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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Backwell United FC

Backwell Recreation Ground
West Town Road
Backwell
Avon

Telephone: 01275 462612

Website: None

Nickname: The Stags

The Bill Coggins Stand on far side

Near touchline

Terracing outside clubhouse

Near goal

Far goal

After having spent the pre-war years playing at various venues in the local area, Backwell United moved to the Recreation Ground (aka The Playing Fields) when they reformed after WW2.

The club entered senior football as members of the Somerset League in 1970, and it was at this time that any serious development of the ground began to take place, with the provision of new changing rooms on the near touchline (south side). Between 1979 and 1983 the club won four successive league titles and were promoted to the Western League.

During this time, a clubhouse was added to the near side of the pitch and has subsequently been extended. For fair weather supporters a good view can be obtained through a series of large windows, although this may be obscured by supporters standing on the few steps of terracing immediately outside.

Further developments were hindered by a series of protracted battles with local planners, that saw the club denied promotion. The club had to wait until 1993 to erect floodlights, whilst new changing rooms also went up the same year, where an overhanging roof provides some shelter for spectators. Floodlights allowed the club to once again push for promotion, which they achieved at the end of the 1994-95 season.

Whilst both ends of the ground remain open to the elements, 2003 saw the beginnings of development along the far touchline, with the building of a new stand towards the near goal. At the time of my visit (February 2004) this was nearing completion. The stand is named in memory of Bill Coggins, former club secretary and a lifelong member of the club, who died during the 1998-99 season.

The Recreation Ground is typical of many County League venues, with a pronounced slope to the pitch a further noteworthy point.

Ground details
Capacity: 1,000
Seats: 60
Floodlights: Yes

Directions
Near the centre of Backwell on main A370 Bristol to Weston-super-Mare road

By rail and bus
Nailsea & Backwell (BR): 20 minute walk. Buses available from Bristol and Weston-super-Mare