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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

Cheshunt FC

The Stadium, Theobalds Lane, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
Telephone: 01992 626752 
Nickname: The Ambers
Southern League
Website

Note The original Cheshunt FC was formed in 1880, but it was disbanded in 1931 due to the loss of its ground. It was at the time the oldest amateur club in Hertfordshire. In 1946 a group of local businessmen decided to resurrect the club, using Crossbrook Sports, a local team, as the basis for the new team. Initially home games were played at the Gothic sports ground before moving to College Road the following season.

The club was promoted to the London League Premier division for the 1949-50 season playing at the newly opened Cheshunt stadium. They won the championship, reached the 3rd round of the Amateur Cup, beating holders Bromley in front of 5,000 spectators and reached the Herts Senior Cup Final again. However, drainage problems forced the club to move to Brookfield Lane until returning to the stadium at the start of the 1958-59 season where they have played to this present day.

It was a very gloomy morning when I visited Theobalds Lane, and I confess that I am not particularly happy with the photographs on this page. Nevertheless, the best adjective I can use to describe the overall appearance of the ground is ‘tired’, notwithstanding the hard work that was going on around me at the time. Indeed, it is typical of many current and former Isthmian League grounds I have visited. The low roofed brick stand dates from when the ground was first opened; and is certainly not helped by having its rear wall painted a deep blue colour which makes it appear somewhat cramped and unwelcoming. It is set some way back from the touchline, as is a much newer area of covered terrace – the Kurtis Townsend stand – adjacent. This has three smart yellow topped crush barriers and the clubhouse behind.

Both ends are uncovered, but there is a further covered stand on the opposite side of the pitch. This has a canteliver roof and its rear wall painted in the club colours. However, it is unfortunately set too far back behind the dugouts. The main problem with Theobalds Lane is, unusually, too much space. There were indeed bold plans for the ground to become a multi-sport venue in the immediate post-war years, but these never materialized. One cannot help but think that it would have much more character if its stands were closer to the touchline. DB