending the Port of Blyth main stand roof to cover the bottom tier which then had seats installed, and to ensure the views from these seats are unhindered the dugouts were repositioned at the side of the stand.

Along with this a roof was erected over the Plessey Road terrace providing cover for about 1,200. This stand is now sponsored by Carlsberg.

Three new turnstiles were also built at the Croft way end.[2]

Phase Two was completed in 2009 with another new roof added over the Croftway terrace similar to the one over the Plessey End. The ageing West stand (sponsored by Cramlington Caravans) is also being refurbished to extend its life span by another 6 years.

The stands[edit]

Wheelchair Enclosure

Small covered enclosure provided by Artic Windows. Has space for three wheelchairs and is elevated to provide good views of the pitch. Access is via a ramp and is located next to the disabled toilets. Located just to the side of the Main Stand.

Port of Blyth (Main) Stand

Two tier all seater stand and mostly under cover (about 30 seats in the open and just over 530 covered), runs about a quarter the pitch length. Houses the changing rooms, kit room, sponsors' lounge, study support centre, players' lounge, directors' box, press seating and offices.

Tynetec Stand

Southern most stand and covered, has the formerly imposing Patterson House residential care home just behind it. Can hold about 1,200 on eight steps of terracing. Formerly sponsored by Carlsberg (2007–2010), it is now sponsored by Tynetec.

Fergy Space Stand

The oldest stand at Croft Park, over 70 years old. Located opposite the Port of Blyth Stand on the west side of Croft Park. It has been said it has its own rather chilly micro climate because of the lack of direct sunlight it receives.

Provides cover for about 1,200, the terracing is a lot shallower than the rest of the ground and has views restricted by concrete walls on either side which close off former ash terracing.

Formerly sponsored by Dunston based Federation Brewery which is where its usual name – 'the Fed Shed' comes from. Now sponsored by Cramlington Caravans although it is still sometimes referred to by its former name.

The stand is currently undergoing refurbishments.

24 Seven Claims Stand

Covered terrace located at the northern end of Croft Park and just off Kingsway Road (which runs parallel to Princess Louise Road). Identical to the Plessey Road Terrace in that it has eight steps of terracing and can hold about 1,200. There are also another couple of turnstiles behind this terrace but these are closed off and unused.

The areas at the side of the Port of Blyth Stand and the Broadway Stand are flat uncovered standing areas.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Blyth Spartans AFC – A Brief History". www.blythspartansafc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 April 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007. 
  2. ^ "Under Development". www.blythspartans.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 November 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007. 

Coordinates: 55°07′15.07″N 1°30′40.31″W / 55.1208528°N 1.5111972°W / 55.1208528; -1.5111972