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Knowsley Road R.I.P


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34 replies to this topic

#21 bewareshadows

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:21 PM

QUOTE (The Boy Saint @ Aug 14 2010, 06:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Brilliant mate, well owned! biggrin.gif



And again, your in top form!

In all seriousness though, cheer mick - some quality photos, its going to feel so weird walking out of Knowsley Road after the last game - i may even get a bit misty! huh.gif




I'm actually optimistic about the atmosphere in the new stadium. I think there has been a noticable decline in the atmosphere at Saints over the last 4 or 5 seasons. I'm not sure of the reason, but we have become alot quieter and our popular side don't seam to have the same imagination and fervour in song creation. It may even be that time where Saints have to bite that bullet and drop one of our favoured chant. "Saints fans don't need a drum"

I'm not sure if as a group of fans we have reached that place that Wigan did at central park, where some fans would leave 10 - 15 minutes early out of habit. Saints fans out of habit have become quiet.

I can remember when SL first started our noise was big enough to rival anyones, our away support still does this nowa days but our home support seams to have lost it's edge.

THe new stadium will mix up the old groupings of fans a new popular side will have to emerge.

My worry about any new stadium is the size, I'm sure the Saints pitch is not as wide as it should be. I think this has lead to Saints having to have a greater attacking edge to break down other sides, as defence on a narrow pitch is much easier than having to cover the wide areas of a full sized pitch. It may also be an explanation of our notorious lack of defence prior to the Hanley era.

I'm sure our style will not change over night, but after playing 10 years on a full sized pitch will that take it's toll on the Saints mentality on how to break down a defence. I know last week we struggled to attack from deep but that was more of a 1 off tactic to cover our lack of half backs. I'm talking about a more consistant change i the culture of Saints play. But then maybe I'm adding 1 and 5 and seeing 15.
Super League the only place in the world where people still believe that less competitors and a closed market to new competition will improve the quality of the product.

Even the Chinese and the Cubans gave up on these marxist principles years ago.


SL with a reduced number of competitors and a closed market = North Korea.

#22 sam

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:28 PM

i'm sure it has great memories for many people, but it's a ######. wilderspool was the same, there's not one game when i think "i wish i was still stood on the crumbling terrace and having to ###### into a gutter in the open air."
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#23 Bitofaboogie

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 06:41 PM

I miss Central Park and Wilderspool and Thrum Hall and the old Naughton Park and The Watersheddings and I will miss Knowlesly Road too. Crappy things can be great in their own way and these new grounds definitely lack the atmosphere of the old places no matter how bad they were.


#24 Tommy The C5t

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 07:01 PM

QUOTE (Old Frightful @ Aug 14 2010, 05:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's one NE took of the Twickenham stadium...



LMFAO laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif biggrin.gif

I've just spilt my pint all over me after seeing this laugh.gif cool.gif

#25 Methven Hornet

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 09:17 PM

KR is a fine example of a typical RL ground of the twentieth century and an example of the type of stadium we used to see in soccer. It is totally unrealistic but in some ways it is a shame that at least one ground of this type could not be preserved as some sort of historic building.
QUOTE (Scubby @ Aug 14 2010, 02:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it is the way the old grounds were put together that makes people very nostalgic. They weren't designed by architects etc. A lot of the stands were built when clubs could afford to build them. That makes many of them quirky and unique (e.g. the end stand at the Watersheddings and Willows, Snookers club side at Wilderspool, the changing rooms at the corner of Thrum Hall)

Many fans would pick their spot and happy reside there for many different reasons. I must admit though that I would prefer new stadia to be built on old (e.g. Widnes) than they flattening and moving to a new site - but economics and geographics determine that. The biggest shame was the Wigan saga where, at the time, Whelan wanted to re-develop the old Central Park. How awesome would that have been? I understand that problems at the time prevented this.

I agree with your post. Yes, stadiums were a collection of buildings erected as and when clubs could afford them - and need them! You could usually tell which rugby and soccer teams had had periods of success, and the consequent crowds, by the size of the structures contained within the grounds. Perhaps that contributed to the 'soul' of the place - that substantial grandstand reminded your grandfather of the massive popularity of the game in the 40s and the club's success then (as he never used to stop telling you!)

Also, because the ground was usually developed piecemeal, and they were usually developed in highly built-up areas, the individual structures had to fit in with what space was available. So, when Oldham had just a narrow strip of land behind one end of the pitch, but still had substantial crowds to fit in, what do they do? Build a double decker. When Saints build a grandstand but the railway encroaches on the space - erect a structure that ends two thirds of the way down the pitch.

These quirks made the place unique and helped it to feel like 'home'. What matters today, however, is comfort, safety, decent facilities and a good, unobstructed view of the pitch, and is quite often better financially to construct this on a new site where the pitch is plonked in the centre with the stadium built symmetrically around it. No need to adapt the buildings to the differing layouts of the 4 sides and so a standard design can be used.

I agree that rebuilt grounds do tend to preserve their character better and, I think, Spotland is a fine example of this. The redevelopment started with the grandstand, a modest structure because the clubs only had a limited amount of money available and needed to incorporate all the offices, changing/training rooms, restaurants, hospitally boxes etc. (Also it had to be built around the existing pub built in the stadium grounds.) Next came the 'home end' for the soccer club, a larger stand where the home fans could congregate behind the goal, drink in the pub down below, and try and create some atmosphere. The last rebuilding was the northern side of the ground - here came the realisation that, given the limitations of the 'main' stand, this would need to be a more substantial structure to get the capacity up to the 10,000 needed should the clubs achieve success or attract representative games.

Lastly, the most modest part of the ground, the small covered terracing behind one goal, was re-clad, repaired, but left more-or-less untouched - its early sixties design acting as the architectural inspiration behind. So, a piecemeal development, built as the resources became available, but in an already well-defined site layout, became what is now, IMO, an attractive and interesting 'home'.

Add the substantial crowds rolleyes.gif and it will have 'atmosphere' and 'soul' biggrin.gif
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#26 Saint Billinge

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:20 PM

My first match at KR happened in the early Sixties versus the Aussies. On the day our school headmaster let us off early in the afternoon to watch the game. I was smitten for evermore. This is my fiftieth year watching rugby league at Knowsley Road.

I've seen some great matches over the years and lots of drama. We move on but I'll still miss her.

Thanks for the pictures Mick.

#27 Tommy The C5t

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 10:30 PM

QUOTE (Saint Billinge @ Aug 14 2010, 11:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My first match at KR happened in the early Sixties versus the Aussies. On the day our school headmaster let us off early in the afternoon to watch the game. I was smitten for evermore. This is my fiftieth year watching rugby league at Knowsley Road.

I've seen some great matches over the years and lots of drama. We move on but I'll still miss her.

Thanks for the pictures Mick.


How high would you rate the wide to west game from the year 2000, St Helens 16-11 Bradford mate?

I hear one of the new stands at the new ground is to be named the "Wide To The West" stand.



#28 dallymessenger

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 02:20 AM

was good to have visited one of the few remaining grounds which hosted the NU in its foundation year.

having said that, thats where the ground belongs, in the history books

for one of the leading english RL clubs that ground is beneath them and the move to the new stadium is long overdue.

ive got little doubt saints are going to average 15,000 in their new ground, and thats what the game needs is more clubs with crowds of that level

#29 dallymessenger

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 02:23 AM

QUOTE (Old Frightful @ Aug 14 2010, 06:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Knowsley Road is a traditional rugby league ground and I'm sure when it was in it's prime and of the day it was as good as most. Sure, we've moved on now and demand much more of our stadia but I for one will miss the charm of places like this, Wheldon road and others.

I read a post from someone on here once describing the new places like the KC, DW and the Galpharm as "Soulless places" and, although I love sitting in comfort in these sort of grounds with modern facilities, I knew exactly what he meant.


nah old stadiums are holding the game back

new grounds can have a fantastic atmosphere if they are built to right and the right size.



#30 Saint Billinge

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:19 AM

QUOTE (Tommy The C5t @ Aug 14 2010, 11:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How high would you rate the wide to west game from the year 2000, St Helens 16-11 Bradford mate?

I hear one of the new stands at the new ground is to be named the "Wide To The West" stand.


It was breathtaking stuff. The match-winning try seemed surreal, even thinking about it today.

As a yound lad, I often wondered how the heck the teams had the energy to climb the old steps at Odsal after a bruising match in the mud!

Did you receive a good welcome at KR?

#31 Saint Billinge

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:22 AM

QUOTE (dallymessenger @ Aug 15 2010, 03:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
nah old stadiums are holding the game back

new grounds can have a fantastic atmosphere if they are built to right and the right size.


And one day, the new stadiums will be classed as old-timers by a new generation as old-timers reminisce. tongue.gif

#32 Bulliac

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 12:58 PM

QUOTE (Saint Billinge @ Aug 15 2010, 08:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And one day, the new stadiums will be classed as old-timers by a new generation as old-timers reminisce. tongue.gif

You might well be right Saint, though I'm not sure many will look at all fondly at them. Fair enough they score on home comforts, but these breeze block, identikit, palaces have little or no character, no personality, none of those little idiosyncrasies which we loved about the old grounds, basically they have none of the little things which made them unique.
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#33 Tommy The C5t

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 01:55 PM

QUOTE (Saint Billinge @ Aug 15 2010, 08:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It was breathtaking stuff. The match-winning try seemed surreal, even thinking about it today.

As a yound lad, I often wondered how the heck the teams had the energy to climb the old steps at Odsal after a bruising match in the mud!

Did you receive a good welcome at KR?


Yes it was first class welcome mate, from all the officials at the club to the stewards and the supporters who I was stood with in the second half in the St Helens end who didn't really understand just how bad our fall from grace has been.

Who knows, if you play Warrington in the play-offs at Knowsley Road I may come over for it as it'll be worth it.

#34 goldcard

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 02:28 PM

Great shots, Mick, the memories I got from there, mostly not very good.
The Lancs Cup Final drubbings by Wigan, the annual defeat in the league...
My second visit there saw us win, 9-3, Bobby Wanbon running over Pimblett for the winner, from an inside pass by Gwilliam.
I was there when we scored a drop-goal, and the game re-started with a 25m drop out.
We lost anyway.
I had the good fortune of deciding, last minute, not to go to a certain Regal semi-final.
Maybe in the future I'll get to the new ground, and once it's "worn in" it will develop a character and atmosphere like the old grounds had.
These things take time.

Edited by goldcard, 15 August 2010 - 02:32 PM.

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#35 Cliffy Lyons

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 03:45 PM

Should the title of the thread be Bradford Bulls R.I.P. ????

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