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).

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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.

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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.

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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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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by ddeacon/lovehim » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:41 pm

Hi All, I have just joined the forum, as I would like to catch up with all manner of stuff about DFC. My name is Barry Jobson, and I was an apprentice professional at DAFC back in the early seventies. I was with the club four years all told. Therefore, I was fortunate enough to play on Feethams many times, and I can tell you now the pitch was generally pretty bad back then. I have played on the pitch when there has hardly been a blade of grass on it especially towards the end of a season. I used to help the groundsman of the day help in preparing the pitch for a new season, and very soon into the winter months it would cut up pretty badly. We were playing a lot of games on it in those days, first, reserve team games plus Youth team games, so it got a lot of punishment! Technology has moved on a bit since then, you will generally get better pitches today!

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Geordie Quaker
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by Geordie Quaker » Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:11 pm

lo36789 wrote:
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.
Some top nostalgia for a 40 year old like me there!

1, Yeah, it was a night game and they made it sounds like they were gonna detonate it. The eventual removal was about as underwheling as the signing of Billy Bubbles.

2, He is so right, we murdered them,. It should have been 3-0 by the time they scored. The Times rang a similar story to what the ref says. I think they called it "the biggest injustice of a Cup result in living memory".

3, Maybe this was the year before when Lids was on loan? We properly signed him sumer 1998 as we ere aboutt o open the East Stand. Here he is on the programme with Reed, Gabbas and Bennett: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DARLINGTON-V ... 2861558177.
I think Tutill only signed in 1999.

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by lo36789 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:42 pm

Geordie Quaker wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:11 pm
3, Maybe this was the year before when Lids was on loan? We properly signed him sumer 1998 as we ere aboutt o open the East Stand. Here he is on the programme with Reed, Gabbas and Bennett: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DARLINGTON-V ... 2861558177.
I think Tutill only signed in 1999.
Yes it was his loan sure there was someone else making a debut on the same day as him. I thought it was Tutill as they announced them and they came out on their own from the changing rooms.

Just checked Soccerbase. Sat 14 February Jason De Vos started against Notts County (neither Liddle or Tutill in squad)...on Sat 21 February we played away at Mansfield with both Liddle and Tutill starting.

Divas is right we got battered and Steve Harper got a hat-trick!

Sat 28 February was Liddle and Tutill first home game so it was his home debut I remember. This is the game I must have memories of.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:57 pm

I could be wrong here but I remember driving to Mansfield for an away game which I thought was Liddle's and Tuttil's first game?
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

Tamworth matchday programme 26 Nov 2011

lo36789
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by lo36789 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 7:59 pm

Yeh looks right. I was 8 only went to home games I obviously didn't understand that they had already played two away games when they were introduced as new signings.

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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by Darlo_Pete » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:12 pm

I remember one end of season game & there was the usual pitch invasion. I walked onto the pitch & I couldn't believe how bad it was. Bone dry & full of holes, it was hard to believe that professional footie could have been played on it.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: The Feethams pitch

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:36 pm

At Feethams one year my Son was mascot in a crucial end of season game just after the pitch had been relaid, and it was simply awful. The newly laid strips of turf were so wavy that I felt almost seasick walking out towards the centre circle. Even the giant Seagull that temporarily escorted us was complaining about it.

We won the game though.
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

Tamworth matchday programme 26 Nov 2011

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