Worsborough Bridge Athletic FC
Non Match Day - Dec 2012
Ty - DB
Bridge originated in 1923 as Worsbrough Bridge St. James FC, named after the local Parish Church and, after WW2 reformed as Worsbrough Bridge Athletic Club playing both football and cricket. The club purchased the Park Road ground from a local land owner in 1953 and, in 1959 entered into a partnership with the local Miners’ Welfare Scheme, enabling development of the facilities. This resulted in the club’s full name of Worsbrough Bridge Miners’ Welfare & Athletic FC, although the truncated version is more often (and more sensibly) used.
Football had been played on the ground well before WW2, but Bridge had moved in in 1947 after reforming. The ground has always been a three-sided venue, catering for both winter and summer sports.The partnership with the Welfare enabled the building of the changing rooms and Welfare Hall in the early 1960s and, some ten years later the stand was built into the grass banking that runs along one side of the ground. For those not wishing to sit, the summit of the bank provides a good view although the stand does obstruct this to some degree. The shallow brick dugouts, built onto the front of the stand have since been extended whilst the steel roof fascia, with its distinctive diamond cut-out design, can also be seen at a few other Yorkshire grounds such as Pontefract Collieries FC, and South Kirkby Colliery FC in Stockingate. In 1971 the record attendance of 1,603 was recorded for the visit of Blyth Spartans in the FA Amateur Cup, although as Peter Miles points out, the unofficial figure was apparently nearer 2,500.
Financial backing from the Miners’ Welfare ended in in the early 1990s with the demise of the Mining Industry. Nevertheless, ground improvements continued with the addition of floodlights in November 1993. There is a an area of hard standing with some rather pointless crush barriers at the bridge end of the ground, just in front of the River Dove and although there were plans to add cover along this side of the ground, this has yet to come to fruition. Former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is an ex-Bridge player.