Wrexham
The Racecourse Ground




Ground No. 47 (return visit)
Visited - Saturday 12th July 2008
Result - Wrexham 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - Pre-season Friendly
Attendance - 2749

Any established team dropping out of the league tends to be a shock, but when Wrexham were relegated in 2008, it seemed to produce more headlines than most, certainly more so than for Mansfield who went down with them. Maybe because they were a member of the Welsh trio plying their trade in English football, or because of some memorable victories down the years (notably beating Arsenal back in 1992), either way it sent shockwaves through the game. My visit to the Racecourse Ground whilst doing the 92 had certainly been one of the more memorable. I’ve been told that the review of that day has gone down in folklore on certain hooligan sites, not surprising as it turned out to be like walking onto the set of Football Factory or Green Street! The Walsall fans caused chaos after the game from North Wales right back to the West Midlands, doing battle with several different police forces and other like minded groups, but with the ground in its current state seeming like its days were numbered due to redevelopment plans, then I was determined to go back, and Wolves’ pre-season friendly with the Welsh side promised to be a little bit quieter, or at least I hoped it would be!

Setting off early, I got to Wrexham just as it started raining, but made my way up to the ground and was allowed in to take some pictures. From the outside the most notable sight is the four old floodlight pylons which tower over the ground, but these are contrasted by the very modern looking Mold Road Stand, which looks even better once you get in. All-seated, the central section of the stand is larger than the two sides flanking it, and the roof above this part is raised as well, with the two either side dipping down towards each end. Behind the far goal is the away end, or the Eric Roberts Stand, which is split into two tiers, again all-seated and looking slightly dated now, having originally been built in the 70s. The Yale Stand to its left is a similar age and design, two tiers with a couple of pillars restricting views in the centre whilst the far end is home to the magnificent Kop, whose days sadly seem to be coming to an end. The redevelopment plans are to completely demolish it, although with the current economic climate and Wrexham’s relegation, these do seem to have been put on hold, however the club haven’t renewed its safety certificate, so at the time of writing, it stands empty, although still looks fantastic. With a capacity of 4500, it was the biggest terraced end left in football, stretching back behind the goal and fully covered, with a corner section wrapping around towards the Yale Stand.

Having taken a few pics, then I made my way back into the town, finding a nice pub called the Welch Fusiliers (serves a nice pint of Bass), before it was time to head back to the ground. After going in, the mood in the away end was good. It was our first game of the pre-season and fans were looking forward to seeing some of the new signings, and perhaps being able to renew some of the hope lost after a depressing 2007/08.

What followed was the most dire, dismal game you could imagine, even for a friendly match. Wolves kicked off with both sides sporting change strips, Wrexham in blue shirts, us in a horrible all-black effort with luminous green piping. It was bad, really bad and sadly a sign of things to come when from the off Wrexham looked determined to prove a point, forcing a number of corners and close shaves before Wolves started to take a grip on proceedings. Despite having a lot of possession, we couldn’t make anything of it, looking toothless and uninspired up front, with the half eventually grinding to a halt with the score still at 0-0.

After the break, both sides made numerous substitutions, Wolves starting with a completely different 11 to the one that finished the first half, although it didn’t seem to help wake-up the 660 fans/idiots who had made the journey into Wales to pay for the privilege of watching such utter rubbish. It went from terrible to shocking when the home side eventually broke the deadlock, Wes Baines scoring direct from a free-kick in the 49th minute. Well over half an hour later we managed to have what must have been our first effort on goal that half when Stephen Elliott blasted over from inside the box before the referee mercifully blew for full time.

After leaving, then I made my way home, getting a train pretty quickly. Thankfully there was none of the trouble of last time, although the trains themselves were doing their best to make up for it, with rail replacement coaches on between Gobowen and Shrewsbury, but it didn’t delay me too much, getting back more or less on time.

Overall, whilst the game had been awful to watch, even for a friendly, it was good to return to the ground and get the chance to go round taking pictures. Whilst looking a bit dated in places, it still suits Wrexham’s needs perfectly and will easily be one of the best in the Conference. It’s a shame if the Kop does end up getting knocked down, but even then, it would still be a ground I’d look forward to going back to again one of the days, and recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting.

 




Croeso i'r Cae Ras


Rear of the Mold Road Stand


Rear of the Eric Roberts (Builders) Stand


Rear of the Yale Stand


The Club Shop and Ticket Office


Rear of the Kop


The Kop Turnstiles


The Kop


The Yale Stand


The Eric Roberts (Builders) Stand


The Mold Road Stand


The Mold Road Stand


The Kop


The Yale Stand



The Racecourse Ground Panoramic 1


The Racecourse Ground Panoramic 2




  

 

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