Wednesday 15 February 2023

Chadderton - Andrew Street

Chadderton FC
Andrew Street 
Greater Manchester

07506 104005

Ground Number: 1148
Tuesday 14th February 2023
Chadderton 1-0 Ilkley Town
North West Counties D1 North


The club was originally formed in 1946 under the name of Burnley Lane Estate Juniors, who joined the Middleton Youth League. They graduated into an adult team a year later, changing their name to Millbrow following a ground move. Another name change to North Chadderton Amateurs before settling on their current name in 1957. Starting in the Oldham Amateur League, they progressed to the Manchester Amateur League where they won the North Division in 1956 and Division 1 in 1963. Next up was the Manchester League and this was a boom time for the club as they won Division 2 in 1965 and Division 1 in 1967. The 70s were a lean time but in 1980, they took the decision to move up to the Lancashire Combination. They remained here for two years until the league merged with the Cheshire League to form the North West Counties League.

As founder members, Chadderton is one of the few clubs to be ever-present for the entire history of the league. Starting in the second tier, a third-place finish behind Maine Road and Vauxhall GM saw them spend a single season in what was then called Division 1 before being relegated. In 1992, they were promoted despite only finishing 11th and this bought about a club record finish of 3rd in the North West Counties' top tier behind Atherton LR and Bamber Bridge. In 1998, ground grading issues saw them demoted despite a mid-table finish. They've remained in the second tier ever since. This season is their best in many years and sees them challenging for promotion, now with the required facilities in place.

Chadderton have twice reached the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round - losing to Southport in 1992 and Atherton Collieries in 1994. In the FA Vase, their best run came during the 2014/15 season. They beat Abbey Hey, Dronfield Town, AFC Darwen and Newcastle Benfield before losing to AFC Mansfield in the 4th Round. Local honours include the Manchester League Murray Shield in 1965 and the Gilgryst Cup in 1970. They also won the Oldham Amateur League Challenge Cup in 1955 and the Manchester Challenge Trophy in 1972.

The club's record attendance of 2,352 came for a game against FC United of Manchester in 2006. The most famous player to turn out for Chadderton is David Platt. The future England international was born in the town and played for their youth team. They also had John Pemberton, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Leeds United defender in his younger days. Other players include Take That's Mark Owen and Northern Irish international Steve Jones. The town of Chadderton is in Greater Manchester, a mile from Oldham and six miles from Manchester. It has a population of around 35,000. Chadderton's urbanisation and expansion coincided largely with developments in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. A late-19th century factory-building boom transformed Chadderton from a rural township into a major mill town and the second most populous urban district in the United Kingdom. More than 50 cotton mills had been built in Chadderton by 1914. The import of cheaper foreign materials killed off the trade with the last production in 1998.


This game was decided around five days before. There was a real lack of choice of new grounds on this day, though I favoured Hartpury University. However, Anwar was not keen and had turned it down on a number of occasions. I expect that I will have to do it on my own as I need it as my final ground in the Hellenic D1. I did plan to go on my own, but then Anwar had a suggestion. He really fancied doing Salford and was happy to help out with petrol. Normally, I'd not fancy such a long drive, but I figured that it would make more sense to go somewhere where other hoppers could come with me. Fellow hopper Colin was also keen and that meant it would be a reasonably priced night for all of us. I would drop them at Salford and head off to Chadderton myself, with Abbey Hey as a backup.

Talking of Colin, the fallout from 'Pastagate' had continued. After dropping a load of pasta on Dan's car floor and smearing it over his seats, he refused to clear it up. He also refused to help with the cleaning costs, calling Dan 'lazy' for not cleaning it up. It then took him eight days to even properly answer Dan's messages and then only when he wondered why he wasn't being offered a lift to AFC Sudbury on Friday. I don't blame Dan TBH as Colin forever insults him about his weight despite having a pot belly. Richard, another hopper who he has got many lifts off said he displayed 'these are the hallmarks of a total slob' and had also banned him, as had Tractor, a Clacton & Ipswich fan. For me, he is on his last chance as he always leaves rubbish behind and has been badly behaved on a couple of occasions before. Happily, he was OK on this trip. Though he was unrepentant about the mess in Dan's car. He claimed that he was no loss as he had his mate back giving lifts. He also claimed that Dan could f**k off as his attitude stank. How Colin sees himself as the victim in this situation is beyond me, but I am happy to remain good mates with both. 

After a couple of mediocre revisits to Holmer Green and Chinnor, Saturday was a very happy day. It was the usual pre-match in the Rose & Crown and then a pizza from Mozarella Hut. I was greedy and had a 15-inch to myself as it was only a quid more than the 12-inch. I was then to Adams Park in the usual decent company of Anwar & Colin for a glorious Wycombe win as we beat Derby County 3-2. It was then back to the pub and then a walk home, all in all, a very boozy & happy day.  It was the standard purgatory of Sunday but I did have the bonus of steak for dinner. Monday saw a far quicker-than-usual trip to work than usual. Though the place was like a creche with everyone bringing their kids in. Although on balance, the extra half hour in bed on Wednesday morning would be greatly appreciated. I spent Monday evening researching Chadderton's history and also food options for pre-match. I settled upon a place called Dynabite and thought I'd allowed myself plenty of time for any traffic woes.
The day of the game came and I'd had a reasonable night's sleep for once. After getting ready, I walked to town and back although I didn't buy anything. I came back and checked the oil and tyres on my car as it was a pretty long journey. After some lunch, I left at 1.45. It was a good journey over to Colin with me getting there at 2. That was where the good luck ended though and it was a dreadful journey over to Anwar, taking 45 minutes. This was due to two sets of roadworks with absolutely nothing going on. I picked Anwar and his lad Hicham up and we were quickly on our way. The journey to the M40 was delayed through Aylesbury's abysmal road system but the M40 itself was fine. The M42 saw delays due to a BMW on fire and there was further delay as there had been a crash between two careless drivers. The festering turd that was the M6 was the prime offender though. Always terrible, we crawled most of the way up and hit Manchester right on rush hour. Of course, it was busy and it was 7.15 by the time I made my drop off at Salford. Thankfully it was a good journey to Chadderton and I was parked up five minutes before kickoff after a six-hour journey and two-hour delay. Entry was £5 to get in, great value. I was sad that everything had been so rushed though as I'd have liked to visit the club shop, which understandably had closed.

Chadderton were unbeaten in 16 matches in all competitions - they had last lost in October when they went out of the Macron Cup and Manchester Premier Cup. Their last league defeat had been on 17th September when they lost 3-1 against AFC Blackpool. They'd won their last game 3-0 against Cleator Moor Celtic and had also beaten Atherton LR 1-0 and won 3-1 at Darwen. There had also been draws against FC St Helens, Daisy Hill and Steeton. The hosts were top whilst the visitors were third. Ilkley Town had been in decent form too and had won their latest game 2-1 against Bacup Borough. They'd also won 3-2 at Pilkington and 3-1 at Runcorn Town. They'd also had draws at Euxton Villa and against Darwen as well as a 1-0 defeat at Holker Old Boys. In the end, it was a pretty dull game. Ilkley shaded the first half but it was Chadderton who took the lead on 33 minutes through James Purfield. I was up the other end though so I had a poor view. It was a game of few chances but plenty of effort, not the best watch to be honest. But I was hardly in the best frame of mind to enjoy the game after the horrendous journey. It's why I dislike driving so much as no one in my local group is qualified to share the burden, so I can't relax.
From there, I headed to Asda to get petrol which was 5p a litre cheaper than back home. I was back in Salford at 10.10 and we headed to a local takeaway called Frazers. It took half an hour to come, but my Frazinger wrap meal was excellent for £6.50 and we eat it in store. We left just after 11 and luckily, it was a far better journey home. Even with lane closures and speed restrictions, I dropped Anwar off at 2.15, Colin off at 2.40 and got home at 2.50. It took me ages to get to sleep and in the end, I only had less than three hours. I felt fine the next morning though. Though the night had been largely disappointing, Wycombe had won 2-0 at Accrington which softened the blow of losing defender Alfie Mawson to a premature retirement. The fans were caught up in the traffic and despite our late departure, we had passed both the team and supporters coach on the way home. I even heard of some fans that didn't arrive at Accrington until 9.10 because of the dreadful roads.

ANDREW STREET or THE FALCON FIRE STADIUM as it is known for sponsorship purposes is a great ground for the level. It has a full-length cover along one side with standing for around 200 and seating for around 100. The rest of the ground is open, aside from a small disabled area near the tea bar. There are several good vantage points around the pitch. Food is restricted to hot dogs and pies but is well-priced. The bar is very smart and offers a great view of the pitch. It also looks great lit up at night. There's a decent amount of parking nearby and the town is less than five minutes walk away with a wide range of places to eat and drink.


These pictures are from Saturday 1st October 2011. They were taken as part of a mini football grounds tour on the way to Rochdale 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers.

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