The Norway Stand
Stenhousemuir, Larbert, Falkirk
|Capacity||3,746 (626 seated)|
|Field size||101m x 66m|
Stenhousemuir Juniors (1909–10)
Stirling Albion (1992–93)
East Stirlingshire (2008–present)
Ochilview Park is a football stadium in Stenhousemuir in central Scotland, which is the home ground of Scottish League One club, Stenhousemuir who currently share it with local rivals East Stirlingshire. The stadium has a capacity of 3,746 with 626 seated.
The stadium was opened in 1890 and has been the home of Stenhousemuir since. It has also played host to the home games of other nearby clubs including Stirling Albion and Falkirk whilst their new stadiums were under construction. The record attendance of 12,500 was set during a Scottish Cup quarter final match against East Fife in March 1950.
Stenhousemuir F.C. was founded in 1884 following the breakaway from a local team called Heather Rangers. The club played at two other grounds, Tryst Park and Goschen Park, before moving to Ochilview in 1890. The name Ochilview derives from the nearby Ochil Hills which are visible from the stadium. In 1928 a new main stand was constructed with bench seating for 310 spectators. It was known by fans as the "Doll's House" due to its small size. It was built to replace the previous stand which was gutted by a fire in the same year. During the build it was discovered late into the project that the architect had omitted plans for access to the seating area which had to be quickly rectified; two external staircases were added later.
Ochilview Park recorded its largest official attendance on 11 March 1950, when 12,500 spectators attended the club's Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against East Fife. A year later, Ochilview wrote itself into Scottish football history when it was the venue of the first ever floodlit match in Scotland, during a friendly against Hibernian on 7 November 1951.
In 1994, Stenhousemuir were considering relocation, having provisionally agreed to sell Ochilview to a supermarket chain for £2.5 million. The scheme, however, was frustrated by planning regulations, and instead it was decided to upgrade the existing stadium.
At the end of season 1994–95, the covered terracing on the south side of Ochilview was removed to make way for a new 626 seater main stand. The new stand, which opened in season 1996–97, was subsequently named as the Norway Stand due to a sponsorship deal with Stenhousemuir's Norwegian supporters' club. It is now the only seated accommodation available at the ground, as the old "Doll's House" opposite had to be demolished in April 1999 after being refused a safety certificate. The north side of the ground is now largely used for car-parking, but could be used as standing accommodation in the event of a larger than usual crowd being expected.
Ochilview Park has played host to several ground-sharing agreements throughout its history from clubs near Stenhousemuir in towns such as Stirling and Falkirk. However, the first to do so was Stenhousemuir Juniors in the early 1900s for one season in 1909–10.
The next club to share the ground was Stirling Albion who played their home games at Ochilview for the 1992–93 season whilst the club's previous home of Annfield Stadium was demolished. The club moved to their new home of Forthbank Stadium in 1993.
Other close rivals and neighbours to have shared the stadium include Falkirk in 2003–04, who did the same as Stirling Albion by sharing the ground for one season, whilst their home of Brockville Park was demolished and replaced by the Falkirk Stadium on the outskirts of the town. Marquee-type stands were erected on the north and east sides of the ground to temporarily raise the ground's capacity to 5,267 during Falkirk's period of tenancy.
The most recent club to occupy Ochilview is other Falkirk club East Stirlingshire, who have ground-shared at the venue since the start of the 2008-09 season, having moved from their ground at Firs Park the previous season. The agreement is initially intended to be for a period of five years, during which the club hopes to develop a new venue in Falkirk.
Structure and facilities
Apart from the new main stand, only one side of the ground is usually in use for spectators, this being the terracing at the Tryst Road end (west). In season 2004–05, a new roof was installed here, constructed by club volunteers. The former grass banking at the east end of Ochilview was removed some years ago, and the area has since been flattened and replaced with artificial pitches for community use. Ochilview Park today has a total capacity of 3,746.
In 1926–27, greyhound racing was introduced to raise revenue.
The closest railway station to Ochilview Park is Larbert railway station which is within a 15 minute walk of the stadium. The station is located on the main Edinburgh to Dunblane Line and the Croy Line from Glasgow Queen Street, which alternates between Alloa and Dunblane via Stirling.
- "Stenhousemuir Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- The SFL Clubs - Stenhousemuir, Scottish Football League. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- A Brief History of Stenhousemuir Football Club, Stenhousemuir F.C.. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Ochilview, Stenhousemuir F.C.. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Scottish Football Ground Guide - Ochilview Park, scottishgrounds.co.uk. 1 January 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Shire explain Firs Park Departure, BBC Sport. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Stenhousemuir Football Club 3rd FIFA recommended 2 STAR, GreenFields Sports Turf Systems. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Inglis, Simon (1997) Football Grounds of Britain, CollinsWillow, London ISBN 0-00-218426-5
- Moulds, Peter; Richardson, James (1984). The Warriors: A Centenary History of Stenhousemuir Football Club, Stenhousemuir Football Club, Larbert. ISBN 0-95-093220-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ochilview Park.|
- Footballgroundz.co.uk Gallery of Ochilview during Falkirk FC's period of tenancy