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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

Hinckley United FC

Marstonís Stadium, Leicester Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 3DR
Telephone: 01455 840088
Nickname: The Knitters
Conference North
Official website Unofficial Website

Note Hinckley United FC was formed in June 1997, following the amalgamation of Hinckley Athletic FC and Hinckley Town FC. Athletic were the older of the two clubs, having been formed in 1889, and their Middlefield Lane ground (purchased in 1946 for £500) was chosen as home for the newly formed United club. Town was a much younger club, formed in 1958 but the more successful of the two, competing in the Southern League. However, their old premises in Leicester Road became the training ground for the new club, with Downes Sports FC (Leicestershire Senior League) also moving in from their lesser premises, also in Leicester Road. The sale of the aging and rather decrepit Middlefield Lane ground for £3.5 million enabled the club to build a new stadium in Leicester Road, adjacent to the old Town ground, with the first game being played in 5 March 2005. The move saw Hinckley Townís old ground become Unitedís Reserve venue, with Downes Sports moving back to their old home ... hope that all makes sense!

A visit to the Leicester Road site therefore, not only offers an opportunity to view a splendid new stadium, but also two other grounds as well. The Marstonís Brewery paid a quarter of a million pounds to have the stadium named after them for the next ten years, and must be delighted with the result. It makes a pleasant change to see the money from the sale of a clubís old ground invested on a high quality stadium, rather than a bland, cheap-looking functional alternative. The sand coloured brickwork is very attractive, whilst the clubs red and blue livery is subtly represented throughout, when it could so easily have been crass and over-powering. For the time being the ground only has stands on three sides, whilst a new training area is developed on the west side. The main stand incorporates sundry offices and reception facilities, and in addition affords a fine view and seats 630 spectators. In addition, two large well-tiered covered terraces on the east and north (Tom Powers Stand) sides accommodate a further 2,000+ spectators between them. DB