Welcome to The 100 Football Grounds Club

Welcome to Shaun Smith's Groundhopping blog ...
 'The 100 Football Grounds Club'(est.2006) ... the original internet ground logging website.
Check out my blog reports and pictures from over 400 different football grounds in the A-Z Matchday Index

site updated on post date

New Year's Honours List

The 100FgC 2017 Accolades

*Best Match Attended*
Newcastle United U-18 3-5 Tottenham Hotspur U-18
FA Youth Cup QF, 27th February

*Best Goal of the Year*
Coutinho for Liverpool away at Newcastle
1st October

*Favourite Previously Uncharted Senior Ground*
Gayfield Park - Arbroath

*Favourite Previously Uncharted Non-League Ground*
Gander Green Lane - Sutton United

*Best My Matchday*
Yoker and Ashfield (Glasgow Beano)

*Best Pre/Post-Match Bevvy*
Imperial Brewery Tap - Mexborough

*Silver 'Spoon Award*
Old Unicorn - Bramley

Bit of a struggle to pick a best of this year, not even a 'Scabby-eye of the Year' award giving for 2017. :(
Last year's winners

✔593 London Stadium

West Ham United 2-3 Newcastle United
Premier League
Saturday 23rd December 2017
London Stadium

(Premier & EFL grounds visited 92/92)
Capacity 66,000 (restricted to 57,000 on match days)
London Stadium is located in Stratford, east London at Marshgate Lane in the Lower Lea Valley. The stadium was built for the 2012 Olympics, with the construction costing around £486m. Since the Games a further £200m has been spent on further upgrading the facilities, including the construction of the largest cantilevered roof in the world. The stadium has also had its capacity reduced from the original 80,000 and awarded UEFA ‘Category Four’ status.

The stadium is a bowl like design, split into two tiers with 14 large triangular towers fitted into the front of the translucent roof. In 2016 West Ham United were awarded the stadium tenancy, the decision was a controversial one, with the initial tenancy process having to be rerun. Since then the black and white seating design from the Olympic games, have been replaced with white, claret and blue colours. The new design includes West Ham's name on the East Kop Stand and the club crest on all lower tier stands, and the retention of the 2012 shard design on the upper tier in new colouring to match the Stadium's tenant. During 2016 the stadium became more homely, with the club's colours and giant model West Ham shirts added to the stadium concourse, plus a club store and coffee shop.
 West Ham United reformed in 1900 originating from Thames Ironworks who were founded in 1895. The Hammers moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904 which remained their home for the next 112 years. I only visited Upton Park the once, as once was enough for me, way back in February 1985 for a First Division clash. I nearly got my head kicked in and feared for my personal safety all afternoon, made to feel as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit, so after that experience I was never keen to return. The match finished in a 1-1 draw with Paul Allen scoring for the hosts and Chris Waddle replying for the Magpies.

The following season the Hammers finished 3rd in Football League First Division in 1985-86, their highest placing in England’s top tier. They have won the FA Cup on three occasions in 1964, 1975 and 1980 (runners-up 1923,2006) and have also lifted the European Cup-Winners-Cup in 1965 (runners-up 1981)

West Ham United (15th) v Newcastle United(18th)

Premier League matchday 19
3pm ko
In an entertaining encounter at the London Stadium, it was Senegalese midfielder Henri Saivet,  making his first Premier League start for the Magpies, that played a big part in the opening period.
After six minutes his sloppy crossfield pass was picked up by Hammers forward Marko Arnautovic, who raced into the area before slotting past Rob Elliot, but he soon made amends four minutes later, curling in a 25-yard free-kick that sneaked inside Adrian's near post.
The Toon should have been ahead before the break, with Gayle and Ritchie both hitting the woodwork, before deservingly going in front, when Mo Diame fired in from Christian Atsu's pass in the 53rd minute.
That lead looked short-lived after the hosts won a penalty when Michail Antonio was brought down by Ciaran Clark, although replays show the tackle was made just outside the penalty area. However justice was done, when Elliot pulled off a fine save to keep out Andre Ayew's low effort.
The visitors went further ahead, when a quick break saw Joselu tee up Atsu to make it 3-1, but David Moyes' side got themselves back in it with 20 minutes remaining, when Ayew smashed home after Andy Carroll's header was parried.
As a pessimistic Toon fan, I thought it was just a matter of time before Newcastle conceded the equaliser, but we survived a frantic closing spell to secure a much needed victory that brought huge relief for the 3,000 travelling fans.

Matchday Stats

WHU 2(Arnautovic 6, Ayew 69)
NUFC 3(Saivet 10, Diame 53, Atsu 61)
Top Bloke - Christian Atsu (Newcastle United)
Entertainment 9/10
Admission £30
Programme £3.50


278 miles door-to-door via A1/M1/M11
I wasn’t looking forward to this trip at all. Spending half the day on the crackerjacks party bus to go and see my team, who are in stinking form with just one point from the last nine games. It’s a rarity nowadays for Newcastle to play at a ground I’ve never been to, so this match was always on my t’do list when the fixtures were released in the summer.
My old Toon fan mucker Ian Patrick with his son Lee, picked me up at 5am to head to the pick-up point for the coach. Apart from stopping off at a service station to bin hundreds of empty beer cans, the charabanc made good time to get us to the stadium just after noon.  
On arrival I sloped off by myself for a few pints in Stratford, calling at the Goldengrove (JDW) The Goose and the King Edward VII, being the only Geordie amongst a sea of claret and blue in each pub.
So after dreading this trip it ended up being a cracking day, with a nice drink in Stratford followed by a tremendous away win for the Toon and to top it off the coach made great time to drop us off at 10.30pm. There’s no better feeling than seeing your team win away, especially at this time of the year when we’re desperate for a victory, so all I can say is.. Merry Christmas the run is over!

At the beginning of the season the Premier League odds suggested that Spurs were going to have another good season, although not quite as good as their second place finish in the 2016/17 season. They are expected to finish in the top four this season, meaning that as they move into their new stadium ready for the 2018/19 season, it is expected that the fans will get to witness Champions League football in their new stadium.
With a capacity of 61,000 the new stadium will be slightly bigger than their rivals’ Arsenal as well as other big clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea. We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest stadiums in English football in our infographic below.

Odyssey through the Alphabet

Following on from 100FgC Squad #1 having a book published this year,(that’s me by the way) another one of our merry band of ‘hoppers has followed suit. One of my former travel companions and a star of many of my old blogs (along with his other half) has written a gem, an incredible idea and a groundhopping challenge, that I’m extremely jealous of. (wish I thought of it first)

Odyssey through the Alphabet is a football adventure from A to Z. A journey to visit a different football club and a new ground in order of the alphabet, all achieved in a season long quest.
As someone who understands how difficult it is to get the public interested in your publication, having released “a cult classic” rather than a best seller this year, I’m only too pleased to give my fellow author a plug, so please show your support by checking out this Amazon link with details on how to purchase the book ... here

✔592 Damson Park

Solihull Moors 1-1 Gateshead
National League
Saturday 25th November 2017
Solihull is a town in the West Midlands, historically part of Warwickshire, found eight miles south-east of Birmingham.  (Population almost 210,000).
Solihull's name derives from the position of its parish church, St Alphege, on a 'soily' hill and its motto is Urbs in Rure (Town in Country). “Silhillians” live in one of the most affluent areas outside London, named as the best place to live in the UK in November 2013, by the uSwitch Quality of Life Index.
Solihull Moors FC was founded in 2007 by the merger of Moor Green and Solihull Borough. Moor Green F.C formed in 1901 and originated from the Hall Green area of south Birmingham, before moving to Solihull. Neighbours Solihull Borough date back to 1953, originally playing at Widney Lane in Solihull under the name Lincoln FC, before changing their name in 1969.

Following an arson attack at Moor Green's Moorlands Ground in 2005, the two clubs once again ground shared, having done so in 1989 when Solihull Borough were forced to sell Widney Lane due to financial problems.  In January 2007, the two clubs applied to the FA to merge, which was confirmed on the 30th March 2007. Solihull Moors were officially formed on the 1st June that year and took Moor Green's place in the Conference North. In 2015-16 the club won promotion as National League North champions and also lifted the Birmingham Senior Cup.
Damson Park
Automated Technology Group Stadium
Damson Parkway, Solihull, B91 2PP
Capacity 3,050 (770 seats)
Current National League grounds visited 22/24
The Main Stand has seats in front of the Social Club and changing room building, with an added shelf above which is used by club officials and sponsors. This side also has the team dugouts, clubshop and an additional section of open seating.
There is full width cover behind both goals, with the Damson Lane End split with half seats and terracing, while the DrainTech End has seven steps of terracing.
The far side of the ground is open, with clear views of the nearby Birmingham Airport Conning Towers behind it. At one side a small partially covered temporary seated stand has been added.
Solihull Moors(24th) v Gateshead(13th)
National League matchday 22
Weather:sunny and cold
Att.534 (107 away)
Gateshead had to settle for a point, following the dismissal of Russell Penn after two yellow card offences late in the first half.  Jordan Burrows had fired The Tynesiders ahead from the penalty spot in the 13th minute, after Darren Carter fouled JJ O’Donnell in the box, and they had chances to extend their lead before half time.
Solihull were on top in the second half and made the extra man advantage count, with Wes Atkinson heading in a Courtney Richards cross on 66 minutes.
The shared points means the Heed failed to make it three away wins on the bounce, while it's now six matches without a win for the Moors.
Matchday Stats
SMFC 1(Atkinson 66)
GFC 1(Burrow 13pen)
Top Bloke - Wes Atkinson (Solihull Moors)
Entertainment 6/10
Admission £15
Programme £3
Pin badge £3

Coffee £1.20
0735 Cross Country train to Birmingham New Street arr.1027
Return to Newcastle on the 1830 arr.2145
It’s been a long time since I was last in Birmingham, so before heading out to Solihull, I spent a few hours in the four pubs I needed to complete the Brum ‘Spoons. I then caught the 1240 train, but stopped off in Acocks Green for a pint first, before eventually arriving in Solihull at 1.35. The ground is a bit of a hike from the town centre, so after a drink in The White Swan I caught the x12 bus service at 2.15. Around our way if a bus is prefixed with an X, it means “express” and has less frequent stops, but this service went all around the doors, taking a good 20 minutes, but at least I got to see how nice Solihull is.
After the match I bumped into York based Keith Arthur (100FgC Squad#194) at the bus stop, so we had time for a catch up and a pint in the Post Office Vaults before we headed back north. A canny day out with the only fly in the ointment being a certain tribe of citizenry, who later boarded my train home gleeing with delight over a very rare win for their club.