Today I had a day to kill in Greenock which could mean only one thing – a visit to the home of football, Cappielow.
A couple of feelers were put out for things to do on a rainy Wednesday in this sleepy little town on the river Clyde and no responses were offered, save for “go somewhere else.” One friend even suggested it was similar to my home town Hebburn, albeit 20 years ago.
It’s safe to say Greenock’s certainly an industrial town. Even scattered amongst newer developments are reminders of the city’s past (and possibly present). The walk from the town centre along the river to Cappielow was bracing, but in horrendous rainy weather my enjoyment was limited. My hat seemed to serve only to soak up water and keep it on my head, rather than protect me from the elements.
Arriving at the home of Greenock Morton I felt at home almost right away. Whilst it’s almost certainly one of the only football grounds with a Volkswagon dealership built into its turnstiles, it smacks of old school charm with a massive terrace just about visible.
A walk around the ground didn’t give much away as to what was inside. It’s absolutely featureless from the outside, and had it not been for an open gate for the club’s community staff I mightn’t have any inkling as to what was within, as even the lampposts are kitted out to prevent anyone peering over.
It turns out that that’s completely pointless, as a bank opposite the stadium provides the perfect vantage point of a wonderful football stadium. A huge exposed terrace, seats either side, and a perfect green pitch. This is how I remember football. I can only imagine the place absolutely rocking when it’s full. I was in love immediately.
No club shop on site so it was a 30 minute walk into town, through their Back To The Future themed shopping centre (if Oak Tree Mall isn’t remotely named with a nod to the Twin Pines Mall then they lose major points) and off to a random sports shop to find a Greenock Morton mug. I realised then that I’d fallen in love with the place big style. I &didn’t just want a cup that I’d bought for novelty value alone. I wanted something to cherish forever. So I snapped up two pairs of GMFC socks and got the hell out of there.
I should stress I didn’t need two pairs of socks, they were sold as a duo. I’ll write to the club to complain about that little scam. But in the meantime, god bless Greenock Morton Football Club and all who sail in her.
A wonderful football ground and a smashing (albeit rainy) day out.