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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

Croydon Athletic FC

Mayfields, off Mayfield Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey CR7 6DN
Telephone: 020 8664 8343 / 020 8684 4951
Nickname: The Rams
Isthmian League

Note Croydon Athletic FC has its origins in an amalgamation between two local clubs as recently as 1986. Norwood FC had been playing on the current Mayfields ground (previously the NFC Sports Ground) since 1982; whilst Wandsworth FC had no permanent home. The merger resulted in the birth of Wandsworth & Norwood FC. Both sides were suited by the arrangement because Wandsworth had senior status while Norwood had a ground. A general meeting was called in 1989 to discuss a change of name and the following year Croydon Athletic was born.

The Mayfields ground at the time was a far cry from what exists today, with no hard standing, a small corrugated iron cover; and a clubhouse described as a glorified scout hut. The current facilities are therefore a glowing testament to the phenomenal amount of hard work carried out by the club.

Promotion to the Isthmian League arrived in 1997, and the club was in a position to move up the pyramid: covered step terracing had been built opposite the main stand and shallow terracing behind one goal, subsequently named in memory of former player Paul Muir, killed in tragic circumstances. Big improvements were also made to the dressing rooms.

The most recent addition to the ground is the simple but smart new stand which is a vast improvement the rather unattractive construction of breezeblock and scaffolding poles that preceded it.

Tucked away behind a cemetery and reached via a long approach road, prospective visitors are advised to consult the directions on the informative club website. Mayfields is a pleasant venue although you would be wise to resist the temptation of leaving your wife at nearby Ikea (the chimneys of the old power station are clearly visible) whilst you take in a match! DB