Don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking and I’ve got it. Sort of. “Andy, isn’t the Hebburn Sports & Social Ground technically two different grounds?” Yep, you’re right. As per the following satellite show you’ll notice two football pitches, one is home to Hebburn Town, the other is of course Hebburn Reyrolles.
There’s also a cricket pitch in the middle of the two, with tennis courts as well. It’s a busy facility, but for now we’ll be concentrating on the side of the ground set aside for Hebburn Town FC. It’s certainly an important one with regards my fascination with stadia. To my knowledge it’s the first football ground I can ever remember being inside. Me and my dad went in for the back end of a cup game many years back.
It was also where I developed a love of non-league football many years later. Whilst studying at university I did a dissertation on non-league football and with the ground being a 12 minute walk from my house it was incredibly convenient. I’d spend Saturday afternoons watching the team and falling in love with football again. I have no doubt those two years are partly behind my love of the ramshackle grounds ahead of the pristine new atrocities we see nowadays.
That’s certainly not to describe Hebburn’s home as ramshackle, far from it. The main stand isn’t bad at all. It offers shelter and is in really good condition, although there’s not much else to report on. One interesting addition since I attended regularly is behind one of the goals and it’s curious to say the least.
It’s sort of a stand, erected to meet league regulations on the amount of covered standing required. And so it’s there, but seemingly rarely used, just taking up space. One of my favourite things about the ground is behind that goal though. If you hit a shot high enough to clear the goal and the stand, and the road running by it, then you’ll have to pop into the cemetery behind to retrieve it (the stone archway in the photo below). The closest ground to a cemetery? Certainly so far, although I’m fairly certain it will be beaten.
And that’s pretty much that. There’s no other stands at the ground, just soft grass along one touchline where the cricket wicket usually is in the summer. So you can see the bulk of the ground from the outside, although I’d also recommend visiting anyway. It’s a great club and I always look forward to visiting.