Jump to content
davieG

Filbert Street Pitch.

Recommended Posts

Remember the days when Leicester City's Filbert Street pitch often resembled a mud bath?
We wonder what today's players would think of these conditions


ByJane Goddard
10:50, 1 FEB 2019

A groundsman uses a spiking machine to try to clear standing water on the Filbert Street pitch in 1969
0_LM-RAIN-FEB1.jpg

Today's Premier League football pitches resemble carpets more than grass, with hardly a blade out of place even after 90 minutes of action.

But it is not that long since football – even top flight games – was played on pitches that would surely have not looked out of place on the Somme First World War battlefield.

In those days, footballers would have been better equipped for some matches wearing wellie boots rather than the super-expensive sponsor-laden boots worn today.

Bad weather was the scourge of groundsmen and they often had to think outside the (penalty) box to ensure a match was played.

Indeed City legend Alan Birchenall recalls that sometimes some managers deliberately created a muddy pitch.

When referring to East Midlands rivals Derby County, Birch once told the Mercury: “It would rain for four days and then Brian Clough would water it (the Baseball Ground pitch) before a game.


Wolverhampton referee Dennis Corbett on the Filbert Street pitch before calling off Leicester City's FA Cup tie against Liverpool in February 1969

0_LM-RAIN1-FEB1.jpg
"The pitches were just rolled sand and mud and, come October, all you would see were four tufts of grass in each corner.”

These great photos from our archive show the lengths that the Leicester City staff went to in February 50 years ago when faced with a quagmire instead of turf.

The spiking machine in the main image, top, had its work cut out in 1969 trying to get the Filbert Street pitch ready for City’s FA Cup tie with Liverpool after seven inches of snow was cleared from the turf, only to be followed by a thaw which left pools of water in large parts of the pitch.



The boots on the other photo, above, belong to Wolverhampton referee Dennis Corbett.

He braved the conditions at Filbert Street before being forced to postpone the Cup tie for a second time.

And thank heavens he did – those white laces would never have survived the match!

The game finally went ahead on March 1 when City played out a 0-0 draw with the Merseyside visitors.

The fixture was replayed at Anfield two (yes, two) days later with City the 1-0 victors.

 

 

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/history/remember-days-leicester-citys-filbert-2495708

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, urban.spaceman said:

I wish I’d had the forethought to sneak in a spade on the last day and nick some of the pitch.

I did get a bit it lasted until it died when we relegated to League 1

 

These people all got some.

 

 

 

18.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, urban.spaceman said:

I wish I’d had the forethought to sneak in a spade on the last day and nick some of the pitch.

I don't think it would have been that hallowed given they relaid it quite frequently in its latter years. The club used to flog the old pitches to a garden centre in Countesthopre (I think). My aunty's front lawn is made up of Filbo turf. lol

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good article, football has changed enormously since then, now it’s a money game but personally I’m happy to of seen City play in the late 70’s and 80’s when some pitches this time of year hardly had a blade of grass on them and all credit to some of the more skilful players back then  who’s talent shone out on even the worst of pitches.

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, mikey54 said:

I remember a night match down at Filbo - possibly 1967/1968. Rodney Fern was through one on one with the keeper, took the ball to one side and slid the ball towards the empty net, turned to celebrate but the ball got stuck short

Sadly I remember that moment all too well! At the time I was about eleven and on the front rail at the Filbo end right behind the goal. Still an agonizing memory?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mozartfox said:

I wonder what happened to that balloon we used to use to keep the pitch from becoming frozen??

Didn't the players used to train underneath it sometimes?.. Seem to remember a photo of Len Glover jogging around the pitch under it? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Monsell1976 said:

I bet it was great to play on, imagine the size of the slide tackles you could do ? 

Graham Cross was brilliant at slide tackles, he'd probably be yellow carded these days for being out of control but he wasn't.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, davieG said:

I did get a bit it lasted until it died when we relegated to League 1

 

These people all got some.

 

 

 

18.jpg

lol 

 

i remember ripping up a great big chunk of the turf and took it on the lash afterwards with me. Laid it in my garden the next day but my toxic soil killed it. :( 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, davieG said:

I did get a bit it lasted until it died when we relegated to League 1

 

These people all got some.

 

 

 

18.jpg

Christ state of them like a bunch of crack whores  that have dropped a rock 

Edited by baldeagle
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...