Abbey Stadium Goredale Avenue Gorton Manchester M18 7HD.
Abbey Hey FC was formed in 1902 in the Abbey Hey district of Gorton, some three miles away from the centre of Manchester. During their formative years and through the two World Wars, the club was disbanded and reformed on a number of occasions. Starting in the Church Sunday Leagues, they progressed through the Manchester Amateur Leagues during the intervening years but the club really came into it’s own in the 1960s after it took in the players of the Admiralty Gunning Engineering Department following it’s closure.
In 1978 with the club decided to apply for a position in the Manchester League, this meant that the club had to find an enclosed ground suitable for playing their home games. The nearest ground available at the time was in Chorlton at Werburghs Road.
In 1984 the club at last had their own home, improvements to the ground could only have been achieved by the hard work and dedication of the committee, who not only raised the money to carry out the improvements but also carried out 90% of the work themselves.
Promotion to the 1st Division meant that the club had to install floodlights. True to form, they designed, ordered, erected and wired them within a couple of months. The biggest job during the ground improvements was the building of the new clubhouse and dressing rooms. Planning permission was given with the majority of work once again being carried out by the club’s own members.
This is a story of persistence and commitment from members, managers and players – keeping a viable non-league football team alive at the centre of a Community.
I have cycled by here for years, along the Fallowfield Loop – and worked down here in the Seventies when the rail link was still extant.
Photo – Neil Ferguson-Lee via Robert Todd and Levy Boy.
So today seeing the gates open, I decided to take a look around the ground – many thanks to groundsman Simon for taking the time to stop and chat.
Everything is spick and span, the playing surface in excellent nick, and all the stands seat and fences standing smartly to attention, having had a fresh coat of paint.
So let’s take a look around:
I’ll be back to watch a match, just as soon as the rules and regulations allow!