The Vic Couzens Stadium, or Kettering Road as it’s better known, is a lovely little non-league venue. It’s just a shame that this season is to be its last.
Being tucked away almost in the centre of the beautiful Lincolnshire town, after over 100 years of loyal service it’s making way for housing whilst the club moves out of town.
It’ll be a travesty when the bulldozers move in. Granted, there’s not much to get rid of, but what is here is a wonderful reminder of proper football. That, and you can see six different churches from the ground. There’s been no ratification but that can’t be far off a record. If nothing else it pretty much guarantees a picturesque setting.
As for the stadium itself, a seated stand a few rows deep with a players’ tunnel that is basically two sheets of green plastic is the biggest structure here, yet it’s charm personified. Painted in club colours of red with their “SAFC” initials in big black lettering on the top, the faded colours may have seen better days but there’s clear evidence of love for this place.
The other side of the pitch houses a covered standing area that only covers half the length of the field, but it doesn’t make it any less loveable. One goal houses a sort of attempt at open terracing and the other is just grass with limited hard standing, but there’s not a lot of room to expand here anyway.
I was wary of the naming issue – it only seems to have become the Vic Couzens Stadium this year, and it seemed hugely disappointing to name the venue after a used car garage or something similar. Thankfully, a bit of digging reveals that Vic is in fact a local retired building contractor who has sponsored a huge variety of grassroots teams and charities both locally and nationally down the years, and been particularly kind to Stamford in the process.
The site itself has been hosting Stamford matches since the 1870s, which is quite remarkable and disappointing that so much history is set to be built on, but with the club in caring and supportive hands at least there’s real optimism for their future.
Definitely worth a visit while you can.