The Feethams pitch

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Nimrod
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The Feethams pitch

Post by Nimrod » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:36 am

I was watching these highlights recently from 99-2000 and was struck at just how bad our pitch was at Feethams at this time. Had it always been this bad?? I don’t remember it being such a problem in the early 90’s

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4k9KzbSIxho

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divas
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by divas » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:55 am

It was exacerbated by the building of the new East stand in 1997 which likely broke some drainage.

Loved that stand but could be argued it was the beginning of the end for DFC as we knew it.

H1987
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by H1987 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:31 am

What an occasion that was. I was young at the time, it'd be nice to experience something like that as an adult.

Of course, we should have gone up automatically that year :( Oh for what could have been.

Honestly, it's funny what your head does to memories because I don't particularly remember the Feethams pitch being quite so woeful at the time in spite of going to many games there and even being on it. Standards were different then, of course. You used to see even relatively new Premier League pitches chewed up in a way that is just unthinkable now. People bash the Blackwell pitch, but it's arguably as good as any we've played on. When you watch old highlights, some of the pitches were in an awful state... even in recent years, some footage from the Arena shows a pretty badly cut-up field, and Bishop wasn't great either (some of that will have been the number of Darlo and Bishop games on it).

al_quaker
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by al_quaker » Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:57 am

Watching that video has just made me sad - oh to be playing in front of big crowds in a proper stadium in the football league again :cry:

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by spen666 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:53 am

H1987 wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:31 am
What an occasion that was. I was young at the time, it'd be nice to experience something like that as an adult.

Of course, we should have gone up automatically that year :( Oh for what could have been.

Honestly, it's funny what your head does to memories because I don't particularly remember the Feethams pitch being quite so woeful at the time in spite of going to many games there and even being on it. Standards were different then, of course. You used to see even relatively new Premier League pitches chewed up in a way that is just unthinkable now. People bash the Blackwell pitch, but it's arguably as good as any we've played on. When you watch old highlights, some of the pitches were in an awful state... even in recent years, some footage from the Arena shows a pretty badly cut-up field, and Bishop wasn't great either (some of that will have been the number of Darlo and Bishop games on it).
Its amazing when you look back how much pitches have improved. For its time, the pitch at Feethams in those clips was in decent condition. The pitch at Blackwell Meadows is streets ahead of what even the top clubs' pitches were like in 2000.

Nimrod
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by Nimrod » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:02 am

The interviews with Reynolds after that match were quite telling with hindsight - he wasn’t talking in a particularly positive way. You wonder whether he in some way was responsible for the big drop off in form from about March time

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by loan_star » Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:32 am

Nimrod wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:02 am
The interviews with Reynolds after that match were quite telling with hindsight - he wasn’t talking in a particularly positive way. You wonder whether he in some way was responsible for the big drop off in form from about March time
Without a doubt. I know for a fact thats why Gabbiadini went off the boil, Reynolds was playing silly beggars over his new contract. Marco got his own back when Reynolds went grovelling for him to come back after he left Northampton and then promptly f**ked him off for the chimps.
Lets not forget either when he published all the players earnings in the Echo in some sort of point scoring exercise to try and shame some of them then doorstepping anyone who dared disagree with him.
He was a horrible person.

Henley
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by Henley » Fri Apr 17, 2020 12:58 pm

I can’t believe that Arnison miss.

I’d always thought it was Midgely that missed but was it him that didn’t stick his foot out to turn it in?

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by quaker4life » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:04 pm

Nimrod wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:36 am
I was watching these highlights recently from 99-2000 and was struck at just how bad our pitch was at Feethams at this time. Had it always been this bad?? I don’t remember it being such a problem in the early 90’s

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4k9KzbSIxho
You'll find it doesn't look much better these days, it's covered in tarmac and concrete!

In the last few seasons at Feethams I recall that the pitch wasn't too bad, unfortunately the quality of football played on it had declined quite substantially but I'd take being a mediocre Division 3 team playing at Feethams over being a Conference North team playing at Blackwell Meadows any day.
love it! wrote:Considering we are Darlington 1883 I'm happy that we are named correctly

lo36789
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by lo36789 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:00 pm

Funny I thought we were worse than mediocre at the back end of Feethams but actually the tables suggest lower mid table mediocrity is fair. Probably just a relative thing following 99/00.

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by quaker4life » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:23 pm

lo36789 wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:00 pm
Funny I thought we were worse than mediocre at the back end of Feethams but actually the tables suggest lower mid table mediocrity is fair. Probably just a relative thing following 99/00.
League positions in our last 3 seasons at Feethams (if I remember rightly!):

00/01 20th
01/02 16th
02/03 14th
love it! wrote:Considering we are Darlington 1883 I'm happy that we are named correctly

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by lo36789 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:27 pm

Yeh no where near as bad as I remember. I think I just have lasting bad memories of Simon Betts and Steven Harper.

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by Old Git » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:39 pm

loan_star wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:32 am
Nimrod wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:02 am
The interviews with Reynolds after that match were quite telling with hindsight - he wasn’t talking in a particularly positive way. You wonder whether he in some way was responsible for the big drop off in form from about March time
Without a doubt. I know for a fact thats why Gabbiadini went off the boil, Reynolds was playing silly beggars over his new contract. Marco got his own back when Reynolds went grovelling for him to come back after he left Northampton and then promptly f**ked him off for the chimps.
Lets not forget either when he published all the players earnings in the Echo in some sort of point scoring exercise to try and shame some of them then doorstepping anyone who dared disagree with him.
He was a horrible person.
Recently I was talking to a player from that era and Gabbiadini came up in conversation. He told me that Gabbers turned up three times to meet Reynolds to discuss a new contract and each time Reynolds failed to arrive. Marco was happy at Darlington and was not asking for silly money but simply got fed up with George and his silly games so signed for Northampton for more money than he was asking for at Darlington.

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divas
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by divas » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:32 pm

lo36789 wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:27 pm
Yeh no where near as bad as I remember. I think I just have lasting bad memories of Simon Betts and Steven Harper.
Brightwell, Marcelle, Harper all taken from Hull when they were in the s***. Awful players for us. Shame as Harper when at Mansfield looked an excellent player, no doubt helped by the hat-trick he bagged against us after Simon Shaw was sent off and Hodgy decided he didn’t need a RB for 10 mins in which time Harper notched two in two mins.

Think that was the day Craig Liddle made his debut for us too.

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loan_star
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by loan_star » Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:19 pm

Old Git wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:39 pm
loan_star wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:32 am
Nimrod wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:02 am
The interviews with Reynolds after that match were quite telling with hindsight - he wasn’t talking in a particularly positive way. You wonder whether he in some way was responsible for the big drop off in form from about March time
Without a doubt. I know for a fact thats why Gabbiadini went off the boil, Reynolds was playing silly beggars over his new contract. Marco got his own back when Reynolds went grovelling for him to come back after he left Northampton and then promptly f**ked him off for the chimps.
Lets not forget either when he published all the players earnings in the Echo in some sort of point scoring exercise to try and shame some of them then doorstepping anyone who dared disagree with him.
He was a horrible person.
Recently I was talking to a player from that era and Gabbiadini came up in conversation. He told me that Gabbers turned up three times to meet Reynolds to discuss a new contract and each time Reynolds failed to arrive. Marco was happy at Darlington and was not asking for silly money but simply got fed up with George and his silly games so signed for Northampton for more money than he was asking for at Darlington.
Money wasn't an issue, it was the contract length. He felt he deserved a longer deal, and quite rightly, than the 1 year Reynolds was offering.

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by lo36789 » Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:41 am

divas wrote:
Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:32 pm
Think that was the day Craig Liddle made his debut for us too.
So a not very interesting fact I believe that Liddle's debut is one of my most clear early memories of watching Darlington. Although its all a bit muddled and fuzzy in terms of order. Suspect there are those on here who can help actually!

1. I remember a big song and dance around removing one single roof panel from the old east stand - think my child's imagination had something altogether more destructive in mind when I was told.
2. remember the event surrounding the Wolves cup game but not much of the actual game itself. Random fact I chatted to the referee from that game and he said he's never seen a more one sided game end in such a comprehensive defeat (his memory of the game is Wolves scored whenever they attacker basically but that was it).
3. Finally, I remember I think it was Liddle and Steve Tutill being presented as new signings - they came onto the pitch from the orange portakabins so that is what makes me think it was after the events above.

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by Alfie » Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:48 am

On the subject of pitches generally - looking at clips on the news about Norman Hunter, top level pitches were in a terrible state - lots of todays non-league pitches will be in a better condition.

As for some of the 'tackles' shown - how times have changed. But players on the receiving end usually just got up and carried on. He was the very first Players Player of the year, so they mustn't have taken the assaults too personally.

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