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Around The Grounds: Saltergate (aka The Recreation Ground), Former Home Of Chesterfield FC

By Chris Wright

Alas, Chesterfield no longer play at Saltergate having moved to the altogether more salubrious environs of the 10,500-capacity Proact (formerly b2net) Stadium across town back in 2010, but their spiritual home will forever be Saltergate – the club’s slopy-pitched, rickety, rusty home for their first 139 years of existence.

The first incarnation of The Spireites took up residency at The New Recreation Ground (as it was then known) in 1871 after splitting from Chesterfield Cricket Club to form a football team in its own right and, while the club have rejigged themselves several times over the subsequent years, each venture played at Saltergate up until 2010.

As you’re about to see, Saltergate embodies the English football league ground perfectly; looking every single one of its 139 years with its faded wooden seats, dog-eared terraces and peeling paintwork all combining to give the ground that almost intangible air of lower league footballing romance…

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League One - Chesterfield v Nottingham Forest - Saltergate

Soccer - Nationwide League Division Two - Chesterfield v Tranmere Rovers

Soccer - Nationwide League Division Two - Chesterfield v Tranmere Rovers

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Mansfield Town - Saltergate

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Mansfield Town - Saltergate

Soccer - Nationwide League Division Two - Chesterfield v Tranmere Rovers

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Mansfield Town - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Second Round - Chesterfield v Droylsden - Saltergate

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Mansfield Town - Saltergate

Soccer - Coca-Cola Football League Two - Chesterfield v Darlington - Recreation Ground

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Chesterfield v Sheffield United - Recreation Ground

Soccer - FA Cup - Round 6 - Chesterfield v Wrexham - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Round 6 - Chesterfield v Wrexham - Saltergate

Soccer - FA Cup - Round 6 - Chesterfield v Wrexham - Saltergate

Soccer - Nationwide League Division Three - Chesterfield v Kidderminster Harriers

Knackered, run-down and utterly beautiful.

(Photos: PA)

More in Pies’ Around The Grounds series…

Griffin Park, Brentford
De Kuip, Feyenoord

Upton Park, West Ham

San Mames, Athletic Bilbao

FC Gspon’s Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium, The Highest Pitch In Europe

Valley Parade, Bradford City
Prenton Park, Tranmere
Wankdorf, Young Boys

Estadio Municipal, SC Braga

Home Park, Plymouth Argyle

Victoria Park, Hartlepool United
Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
Ninian Park, Cardiff City
Wankdorf Stadium, Young Boys
Portman Road, Ipswich Town
Recreation Ground, Aldershot

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By Chris on May 23rd, 2013 in Featured, Football League, Newsnow, Photos. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
comments

9 Responses to “Around The Grounds: Saltergate (aka The Recreation Ground), Former Home Of Chesterfield FC”

  1. Bakes says:

    Went to watch Notts C*nty play Chessie here with some of my C*nty loving pals a few years ago. Firmly cemented its place as one of my favourite grounds.

  2. Phil says:

    These are brilliant, keep it up

  3. Per says:

    Glorious!

  4. That Terry Lewis says:

    Should have mentioned it stood in for the Baseball Ground in Damned United. Didn’t have to do anything to dress it up! Beautiful.

  5. the69ersfc says:

    Excellent pictures & I don’t have to click and wait to see them all.
    Well done Mr Pies.
    Made my one and only visit to the wonderful old stadium in August 2002 for a pre-season game between Boro & The Spireites. I accosted Steve Mclaren in the car park and had a quick chat + photo with the great man!
    Stood on the covered terrace behind the goal & I reckon I was perhaps the only Boro fan in the ground (the away end and terrace to our left was shut).
    Boro won 3-0 with a young Brazillian Arturo Bernhardt turning in a decent performance.

  6. EdTheRed says:

    went there for Chesterfield vs. Reading in the late 90s. I remember the epic mascot Chester the Fieldmouse. We were the only black family in the stadium, which was pretty confusing for a six year old from London, but everyone was really friendly

  7. [...] Molineux, Wolves The New Maracana, Rio De Janeiro Griffin Park, Brentford De Kuip, Feyenoord Upton Park, West Ham San Mames, Athletic Bilbao FC Gspon’s Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium, The Highest Pitch In Europe Valley Parade, Bradford City Prenton Park, Tranmere Wankdorf, Young Boys Estadio Municipal, SC Braga Home Park, Plymouth Argyle Victoria Park, Hartlepool United Bloomfield Road, Blackpool Ninian Park, Cardiff City Wankdorf Stadium, Young Boys Portman Road, Ipswich Town Recreation Ground, Aldershot Saltergate, Former Home Of Chesterfield [...]

  8. [...] The photographer of the second picture, Chris Wright, has a fantastic selection of pictures that captures Saltergate’s embodiment of league football. Check them out here. [...]

  9. chris says:

    remember seeing cfc beating the proper sheff united, currie salmons etc 1-0. brill place.

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