Fringe Box



Letter: It Is Time for Guildford City to Have Its Own Ground

Published on: 12 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 12 Apr, 2024

From: Andrew Backhurst

In response to: A New Home for Guildford City Should Be on the ‘Brilliant Places’ Agenda

Ever since going to my first football match as a small boy, a Guildford City FA Cup 1st round match against Dover at Joseph’s Road on 20th November 1972, a spicy game with an electric atmosphere that finished goalless, I was hooked.

Sadly, it was to be the only game I saw at Joseph’s Road as the ground was lost to developers and Guildford City FC was closed down. I always pledged that if Guildford were to reform I would follow them.

In 1996 AFC Guildford were formed and played their football in the Surrey Senior League with home games at the soulless Spectrum athletics stadium, a large concrete terrace with no seating and a pitch across 13 lanes of athletic tracks. It resembled a soviet style stadium. I was one of the few at the first match, and many more matches in the early years.

Ten years later, after promotion to the Combined Counties League we reclaimed the name Guildford City FC. Our first home game, a friendly against Wallingford was played at Normandy recreation ground as the Spectrum Stadium wasn’t available until after the athletic club had finished their season. Unfortunately, we lost that game but the positive was quite a few people turned up to watch. I was there with my Jack Russell.

Over the years, I along with many others have cheered them on but we have always hoped and dreamed that we might have a ground of our own, somewhere befitting of a town of our standing, somewhere to be proud of.

The Spectrum Stadium is much-improved thanks to Guildford City FC putting in seating and a couple of covered stands, but, we still have to watch across 13 lanes of athletics track, it is not a football ground.

After 50 years without a football ground, my message to Pedro Wrobel, the new CEO at Guildford Borough Council, is: it is time to replace the Joseph’s Road ground.

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Responses to Letter: It Is Time for Guildford City to Have Its Own Ground

  1. Olly Azad Reply

    April 12, 2024 at 6:26 pm

    These sentiments are similar to the ones shared by Ron Cork and I tend to agree with both. Considering that this club has existed since 1921, well before most of us were around, it’s only right and befitting that Guildford City Football Club has a playing ground entirely for it’s own use. To see The City players perform across 13 lanes of atheltics track is far from ideal and plainly wrong.

    When Pedro Wrobel next decides to talk up the ‘Brilliant Places’ Agenda my humble request to him would be to get the ball rolling on the prospect of sourcing a new football stadium for Guildfordians to watch and cheer on their favourite team at home and away on the sporting fixtures.

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