Worcester City
St Georges Lane

Ground No. 168
Visited - Saturday 1st November 2008
Result - Worcester City 0-1 Welling United
Competition - Blue Square South
Attendance - 769

Most known for composing the music to Land of Hope and Glory, Edward Elgar also had a secret passion that he was renowned for incessantly talking about, that being football, and specifically Wolves! Listed as perhaps the most famous person to support the club, he made donations and would regularly cycle the 30 miles up the A449 between Worcester and Wolverhampton to watch the Molineux men in action. An early groundhopper you could say! Nearly 100 years later, this time I was looking to make the opposite journey and watch his home town club, Worcester City, in action.

Described as a classic, St Georges Lane was a ground I’d been looking to get to for some time, especially with the club having recently announced plans to leave for a site close to the M5, so their match against Welling stood out and was quickly circled in to go to.

Whilst Elgar may have thought nothing of a 60 mile round bike trip, it wasn’t one that really appealed to me so much! With that in mind it was the usual method of train that I chose, setting off mid morning and changing in Smethwick before arriving into the county town just before midday. Perhaps more famous for both Rugby and Cricket these days, it was the latter of these that I headed to first of all, visiting New Rd and having a look around there before going back into the city centre to mooch around before it was eventually time to head up to the ground.

Situated in the north of the city, it’s a classic setting with terrace houses all round and bordered by a canal at the one end. There are four old style floodlights that you can see from some way away, but from the outside there is little more than the clubshop and turnstiles. After going in though, the ground really does open up a bit more. To the right is the back of the Main Stand with clubhouse/bar situated underneath. The changing rooms are situated in a separate building immediately to the left of the turnstiles, slightly reminiscent of the Cottage at Fulham. A path leads round the back to the terraces and the predictably named ‘Dressing Room End’. An open terrace, on the near side it stretches back quite a bit, tapering down to the North side of the ground where there is some sizable open terracing right up to the far end where there’s a large barn style roof with the terracing stretching back even further underneath it. The far end, or ‘The Canal End’ is also open terracing, although is largely pretty flat with just a few very deep steps, however it is raised above pitch level and provides a pretty good view of the action for fans who choose to stand here. The final side is the Main Stand. At one time every ground used to have something similar looking, with a small paddock in front of a raised tier of seating covered by a propped roof. There are still some examples amongst the 92 league clubs (Morecambe, Cheltenham), but what makes this so special is that it stretches nearly the full length of the pitch and looks like it hasn’t changed in years. Indeed the whole ground doesn’t, it really does feel like a lower league ground pre-90s, and was built in mind to be. Whilst it only has a capacity of 4850 these days, it has hosted crowds bigger than a number of football league clubs, with the record 17,042 showing the potential that club has, or perhaps had when it was in its heyday.

Having had a good look round and taken some pictures, I retired to the clubhouse for a pint before it was eventually time for the game to start. Worcester were on a run of bad form beforehand, and with various troubles off the pitch, their fans didn’t seem the happiest bunch, not helped by the performance on it either. The first half was littered with mistakes and the home side weren’t really able to pressure the visitors, despite looking quite competitive in the middle of the field.

With Worcester rarely threatening, it was Welling who took the lead, just after the half hour when James Baker got onto the end of a cross and smashed it home through a crowded box. The rest of the game though carried on in the same style, with neither side really looking dangerous, but Welling were deserving of their lead, and they looked to have doubled it late on when Baker rounded the keeper and fired home, but he was deemed to be offside, so when the ref blew his whistle for the last time it was the away team taking all three points with them on their long journey back to Kent.

After leaving, I made my way home, not getting back until late having stayed in a pub next to the ground to watch a game on Sky.

Overall, it had been a pretty good day out. The ground is worthy of its reputation as a classic venue and is as traditional as any left in the country. With that in mind, then no doubt I’ll be back here before they do finally move to the newly planned stadium, although with any luck that might be a while yet! 

Gates to the Ground

The Club Shop

The Turnstiles

The Dressing Rooms

Looking across the Dressing Rooms End

The Main Stand

The North Terrace

The North Terrace

The Canal End

Ready for Kick Off

The Dressing Rooms End

The Main Stand

Outside the Ground
(no prizes for guessing which end!)

St Georges Lane Panoramic 1

St Georges Lane Panoramic 2


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