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Borough Park, Blackpool


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Thirty-five years ago today (4/1/87), Blackpool Borough played their last first team game at Borough Park.

By chance, I happened to be there. At the time (in the bar under the stand, after the match, certainly), there was no indication it was to be Borough's farewell to the ground.

From the stand seats, I watched Borough lose 5-8 to Second Division rivals Whitehaven. Oddly, the second half was scoreless. 410 present.

Anybody got any particular memories of Borough Park?

Borough saw out the 1986-87 season at the Bloomfield Road football ground.

The club were forced to leave purpose-built Borough Park, opened in 1963, because they could not afford £65,000 of safety work ordered by Lancashire County Council.

A retail/leisure park now occupies the site.

Edited by Hopping Mad
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50 minutes ago, Hopping Mad said:

Anybody got any particular memories of Borough Park?

December 1980. Blackpool v Swinton. Game probably should have been postponed. Frost and ice on the pitch. Fog a problem too.

Sat in the stand. Tried counting the Borough fans on the opposite side bit of terracing. Maybe 20-30. Hard to be certain through the mist.

Swinton were challenging for promotion. Borough were cellar dwellers with Doncaster and Huyton. Despite that, the Lions lost what local radio used to call "a tight low-scoring encounter". One of those days when our blokes clearly didn`t fancy it much.

Only relief from the gloom was the hamburgers. Ate two before the game and another at half time. Would have had a fourth, but ran out of money.

And you try and tell that to the young people of today...and they won`t believe you.

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3 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

Thirty-five years ago today (4/1/87), Blackpool Borough played their last first team game at Borough Park.

By chance, I happened to be there. At the time (in the bar under the stand, after the match, certainly), there was no indication it was to be Borough's farewell to the ground.

From the stand seats, I watched Borough lose 5-8 to Second Division rivals Whitehaven. Oddly, the second half was scoreless. 410 present.

Anybody got any particular memories of Borough Park?

Borough saw out the 1986-87 season at the Bloomfield Road football ground.

The club were forced to leave purpose-built Borough Park, opened in 1963, because they could not afford £65,000 of safety work ordered by Lancashire County Council.

A retail/leisure park now occupies the site.

Because I like to check such things, if you go on the Measuring Worth website you can see that, roughly, that £65,000 would be about £250,000 now.

No wonder they couldn't afford it.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Ah, Borough Park and the dreaded Fulham RLFC Blackpool weekends! The chairman of the Blackpool supporters' club at the time had a B&B near the front and when we played Blackpool (usually Feb/ March, out of season) he'd open up for the Saturday night, only charging us the wholesale price at the bar. I've many a memory of those weekends, the trouble being if I posted any of them I'd probably be banned from here for life!

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Hornets tended to play there on Boxing Day most seasons. Always an enjoyable day trip even on the occasions when they got the better of us.

One of the kids on the supporters bus was a bit in the slow side. Used to ask him has he seen the tower yet…”how will i see it” he would say. “just look for woolies and you will see it” we said.

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28 minutes ago, Viking Ste said:

I have memories of parking there with my parents on the annual pilgrimage to the illuminations. Did it also second as a Greyhound track?

   Yes that is correct.The old Blackpool ground i went to for a Cup match was in St Annes Road and that also had a greyhound track round the pitch.As i remember the ground was in a desperate state and badly rum down.

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15 hours ago, Hopping Mad said:

Anybody got any particular memories of Borough Park?

Cold. Very!  Fog, snow usually too and never an easy game for Hornets.  And, as Anita Bath says, the cry of “.. seen the Tower yet” was always raised from ‘charabancs’ (not the other risqué spelling/pronunciation in formative😇 years!) from very early ages on illumination/ Pleasure Beach day trips.  
Five-barred gate, literally, stopping place too.

Edited by glemiln
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Remember Leigh winning a new years day game in the mid 80s. Kenny Greens brother Jimmy and Hugh Waddell playing.

A large Leigh contingent in a crowd around 3000. Leigh won.

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I went there in the mid 1970s to watch Oldham play.

The ground was certainly unique, one main stand and low open terracing. The Tower was close by and visible, and I think there was a giant gasworks next to the ground. The crowd was concentrated on that one side of the ground.

There was a greyhound track wrapping round the pitch, and had overhanging lighting which interrupted the view of the playing area but that added to the charm of the place.

I think they had those single pillar tuning fork posts that are used in gridiron, but can't be absolutely sure. Another club around that time had them also, the reformed New Hunslet who played out of a greyhound stadium too. It was difficult as a spectator to know exactly how close play was to the in-goal area without a set of posts on the try line and several tries were scored when I thought the ball carrier had a fair distance to go when in fact he had already crossed the whitewash. That wouldn't have been a problem if seated in the main stand but I never bought a seat at any game, preferring to lean on the perimeter wall and be as close to the field as possible.

I went in the 80s too and watched some random games as I enjoyed going on the razzle and dancing the night away in one of Brian London's nightclubs (the 007 club, maybe the 008?).

I always had a soft spot for Blackpool Borough and was gutted when they ceased to be. Although they never got big crowds, Blackpool to me was a rugby league town.

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Went to BP a few times, and one in particular I can recall.

I forget what year it was, but it was the opening game of the season when the four point try was introduced.

Borough beat us summat like 12-4, and we were the only team that weekend, who didn't score a try!

Can anyone enlighten me on the year please?

Spelly.

"--- and then on the eighth day, God created Rugby League."

Daily, my intense dislike of the Pinks, Rugby Yawnion, Manchester United, and far-right politics, grows ever larger, and will continue to do so forever more!

Question! What's the connection between Rugby League and Rugby Yawnion? Answer! There isn't one!

My girl-friend asked "If you had to choose between me and Swinton who would it be?" I replied "You know the answer to that one without even asking!"

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6 hours ago, Spelly said:

Went to BP a few times, and one in particular I can recall.

I forget what year it was, but it was the opening game of the season when the four point try was introduced.

Borough beat us summat like 12-4, and we were the only team that weekend, who didn't score a try!

Can anyone enlighten me on the year please?

Spelly.

That would have been the 83-84 season. I think Blackpool had a decent little team then, but that Barrow side took some beating. Didnt Blackpool finish just a few point from being promoted ?   It was 4 up 4 down then.

Didnt they beat Widnes in the Lancs cup final that year ?

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13 hours ago, Pigeon Lofter said:

I went there in the mid 1970s to watch Oldham play.

The ground was certainly unique, one main stand and low open terracing. The Tower was close by and visible, and I think there was a giant gasworks next to the ground. The crowd was concentrated on that one side of the ground.

There was a greyhound track wrapping round the pitch, and had overhanging lighting which interrupted the view of the playing area but that added to the charm of the place.

I think they had those single pillar tuning fork posts that are used in gridiron, but can't be absolutely sure. Another club around that time had them also, the reformed New Hunslet who played out of a greyhound stadium too. It was difficult as a spectator to know exactly how close play was to the in-goal area without a set of posts on the try line and several tries were scored when I thought the ball carrier had a fair distance to go when in fact he had already crossed the whitewash. That wouldn't have been a problem if seated in the main stand but I never bought a seat at any game, preferring to lean on the perimeter wall and be as close to the field as possible.

I went in the 80s too and watched some random games as I enjoyed going on the razzle and dancing the night away in one of Brian London's nightclubs (the 007 club, maybe the 008?).

I always had a soft spot for Blackpool Borough and was gutted when they ceased to be. Although they never got big crowds, Blackpool to me was a rugby league town.

Certainly remember the gasholder. On the odd occasions Borough were on the telly, it was clearly visible.

I know a bloke, a retired GP who lives up in Edinburgh, with a keen interest in gasholders!

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8 hours ago, Snowys Backside said:

That would have been the 83-84 season. I think Blackpool had a decent little team then, but that Barrow side took some beating. Didnt Blackpool finish just a few point from being promoted ?   It was 4 up 4 down then.

Didnt they beat Widnes in the Lancs cup final that year ?

Right on all accounts.

Borough finished 5th, 5 points off fourth place and barrow beat Widnes in Lancs Cup final.

 

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For me Blackpool was a soccer town, the soccer club was big early post second world war. I always felt Blackpool Borough were always on the coat tails of Wigan, trying to mop up their spare talent, indeed they left Blackpool to become a second Wigan club. Here are comments from a Blackpool fan a few years back........ 

Springfield Borough played at Wigan Athletic's Springfield Park, hence the Springfield part of the name.  They had played as Blackpool Borough from their admission to the Rugby League in 1954 until a combination of factors forced them to leave the seaside in 1987 and they relocated to Wigan.

History repeated itself and they were forced to leave Springfield Park.  They relocated again to Victory Park, Chorley and played as Chorley Borough for a season before unbelievably moving again to Altrincham as Trafford Borough.  An offshoot of the original Chorley club stayed behind, however, continuing the Chorley Borough name until they were kicked out of the professional game altogether.

To complicate it even more, there was a later reincarnation as Lancashire Lynx playing at Preston North End's Deepdale ground and even later as Blackpool Gladiators, playing, I think, at Fylde RU for a while.  

They went out of the game for the last time early in the 2000s but, believe it or not, there was a meeting recently  (N.B. a few years ago now) with a view to forming a new professional club in Blackpool!!

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3 hours ago, Anita Bath said:

Right on all accounts.

Borough finished 5th, 5 points off fourth place and barrow beat Widnes in Lancs Cup final.

Interesting looking at the attendances of that year's County Cups. Blackpool's first round game had an attendance only a couple of hundred lower than Salford's. Barrow vs Whitehaven in the first round got a bigger crowd than the 2499 watching Cas v Huddersfield in the Yorkshire Cup.  Saints v Warrington at Knowsley Road got 5000, and Warrington's semi-final vs Barrow at Wilderspool got 3349. And yet people like to hark back to this mythical golden age when grounds were full.

I'm fairly sure I'm correct in saying that Borough Park was the newest stadium in British sport for most of the 1960s. Also that Borough beat both Wigan and Leeds there in the 1979-80 season.

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Was it not  ‘78 or so when the Borough got to the John Player Final? I have a hazy memory of seeing a fog bound Borough Park on Grandstand as BB beat Leigh in the semi final, or is old age catching up at last with me?

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On 04/01/2022 at 17:05, sentoffagain2 said:

   Yes that is correct.The old Blackpool ground i went to for a Cup match was in St Annes Road and that also had a greyhound track round the pitch.As i remember the ground was in a desperate state and badly rum down.

Was that against Wakey by any chance. I remember going there myself.

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In the mid 50's retiring to Spain etc was never even considered. In those days Blackpool was the place to be. I was told that the club was formed by  group of 'ex pats' from other regions of RL land. 

If RL had been a summer game back then, it would have probably faired much better as many RL fans from other parts holidayed in Blackpool and many would have watch a game during ther stay.

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2 hours ago, Reverend Ram said:

Was it not  ‘78 or so when the Borough got to the John Player Final? I have a hazy memory of seeing a fog bound Borough Park on Grandstand as BB beat Leigh in the semi final, or is old age catching up at last with me?

Close….it was 1977 v Castleford

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Home to the BARLA National Cup finals many years ago. I had the pleasure of playing in the youth final over 40 years ago at  Borough Park. Was a great day out for all concerned even if not the most luxurious surroundings .  ( And I was on the losing side )

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5 hours ago, steve oates said:

For me Blackpool was a soccer town, the soccer club was big early post second world war. I always felt Blackpool Borough were always on the coat tails of Wigan, trying to mop up their spare talent, indeed they left Blackpool to become a second Wigan club. Here are comments from a Blackpool fan a few years back........ 

Springfield Borough played at Wigan Athletic's Springfield Park, hence the Springfield part of the name.  They had played as Blackpool Borough from their admission to the Rugby League in 1954 until a combination of factors forced them to leave the seaside in 1987 and they relocated to Wigan.

History repeated itself and they were forced to leave Springfield Park.  They relocated again to Victory Park, Chorley and played as Chorley Borough for a season before unbelievably moving again to Altrincham as Trafford Borough.  An offshoot of the original Chorley club stayed behind, however, continuing the Chorley Borough name until they were kicked out of the professional game altogether.

To complicate it even more, there was a later reincarnation as Lancashire Lynx playing at Preston North End's Deepdale ground and even later as Blackpool Gladiators, playing, I think, at Fylde RU for a while.  

They went out of the game for the last time early in the 2000s but, believe it or not, there was a meeting recently  (N.B. a few years ago now) with a view to forming a new professional club in Blackpool!!

I think that Lancashire Lynx played at Preston Grasshoppers ground for a couple of seasons.

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19 hours ago, steve oates said:

For me Blackpool was a soccer town, the soccer club was big early post second world war. I always felt Blackpool Borough were always on the coat tails of Wigan, trying to mop up their spare talent, indeed they left Blackpool to become a second Wigan club. Here are comments from a Blackpool fan a few years back........ 

Springfield Borough played at Wigan Athletic's Springfield Park, hence the Springfield part of the name.  They had played as Blackpool Borough from their admission to the Rugby League in 1954 until a combination of factors forced them to leave the seaside in 1987 and they relocated to Wigan.

History repeated itself and they were forced to leave Springfield Park.  They relocated again to Victory Park, Chorley and played as Chorley Borough for a season before unbelievably moving again to Altrincham as Trafford Borough.  An offshoot of the original Chorley club stayed behind, however, continuing the Chorley Borough name until they were kicked out of the professional game altogether.

To complicate it even more, there was a later reincarnation as Lancashire Lynx playing at Preston North End's Deepdale ground and even later as Blackpool Gladiators, playing, I think, at Fylde RU for a while.  

They went out of the game for the last time early in the 2000s but, believe it or not, there was a meeting recently  (N.B. a few years ago now) with a view to forming a new professional club in Blackpool!!

The most recent incarnation was as recently as 2007ish as Blackpool Panthers (initially Blackpool West Coast Panthers, I think?), initially playing at Bloomfield Road for a year or two (Leigh played there in the group stages of the Northern Rail Cup and then again in the final against Hull KR) and then as you say on to Fylde RU (including hosting the 'Northern Rail Nines'). 

14 hours ago, chris26 said:

I think that Lancashire Lynx played at Preston Grasshoppers ground for a couple of seasons.

Don't know if they played there permanently or only when Deepdale was unavailable? They didn't last long before moving (back, of sorts) to Chorley and becoming Chorley Lynx.

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