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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

Witney United FC

Marriotts Stadium, Downs Road, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7WT
Telephone: 01993 702549
Nickname: The Blanketmen
Hellenic League

Note Witney United FC was formed in 2001 by, as thankfully sometimes happens, by a group of dedicated Witney Town supporters after the Southern League club folded the previous season. The loss of Town left Witney and its football followers without a senior club to play at the attractive ground in nearby Curbridge until the new United club was able to acquire the lease in 2002.

Originally named Oakey Park after the Town Chairman Aubrey Oakey who masterminded the club’s relocation to an out-of-town site, the re-christened Marriotts Stadium is appropriately a reference to the old club’s much-loved ground in Marriott’s Close (originally Mr Marriott’s Field) which was home for much of its life and had been purchased by Oakey and his Committee in 1968.

Despite horrendous problems with drainage of the new pitch, not to mention the off-field issues that resulted in Town’s end, the legacy was, eventually, an out-of-town stadium that is rather better than the norm for such developments. The stand, with its unusual roof offers an excellent unobstructed view, with large picture windows providing an indoor alternative when the weather is bad (I know, because I have taken advantage of them for a Witney Town vs Langney Sports game some years back). The building also houses a night club and good social facilities. A low covered terrace stands opposite, whilst there is a further area of cover behind the near goal. DB