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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

Spalding United FC

Sir Halley Stewart Field
Winfrey Avenue
PE11 1DA

Telephone: 01775 713328


Nickname: The Tulips

Main stand & snack bar

Behind far goal


Action shot showing far side

Tulips water tower
outside ground

Formed in 1921, Spalding United FC succeeded two older clubs in the town, namely Spalding Thursday and Spalding Town. Their home has always been the Sir Halley Stewart Field, although in those early days it was known as Black Swan Field, after the nearby pub.

The ground went into council ownership in the 1930s and this has proved a double-edged sword for the club in recent years: beautifully maintained but expensive!  In 1954 it acquired the name of local MP Sir Halley Stewart and was given to the club on a permanent basis.

In todayís increasing climate of out of town developments, the Sir Halley Stewart Field is relatively unusual in that it is actually in the middle of Spalding. This makes it worthwhile arriving a little early and taking trouble to wander around the quite attractive town centre. There is ample (pay & display) parking outside the ground, and plenty of places to eat and drink. The ground is overlooked by an imposing art deco-style structure (possibly a converted water tower), resplendent with two large tulips on itís facia (bulbs being the main business of the area).

Inside, the ground could best be described as having a distinctly County League feel to it, albeit one of the better examples. This is not altogether surprising considering that Spalding had alternated between the United Counties League and Southern League over the years, before being placed in the Northern Premier League Division One following restructuring in 2004.

The main stand is situated on the half-way line, and predominately built from brick and steel. Dressing rooms and toilets are beneath. Seated accommodation is provided by benches, which arenít especially comfortable, reached by stairs leading up from the front of the stand. The official seated capacity is apparently 1,000 but supporters would really have to get friendly if this were the case! The view is obviously better from an elevated position although one cannot see the touchline very well. The rear of the stand which incorporates the announcers box, is painted in the Club colours of orange. Adjacent to the stand is a snack bar selling the usual array of half time fare.

The only other cover is behind the far goal. However, this is set back some way from the perimeter fence, which itself has quite a way from the goal. There is no terracing anywhere in the ground, although there is a pronounced slope at the covered end.

Hard standing is around the other two sides of the pitch, with a large expanse of grass on the far side of the pitch. The clubhouse is situated behind the near goal, near to the main entrance to the ground. Itís pretty basic but comfortable enough and provides the pre-requisite of a TV on which to catch up with the results elsewhere. It would appear that a fair number of the home supporters prefer to watch the match on the steps of the clubhouse.

Ground details
Capacity: 3,500
Seats: 1,000
Floodlights: Yes.

In the town centre, off the A16 and adjacent to the bus station.

By rail
Spalding (BR) 250 yards