So which is the only Ebac Northern League club to be featured on a Monopoly board? It’s West Auckland, World Cup winners in 1909 and 1911 and included in the Co Durham edition alongside Sedgefield Racecourse and the Riverside county cricket ground. Yours for £140 (though don’t tell the encircling property developers.)
The “Old Kent Road” slot is occupied by the Anker’s House, a tiny and very humble herrmitage that’s part of Chester-le-Street parish church. Mayfair, no less appropriately, translates into Durham Cathedral
Amazon, alas, regrets that they don’t know when or if the edition, one of more than 100 “locals”, will be back in stock.
Yesterday’s blog mentioned Monopoly because the Penrith and Eden Valley edition is on sale, £25, in the Blues’ clubhouse. On that one, Old Kent Road mutates into the Gillwilly Industrial Estate – it’s probably a business park these days – while Mayfair has been flooded by Ullswater.
Frenchfield, by common consent among the most attractive of the newer grounds, appears not to be included at all. There’s gratitude.
It’s a pity we didn’t float the idea of a Northern League edition to mark the league’s 125th anniversary in 2013-14. How might those 24 spaces have been filled? Some suggestions, past and present:
The former Three Tuns Hotel in Durham (where the league was formed), Charles Samuel Craven’s grave, the old Normanby Road ground at South Bank where a first day game was played.
St James’ Park in Newcastle, once a rather humbler home to Northern League football, Brammall Lane, Sheffield – the most southerly ground – Raydale Park, Gretna, the only one in Scotland, Appleby Park, North Shields, Portland Park, Ashington, and Ferens Park, Durham, remembered after all these years.
Kingsway at Bishop Auckland, Croft Park at Blyth, Hillheads at Whitley Bay, Dr Pit Welfare at Bedlington, the Brewery Field at Spennymoor and Tow Law’s Ironworks Road ground would recall the scene of great triumphs; West Auckland would be included for reasons above, Penrith because they started it and Shildon because it’s my blog (and because of the Pagoda.)
There’d have to be Stanley United, home to the Little House on the Prairie, Billingham Synthonia (RIP), Esh Winning for its incomparable setting, Ryton for its bus shelters and Alnwick Castle, because it’s where this year’s annual league meeting will be held.
The Mayfair slot? Wembley, of course, home from home in the 1950s and for the last 20 years. What else might we have included?