10 years ago this month marked a special occasion for Bromsgrove Sporting, as the club finally got to play at our permanent home, The Victoria Ground.
Saturday 6th November 2010 was a truly momentous day in the relatively short history of the club; prior to this, home matches had to be played at Studley’s ‘The Beehive’, as the previous owners of Bromsgrove Rovers had left both the ground and pitch in a totally unusable condition.
Many hours of work and a fair bit of expenditure later, the gates opened at 1:00pm, welcoming a crowd of 451 for the match against Greenhill FC from Brierley Hill.
The game lived up to the occasion, with Sporting winning 7-0, that included a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes for Nick Harris. Other scorers were Zac Blood with a brace, James McKeon and Dan Wilkes.
Double scoring Zac Blood looked back at his fond memories of the day, commenting: “That game and whole day was one of the best days I’ve had playing football.
“Even in the warm up you could feel the buzz around the ground and the whole team were just so eager to her the whilst to start.
“I was fortunate to get Man of the Match, which got announced over the tannoy just before Nick Harris bagged his hat trick… fair to say I got a bit of stick for that. Overall it was just an amazing day and one I will never forget!”
This match was one of defender Chris Bright’s 71 appearances for Sporting – he said: “When I think about that day I just remember smiling from start to finish. It’s a day I don’t forget.
“The excitement in the build up to it was class. All we could talk about at training was finally getting the chance to play back at home at the VG.
“Then on game day, the buzz in the group of lads was huge. The warm up was flying, the focus was at it and the noise around the ground helped build it all.
“Then the game itself is one you couldn’t have written better if you’d have tried. I just remember how much fun I was having. To a man we were better than our opposing player, so the scoreline was almost expected but the atmosphere and noise was what I remember after every goal, the Shed going crazy and the chants being banged off the back of the shed.
“I think the crowd gave us a little bit extra on that day and week in week out, you realise how much of a 12th man they can be.”
Defender Nick Allen also spoke of his excitement, but added that it wasn’t the only emotion he was feeling.
“To be a part of the team that played in the first game back at the Victoria Ground will always be a special memory for me, and something I will always look back on as one of my favourite football experiences,” he said.
“To play in front of hundreds of fans for the club that means so much to the town was an incredible experience, and some of my favourite football memories are from playing at Bromsgrove Sporting.
“The excitement around the club at getting back to the VG was unbelievable, and the performance and result on the day was a testament to everyone involved!
“On a personal level, I was nervous, being in front of that many fans with a huge focus on the result – but we had a great bunch of lads who delivered – I’m glad to have played a part in the Sporting journey to where they are today.”
The team photo (top picture) shows…
(Top row L-R), Nick Allen, Chris Mole, Richard Griffiths (Capt.), Michael Woolman, Danny Patrick, James McKeon, (bottom row L-R), Odane Barnes, Nick Harris, Zac Blood, Chris Bright, Dan Wilkes.
Adam Welborn, Jamie Siviter and James Bradley came on as substitutes.