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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

Rugby Town FC

Butlin Road
Warwickshire CV21 3ST

Telephone: 01788 844806


Nickname: The Valley


Photograph copyright of Rugby Town FC, reproduced with permission

Far touchline

Graveyard end

Allotment end

Main entrance

VS Bar

Construction of the main stand

The old VS (Valley Sports) Rugby moved to Butlin Road in 1973, taking over what was part of an allotment. The early to mid 1980s saw the Club’s glory days: winning the FA Vase in 1982/83; a record attendance of nearly 4,000 for the visit of near neighbours Northampton Town in the FA Cup in 1984, elevation to the Southern League, and promotion to the Premier Division as Midland Division champions in 1986/87. In 1993 however, the club came close to folding and it is good to see signs of a revival under the leadership of current Chairman Brian Melvin. The club changed its name again, from Rugby United to Rugby Town in 2005.

The general impression of Butlin Road is that the various facets of the ground have been added over a period of time, as it is certainly not homogenous in it’s appearance.

The newer developments can be found on the near touchline, and these are undeniably impressive. This side of the ground boasts a 500 seat cantilever stand incorporating changing room facilities, with the showers acquired from Manchester City's old ground at Maine Road. Dugouts from Filbert Street (Leicester City) are a further ‘new’ addition to Butlin Road.

A fairly basic low level seated stand straddles the half-way line on the far side of the pitch, with the enclosed press/announcers box no doubt providing welcome refuge from the elements when the weather is bad. Although not providing much in the way of an elevated view, this is nevertheless perfectly adequate. The stand is flanked by two rather unwieldly-looking extensions. These were erected during the brief reign of a former chairman who, I was informed, departed along with the additional seats that were originally intended to be placed underneath.

Further seating is also planned at the Allotment End of the ground, where there is currently an area of pretty basic covered terracing, with crush barriers, backed by an attractive expanse of trees. Opposite, at the cemetary end of the ground, is a more modern covered area. However, this large cantilever structure looks as though it should have seats under it, and appears rather out of proportion.

The final jewel in Rugby’s crown has to be the impressive VS Bar. Athough not as expansive as some clubhouses (although there are plans for it to be extended), the bar has to counted as amongst the most luxurious and well designed. Blown-up newspaper cuttings and photgraphs have been imaginatively used to decorate the walls, and a mock goal surrounds the bar area. from this are suspended four angled TV monitors that can be viewed from most areas of the bar. The toilets are also well worth a visit, and more akin to those one might encounter in a smart restaurant or hotel than a football ground. Regular visitors (to grounds and toilets) will know precisely what I mean!

Ground details
Capacity: 5,375
Cover: 1,000
Seats: 740
Floodlights: Yes

From M6 J1 North & South: The gound is situated off Clifton (B5414) on the north side of Rugby. Leave M6 J1 on to the A426 signposted ‘Rugby’. At the third roundabout turn left into Broughton Road. Continue along Boughton Road, and after passing railway viaduct turn right into Clifton Road (B5414). Proceed up hill over railway bridge. Take second turning on the left at mini island into Butlin Road.

By rail: Rugby Midland (1 mile).