Shielfield Park

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Shielfield Park
Shielfield Park Stadium
Berwick Rangers playing Stenhousemuir at Shielfield Park in 2006. The Simpsons Maltings plant is in the background.
Shielfield Park is located in Northumberland
Shielfield Park
Location in Northumberland
Location Berwick-upon-Tweed, England
Coordinates 55°45′36″N 2°00′57″W / 55.76000°N 2.01583°W / 55.76000; -2.01583
Owner Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust[1]
Capacity 4,500[2] (1,366 seated)
Field size 100 x 70 yards (football pitch)[1]
Surface Grass
Opened 1954
Tenants
Berwick Rangers FC (1954–present)
Berwick Bandits (1968–1980)
(1996–present)

Shielfield Park is a football stadium that is home to Berwick Rangers and the Berwick Bandits speedway team.[3] Although Berwick Rangers is a Scottish Professional Football League club, Shielfield Park is situated in the English county of Northumberland.

History[edit]

There has been a ground at Shielfield Park, named after land owned by local butcher William Shiel Dods, since 1890. Berwick Rangers played at a number of other sites in Berwick, including a ground adjacent to the present site at Shielfield.[1] Berwick Rangers first entered the Scottish Football League in 1951.[1] After a successful run in the 1953–54 Scottish Cup, a stand was purchased from Bradford City and the team settled at Shielfield.[1][4] The ground was opened with a game against Aston Villa.[4] The record attendance at Shielfield Park is 13,365, for the Scottish Cup game against Glasgow Rangers on 28 January 1967, which Berwick won 1–0 in a famous cup upset.[4]

Due to financial problems,[5] Berwick Rangers was forced to sell Shielfield Park to the local council in 1985,[4] who leased it back to the club.[5] Both stand roofs were dismantled in 1990 as a safety precaution.[4] Berwick Rangers nearly went out of business in 1992 and the lease was sold to a greyhound company.[5] The greyhound company initially locked Berwick Rangers out, forcing the club to groundshare with other Second Division clubs.[5] The company eventually relented and allowed the club back in for part of each week.[4][5] The club's supporters eventually bought the lease out in August 1995.[4][5]

Speedway[edit]

Berwick Bandits first used Shielfield Park in 1968, but the speedway team left in 1980.[4] Arguments with Berwick Rangers forced the Bandits to find a new home, which was Berrington Lough near Ancroft, Northumberland. The club moved back into Berwick in 1996 and have remained there ever since, enjoying much success during this time and good crowd attendances.

Structure and facilities[edit]

The current capacity of Shielfield Park is 4,500,[2] of which 1,366 are seated in the Main Stand.[4] Opposite the Main Stand is a small covered terrace, nicknamed the "Ducket".[4] Both of the ends are turfed and unused as spectator areas.[4] Behind the west end curve is a maltings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Berwick Rangers FC". www.berwickrangers.org (Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust). Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Berwick Rangers Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Bamford, R & Jarvis J.(2001). Homes of British Speedway. ISBN 0-7524-2210-3
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Inglis 1996, p. 430
  5. ^ a b c d e f Stenhouse, Doug (March 1996). "Self supporting". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
Sources
  • Inglis, Simon (1996). Football Grounds of Britain. Collins Willow. ISBN 0-00-218426-5.