Raydale Park

Raydale Park is a football stadium in Gretna, Scotland. It is home to Lowland League side Gretna 2008 and now has a capacity of 1,030.[1] Raydale formerly served as the home ground of Gretna until the club resigned from the Scottish Football League in 2008.

Raydale Park
Raydale Park - geograph.org.uk - 1157411.jpg
Raydale Park in 2009
Raydale Park is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Raydale Park
Raydale Park
Location in Dumfries and Galloway
LocationDominion Road, Gretna, DG16 5AP
Coordinates54°59′35.57″N 3°04′18.91″W / 54.9932139°N 3.0719194°W / 54.9932139; -3.0719194
OwnerRaydale Community Partnership
Capacity1,030 (138 seated)[1]
SurfaceArtificial (2021–)
Opened1946
Tenants
Gretna (1946–2008)
Gretna 2008 (2009–present)

HistoryEdit

Gretna played their home games at Raydale during their existence in English non-League football and then during their period in the Scottish Football League.

However, most of their home matches in the 2007–08 season were played at Fir Park, in Motherwell because Raydale did not meet SPL requirements.[2] This meant a 150-mile round trip for fans from the Gretna area. Gretna also played a UEFA Cup match (a 1–5 defeat to Derry City) at Fir Park because Raydale was inadequate for that competition.[3]

Gretna had planned to leave Raydale Park and move to an eco-stadium in Gretna Green.[4][5] These plans never came to fruition as the club suffered severe financial problems during the 2007–08 season.

These financial problems were expected to lead to the sale of the ground for a use other than football.[6] Supporters of Gretna F.C. formed Gretna 2008, a new club that started by playing their home matches at the Everholm Stadium in Annan. Dumfries and Galloway Council ruled out bidding for the stadium, which they wanted to preserve for recreational use. It was reported by the BBC that it was likely that Raydale would be sold to developers "outside football",[7] but the new buyers, Sawtry (IoM) allowed Gretna 2008 to move into Raydale in May 2009.[8]

In May 2011, Sawtry agreed to sell the ground, along with the social club and market on-site, to the Raydale Community Partnership, a group made up of members from a community council and from Gretna 2008. The £250,000 deal was finalised on 28 May 2011.

An artificial surface was installed during the summer of 2021.[9]

Greyhound racingEdit

A greyhound racing track was constructed around the pitch just after World War II. Racing took place on Wednesday at 7:30 pm and consisted of five-dog races (instead of the normal six-dog racing) over 300 and 480 yards.[10] Racing continued for forty years until Gretna F.C. needed to increase the size of the pitch in 1985.[11] The greyhound operation owned by James Norman and sons constructed and moved to a new purpose-built track called Halcrow Stadium to the west of Gretna.[12]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Raydale Park General Safety Certificate" (PDF). Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  2. ^ SPL groundshare plans 'shelved', BBC Sport, 3 March 2008
  3. ^ Gretna to face Derry in Uefa Cup, BBC Sport, 28 July 2006
  4. ^ Gretna Look to Go Green, Daily Record, 24 October 2007.
  5. ^ Gretna face eco-stadium dilemma, BBC Sport, 19 November 2007.
  6. ^ Gretna 'no longer in existence', BBC News, 2 June 2008.
  7. ^ BBC NEWS | Scotland | South of Scotland | Council rules out bid for stadium
  8. ^ Gretna enjoys football homecoming, BBC News, 2 May 2009.
  9. ^ "Work starts at Raydale for new 4G pitch". Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  10. ^ Furby, R (1968). Independent Greyhound Racing. New Dominion House. p. 80.
  11. ^ "Closures and openings over the past 10 years, July 1993, page 18". Greyhound Star. 1993.
  12. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. pp. 288–289. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.