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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

Royston Town FC

Garden Walk
Royston
Herts
SG8 7HP

Telephone: 01763 241204

Website

Nickname: The Crows

The stand

Dugout

Founded in 1875, the only club in Hertfordshire older than the Crows is Bishop’s Stortford. Garden Walk is the club’s third ground during their long history, having previously played at Newmarket Road, Baldock Road, and Mackerell Hall before moving to the current ground in 1923.

After winning the Herts County League for a third time in 1976/77, the club won promotion to Division Two (North) of the Isthmian League, and on restructuring in 1991 found themselves in Division Three.

The club has never been particularly well-supported (the record crowd  is 876 for the visit of Aldershot Town in 1993) and quite rightly were less than impressed when they were instructed to construct a new stand opposite the exisiting structure at an estimated cost of £20,000. Rather than comply with the ruling, Royston resigned from the Isthmian League after ten seasons, and instead joined the Spartan South Midlands League where they have remained.

One of the legacies of their spell in the Isthmian League is the stand, positioned mid-way along the far touchline on the cemetary side of the ground. Erected in 1984, it replaced an earlier timber structure and is constructed largely from brick with a sloping metal roof supported by ten posts. The official seated capacity is 300, although this is largely on benches, with only a modest number of seats provided in the central portion. Opposite are a couple of rather nice wooden dugouts. The far end is undeveloped, except for the hard standing than runs around the playing area.

The clubhouse and dressing rooms are behind the near goal and date from 1974, whilst the floodlights were switched on in September 1981.

Although rather hemmed in by housing, Garden Walk is certainly a better County League ground. Opportunites for development however are limited and the club have been seeking an alternative home for some time. However, in the spring of 2004 the club were rocked by the news that although they had won support at local council level, planning permission for a new ground at Ivy Farm had been turned down by the Government Office for the East of England.

It would appear therefore, that the Crows will be nesting at Garden Walk for a little while longer.

Ground details
Capacity: 4,000
Seats: 300
Floodlights: Yes

Directions
From Baldock take the A505 to the Royston bypass. Turn right at the 2nd island onto the A10 towards London and the 2nd turning on the left is Garden Walk.

By rail
Royston (BR)