Thursday, 7 August 2008
A ROUGH GUIDE TO ROBIN PARK ARENA
As the Stadio de Robin Park (or more commonly known as th'athletics stadium) prepares for the first Vodkat North West Counties game the good folk at Bobbin' Along will take you on a virtual tour of the stadium. Buckle your seat belts and enjoy...
The stadium is the only all-seater stadium in the NWCL - apart from those people that are stood around the ground fagging the ball. It is also the only stadium in the world that is located in between two rivers. To the east runs the world famous River Douglas (or Duggy to the locals). The next bit is from Nickapedia - I'll credit it unlike some Wigan authors that seem to rely on it for research. Mr Maconie? Not saying a word.
Anyroad here's what Nick says: The River Douglas, also known as the River Asland, is a river that flows through Lancashire and Greater Manchester in the north-west of England. It is a tributary of the River Ribble and has itself two tributaries, the River Tawd and the River Yarrow.
At Tarleton, the Douglas is joined by the Rufford Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. In 1714 an act of Parliament was passed allowing Robert Holt of Crooke Hall to make the Douglas navigable to small ships. The river rises on Winter Hill on the West Pennine Moors, and flows for 35 miles through the town centre of Wigan and onto the Ribble estuary past Tarleton, the last 10 miles or so being tidal. In 1892 the Douglas was diverted in Wigan to the site of Wigan Central railway station.
In real terms it's a dirty old stream where you occasionally spot fish amongst the dead prams and Asda trolleys!
On the western side of the ground runs the Loire river. Well that's not stictly true. It's more a road called Loire Drive that I assume the council named Loire as Wigan's twin town Angers is in the Loire Valley. There is also an Anjou Boulevard - how can you have a boulevard in Wigan WN5? While Soho Street and Frith Street are around the Asda area. I can only assume the council named these due to the world famous Wigan Jazz festival and that as the Soho area is long associated with jazz and Ronnie Scott's jazz club is in, Frith Street, Soho W1. Either that or the sleazy bars and brothels in the area. I'm not entirely sure why Montrose Avenue is named Montrose though!
The stand on the west side is where you'll find the Wigan Robin Bastards and is affectionally known as Robin's Nest after the tea bar below and the 70s sitcom featuring Richard O'Sullivan as Robin Tripp. This is the rowdy section and you may here these old men belt out "Red, Red Robin" (to the tune of Al Jolson's classic) or "We're Wigan Robin Bastards" (to the tune of You Dirty Northern Bastards).
Another classic song (ok I made it up earlier and to the tune of Robin Hood) is:
"Robin Park, Robin Park
Charging through the glen
Robin Park, Robin Park
And their drunken men
Football that is rich
Prices for the poor
Robin Park, Robin Park, Robin Park"
There will be loads more songs as the season progresses. They'll come to fruition on the trains and in clubhouses such as Holker Old Boys and I guess drink will be involved.
Opposite this is the Riverside Stand. Name after the old Kentucky Fried Chicken Box stand at Central Park.
The end at the north of the ground could be called the JJB Stand or we could even copy those imaginitive people at Whelan Towers and call it the North Stand. But no - we believe in tradition and it shall be known as the Shevvy End after the grass knoll at Springfield Park.
The opposite end is Th'Asda End.
An athletics track surrounds the pitch. Here you will see all sights and sizes trying to get fit for the Olympics. That's the Olympic Kebab House, Beech Hill. It also gives the assistant referees and referess some space between themselves and Golly when he is in full-baiting mode.
And that concludes the virtual tour.
We'll see you in the bar after the game - mine's a Kronenberg!
All the very best to the players, management and everybody involved at Wigan Robin Park FC for the 2008/9 season