Soccer Magazine

Kirkley Park 3G

By Smidrophenia
Wallsend Boys Club U-23 2-3 RothburyGeorge Dobbins League Cup 1st roundSaturday 7th January 2023Kirkley Park 3GKirkley Park 3G

Kirkley Park has been totally transformed with a new 3G surface, made possible with an investment of over £300,000 from Wallsend Boys Club and a grant of £564,799 from the Premier League, The FA and the Football Foundation. Former players Alan Shearer and Michael Carrick officially opened the new era for Wallsend Boys Club in October 2020. The new ground has four floodlight posts on each side and a covered seated stand, which holds approximately 200 spectators. The new pitch has been moved from its original plot, relocated further to the north west of the site, away from the existing houses on Alderwood Crescent, so the neighbours won’t be affected by the floodlights.

There are several grass pitches behind the stand and the club believe the new facility will support the recruitment of more than 300 new players across 21 teams at the club, including a growth of female and disability football, with more than 100 girls expected to be playing affiliated football at Kirkley Park by 2024.

Also,a new community hub is currently under construction which includes a physio room, classroom, changing rooms, kitchen, office and meeting room. The hub will focus on activities for younger people but will also cater for everyone in the community. The club are also seeking funding for an indoor 3G Futsal arena.

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The staff at Swan Hunters Shipyard founded Wallsend Boys Club in 1904 to provide recreational activities for the apprentices and young people in the area.

Kirkley Park 3GThe club was originally based on Station Road, in wooden huts erected by workers from the shipyard, which was destroyed in a fire in 1964. The more recent club building was opened in December 1966 and over the years, it survived fires and weather damage, but the club has strived to survive.

In 1975, the club opened seven days a week and formed a separate sub-committee for 11-a-side football.The club was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of North Tyneside in 2008, in recognition of what the deputy mayor called the club's "factory line of talent", and for its community work. Wallsend BC opened its first dedicated football center at Kirkley Park in 2011.

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I finally got the opportunity to visit the new Kirkley Park for the U23's League cup tie with Rothbury. Whenever I’m in Wallsend it makes me wonder about the mystery football match I attended in this area of North Tyneside in 1981. Following Whickham’s triumph in the FA Vase at Wembley that year, I attended an end of season friendly where the trophy was proudly displayed.(I stupidly kissed it and got metal polish all over my lips) I’ve no idea where the match took place and who actually played in the game, meaning there should be another ground on my list and another match registered. If anyone was at this “mystery match” then please, please, please get in touch.

(maybe the match was played at Wallsend BC old Station Road ground… Ed)

Wallsend Boys Club U-23 2(Stirk 73 Macpherson 85OG)

Rothbury 3(Coe 34 Dunn 68 Macpherson 78)

George Dobbins League Cup 1st Round

2.30pm ko

Att.36hc 

Rothbury led at the break when Chris Coe ran on to a through ball and finished well. The visitors went two up midway through the second half after a free kick from the edge of the box eventually fell to Paul Dunn to fire in. Wallsend pulled one back when Jack Stirk timed his run to stay onside and score, but the comeback was short lived, as Tom Macpherson headed in from a right wing corner to make it 1-3. 

The home team kept plucking away and reduced the arrears again when a free kick was turned into his own net by Macpherson, but unfortunately they ran out of time to grab an equaliser and take it to penalties.

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