BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Your team A-Z

You are in: London > Radio > The Non League Football Show > Your team A-Z > Ground of the Week : The Crabble Stadium

The Crabble Stadium

The Crabble Stadium

Ground of the Week : The Crabble Stadium

This week's ground of the week comes from Kent, and was nominated by quite a few Dover fans... it's the Crabble! Want to make your club ground of the week? Email nonleague@bbc.co.uk and tell us why.

Fact File

Address: The Seafrance Crabble Stadium, Crabble Athletic Ground,
Dover, Kent, CT17 0PA

Capacity: 6,500

Seats: 1,000

Getting there:

BY ROAD: From outside of Kent, find your way to the M25, then take the
M2/A2 (follow the signs for Canterbury, the signs for Dover will take
you down the M20) as far as the Whitfield roundabout (near the
Esso petrol station and McDonald's Drive-Thru).

Take the fourth exit at this roundabout, down Whitfield Hill.
At the bottom of the hill turn left at the roundabout and follow
this road until the first set of traffic lights.
At the lights turn right (180 degrees down the hill)
and follow the road under the railway bridge, the ground is just up the road

BY RAIL:  Kearsney (BR). And there is a bus service from Dover Priory (BR).

By Stuart Croll (NonLeagueToday)

"Being set into the side of a hill, on the outskirts of the town, it is one of the most picturesque grounds in England"

The Seafrance Crabble Stadium (Dover Athletic) Dover Athletic fans may have the white cliffs and the castle on their doorstep but to them their football ground should also be a major tourist attraction.

They have been bombarding the website demanding the Seafrance Crabble Stadium be featured as ground of the week. And rightly so.

Being set into the side of a hill, on the outskirts of the town, it is one of the most picturesque grounds in England and has been home to Dover football since 1897.
Until 1951 the football team shared the lower pitch of the Crabble Athletic Ground with cricket and rugby teams but moved to their permanent home on the upper ground in April that year.

The last match played by Dover on the lower pitch was against Sittingbourne on Monday, 26th March, 1951, and the first on the upper ground was a friendly against a Fulham XI on Saturday, 7th.April, 1951. The stand was not actually completed by then due a shortage of bolts.

It was officially opened on Saturday, 25th August that year in a match against Folkestone. Just under 6,000 spectators saw that match. The ground record was also established that year, on the 13th of October when just under 7,000 witnessed Dover lose to Folkestone in the FA Cup.

Floodlights were installed in 1961 and officially used for the first time on the 2nd of October, that year when a Chelsea first team defeated Dover 4-0 in front of a crowd of 4,312.

In 1983 Dover FC folded with massive debts, and was replaced by the new Dover Athletic FC. They also played at the Crabble and rapidly moved up through the pyramid.

In 1990, due to ground-grading problems with the Conference, the three covered sides of the ground were completely redeveloped. The newest stand - the Family Stand - was built in the 1993-94 season.

All provide excellent views of the pitch, regarded as one of the best in nonleague, which was levelled in the summer of 1994. Three of the fans that nominated the Crabble for ground of the week, Robert Hill, Jason McFarlane and Anthony Hitchen all mention how fantastic the playing surface is.One of them likened it to a bowling green.

The wonderfully named Centre Spot social club is also worth a visit before or after a game or indeed both.

In August 2007, the cross-channel ferry company Sea France ­ who apparently have some links with Dover - agreed a sponsorship deal with the club and that included the naming rights for the stadium. Thankfully they kept Crabble in the title.

The Crabble Stadium

The Crabble Stadium

The club must be hoping that team under the new management of Andy Hessenthaler move into at least the Blue Square South within the next few years. They certainly have a stadium worthy of that position.

last updated: 13/02/2008 at 14:41
created: 24/09/2007

You are in: London > Radio > The Non League Football Show > Your team A-Z > Ground of the Week : The Crabble Stadium

Podcast

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Podcast

[an error occurred while processing this directive]


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy