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Thread: Former Aylesbury United Ground, Buckinghamshire, April 2019

  1. #1
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    Default Former Aylesbury United Ground, Buckinghamshire, April 2019


    1. The History
    Aylesbury United FC were originally formed back in 1897. Currently residing in Division One Central of the Southern League, their former ground, The Buckingham Road, is located just over a mile from Aylesbury, on the A413 to Buckingham. Aylesbury United moved to Buckingham Road in the mid-1980's, following their departure from their previous home at Turnfulong Lane, a venue where they played for 50 years. In between the 2 grounds, they had to ground-share, playing at RAF Halton and then Tring Town. Back then Buckingham Road was a great move for the club as it boasted a main stand that could hold around 400 supporters while the opposite covered terracing had a capacity of 500. With further cover behind the goal for around 500 more and the rest of the groundís uncovered terracing with space for a further 4,000 supporters, the groundís overall capacity stood at around the 5,400 mark.

    The groundís record attendance came in 1988 when, quite bizarrely, England played a pre-European Championships friendly against The Ducks who, at the time, were Southern League Champions. The clubís all-time top scorer, Cliff Hercules, missed a chance to put Aylesbury ahead early on and England went on to win 7-0 with 4 goals for Peter Beardsley. Somehow that night they squeezed 6,031 into their little ground.

    Action from the England match;

    AylesburyUtd 2 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The next season (1988/89) their first appearance in the top-flight of the non-league pyramid didnít last long with them finishing second bottom and getting relegated from the Conference. The ground saw its fair share of FA Cup drama too. Between 1985 and 1993 the club qualified for the 1st Round every season, reaching the 2nd Round on two occasions and, in 1995, they got to the third round when they lost 4-0 to QPR.

    The aforementioned Cliff Hercules was something of a local hero for The Ducks with 301 goals for the club in 669 appearances (both records in their own right). In 2000 he returned to the club to manage them, sealing their return to the Isthmian Premier. Other claims to fame are footballer alumni that include Lee Cook, Jermaine Darlington & Dwight Marshall.

    The ground in happier days:

    AylesburyUtd by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The site has been the subject of several planning applications since The Duckís eviction in 2006, which has seen them playing at Chesham United and more recently Thame United, where they currently reside. Plans were submitted to demolish the old ground and turn it into houses and a care home. However no less than 13 years later after they vacated the ground, it still sits empty, unused and in a state of disrepair and subject to vandalism. The Ducks' former groundsman Pete Ash, a man renown for keeping what was regarded as one of the finest non-league playing surfaces in the country, would despair if he saw the current state of what was once his pride and joy.

    2. The Explore
    With morning free to explore around the Thame area a search of Oxfordshire turned up very little. So widening the search to Buckinghamshire turned up a few things including Aylesbury Unitedís old ground. A few recent reports hinted that it might still be a goer so on a very cold April morning off I set. Having parked up cased the front and its close proximity to housing lead me to a more discrete but relatively easy way in. In truth the place has seen better days and there isnít loads to see. The place does have an atmosphere to it though and the overgrow terraces were quite photogenic. The best bit is the main stand, however the turnstiles have been totally smashed which is a shame. The clubhouse and changing rooms arenít anything special architecturally and were completely nailed down. That said, it was my first derelict footy ground and it was nice for an hourís wander.

    3. The Picture

    Flood light has a bit of competition these days:

    img0270 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The behind the goal terrace is the most over-grown bit:

    img0268 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0267 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Not too sure how this got here:

    img0266 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0265 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0262 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    On to the standing area opposite the main stand:

    img0254 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0246 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0244 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Much less overgrown:

    img0243 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0239 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    The turnstiles remain but the walls donít!

    img0261 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Main stand:

    img0238 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0258 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    It used to seat 400 supporters:



    img0253 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0257 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Directors box!

    img0260 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0252 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0251 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0250 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0249 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    More trashed turnstiles:

    img0255 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    £6 in for adults it was back in the day:

    img0247 by HughieDW, on Flickr

  2. Thanks given by: etc100, Hugh Jorgan, Mearing, rockfordstone
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  4. #2
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    Default


    A change from abadoned tunnels now, abandoned football park. All I can say about this one is its seriously overgrown.
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going.

  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan View Post
    A change from abadoned tunnels now, abandoned football park. All I can say about this one is its seriously overgrown.
    Back to grass-roots football ;-)

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