I’ll be honest – there was something about the Forthbank Stadium that left me a little cold. “At last!” I hear you cry, “here comes Fury with a bag full of truth!”
I can’t quite place my finger on it, but too much didn’t quite add up for me, despite many positives. I guess firstly its newness doesn’t help. Built in 1992, it’s of an age where it’s modern enough to lack character but too old to be impressive.
Then there’s the sticky-out red turnstiles. I don’t know what it is about them, but they had very little appeal to me. Sure, there were some saloon-door blue ones which look a bit better behind the open terraces, but the red ones didn’t get me going.
Also, the fact that the stadium is on the outskirts of town rather than central doesn’t help. You feel like you’re on a retail park, regardless of some lovely hilly views around it.
The two main stands, whilst identical, are quite nice and certainly make this feel proper, even if the time on one of the clocks outside was wrong. I know Old Trafford has a similar timepiece dedicated to the Munich air disaster but there was no hint that this was anything other than someone needing to change the battery.
Although it doesn’t sound it, that was me subtly moving into Forthbank’s positives. Although you can’t see a lot from the outside due to a wall, it’s easy enough to get photos of the interior.
But that’s not my favourite thing about this football ground. It has, in my opinion, the best road sign in football. I know, you’ve heard it all before.
But a junction for farm access? Brilliant! So all in all not a classic. Maybe I was a bit jaded, as I’d done so many Scottish grounds, maybe I was expecting a little bit more character. It’s undoubtedly worth visiting but I can’t imagine it’ll be troubling anyone’s top ten list.