Monday, 3 June 2013


I didn't have to travel far today as I just had a 35 minute walk to Worcester City's ground of St. George's Lane for the last game to played there before it's re-developed for housing.

I'm very pleased that the Worcester City Supporter's Trust have arranged a game between teams of legendary players of Worcester and Liverpool to commemorate Worcester City's greatest triumph at this ground, when on the 15th Feb 1959, they defeated Liverpool  2-1 in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. My father had attended that game and was amazed when he told me that they had a crowd of 15,000+ that day! Liverpool replaced their manager after that defeat, with a Scottish manager called Bill Shankly, so maybe Worcester City did Liverpool a big favour that day.

I was not able to attend the last competitive game at the Lane when Chester were the visitors, so this game more than makes up for it.

The weather is nice and sunny and when I arrive at the front of the ground at 1:40pm (for a 2pm kick-off) I can tell it's going to be a good crowd today. In fact because of the amount of late arrivals at the ground, it's announced that the game will now start at 2:15pm. I have taken a position at the end of the ground nearest the entrance.

There are plenty of Liverpool supporters in the crowd of course, to see the likes of Mark Wright, Paul Walsh, John Wark and John Barnes etc. Worcester also have some 'legends' of their own, the current manager, Carl Heeley, his assistant Matt Gardiner, striker Mark Owen and Andy Awford who went on to play for Portsmouth.

Kick-off time arrives and the game is played at quite a slow pace. An early chance falls to Mark Owen but he places his shot the wrong side of the post.

        ( Paul Walsh goes down the left wing in this first-half attack)

The game although played at a leisurely pace most of the time, (understandable due to the age of most of the players and the warm conditions) is played in a friendly spirit and it's a great family day out.

   ( John Wark plays the ball out, watched by the Liverpool supporters)

Half time arrives and it's still 0-0. The crowd is 2,382 and the other good news announced is that talks are progressing well between the Supporters Trust (W.C.S.T.), Worcester Council and St.Modwens (the building company). The Trust are negotiating to get out of the original contract with St. Modwens so that they don't have to have the new stadium built at Nunnery Way on the south side of the city, which will enable them to go ahead with their plan of a community stadium to be built at Perdiswell on the north side of the city.

The game sparks to life in the second period as Liverpool take the lead early on with a goal from Howard Gayle. However, Worcester soon equalise through a well taken goal from Pat Lyons.

After 60 minutes, substitute forward Mark McGregor curls in a shot to put Worcester in the lead. He and Mark Owen are the danger men for Worcester and Paul Walsh and John Durnin for Liverpool. Twice Walsh with good dribbling skills goes close after good runs going past defenders.

     (Mark Owen attacks the Liverpool goal watched by John Barnes)

So the 90 minutes are up and Worcester are still unbeaten in matches against the Reds! It's been an enjoyable day and both teams are given generous applause.

          (John Barnes leaves the pitch applauded by his opponents)

I can't believe that I won't be coming here again. So it's a journey to Kidderminster to watch the City as we ground share with the Harriers for the 2013-14 season. It will be tough as Manager  Carl Heeley knows that his playing budget has been slashed by 40% and already last seasons top scorer, Mick Symons has left for Oxford City.

So goodbye, St George's Lane, you served us well for 108 years and thanks Liverpool for your help in giving it a good send-off.