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Hednesford Town

impsTALK.co.uk >> 2008/09 >> Rough Guide > Hednesford Town

Club Details
Send hate mail to: Keys Park
Keys Park Road
Hednesford, Cannock
Staffordshire
WS12 2DZ

Telephone: 01543 422870

   
Matchday prices: Adults - £8.00 standing/£9.50 seated
Concessions/kids - £4.50 standing/£5.00 seated
 
Who the hell are Hednesford Forest?
Say ‘Hednesford’ to impsTALK and, for some reason, we think not of their FA Cup heroics in that 96/97 season against Middlesbrough (Greg Fee ensured we missed Boro ourselves in the third round) but, erm, Richard Mason.

For it was for the Pitmen that the floppy-haired midfielder departed that very same season, leading a much younger and wet behind the ears impsTALK to wail and howl with anguish, for we believed him to be a pivotal member of that, er, sixth place NPL outfit.

At the time, Hednesford were a formidable Conference outfit. But times change. Christ, at the time, the Stereophonics were considered a credible indie outfit by the NME. Since then, the club’s fortunes – much like the NME’s - have waned dramatically and fans have endured a slide down the pyramid almost as alarming as our own.

In the grander historical context, such a slide should probably not be entirely unexpected. Formed in 1880 after a merger between two local sides, Hednesford competed in a number of no-name regional leagues until they joined the Southern League in 1984. Eleven years later, they won promotion to the Conference, moved to a new ground and finished third in the league. The following season they beat two league clubs before that FA Cup tie against Boro. They couldn’t quite capitalise on their momentum, however, and in 2001 they were relegated from the Conference.

After a brief resurgence, in which the Pitmen won the FA Trophy and saw themselves elevated to the Conference North in the pyramid reshuffle, the club was again relegated in 2006, back into the NPL, where they have remained ever since, ensnared in the interminable purgatory of park football with little hope of rescue.

You can read a more comprehensive, and no doubt more accurate, account of the club's history HERE.

 
Claims to fame

Erm....

We couldn't find anything of note in this category, so here's a picture of a dancing goat:

 
Where do they keep getting caught offside?

Hednesford’s Key’s Park stadium is a classic example of that damn-with-faint-praise non-league cliché: ‘tidy’. And tidy it certainly is.

The ground is a relatively recent new-build, having been constructed as a purpose built football ground in the mid 90s. Prior to 1995, the club played at the Cross Keys ground, named for the pub behind which the team clattered into one another. With a large timber stand and steep grass terrace, the atmospheric old ground oozed history and rustic charm, but by the time the Pitmen had reached the heady heights of the Southern League, it was no longer economical to maintain or improve it.

In 1994, the decision was taken to move a 300 yards down the road to new facilities. The shiny new ground was officially opened in 1995 by Sir Stanley Matthews and has, in the last decade, been slowly improved with the addition of things like roofs. The end result? The Coldplay of NPL stadiums. And after trips to Ilkeston, that’s no bad thing. Even so, the ongoing refurbishment of the ground hasn’t prevented it from being downgraded from an ‘A’ graded ground to a lowly ‘B’ grade.

 
Is Hednesford nice?
Guess what was, historically, Hednesford’s main industry? Go on. Guess. Yep. Mining. Coal mining. Surprise sur-fecking-prise.

The most interesting facts about this small corner of Staffordshire stem from the huge military training bases constructed around the time of the First World War. The camps were used to train over 250,000 troops and send them on their merry way to certain disembowelment at the hands of murderous machine gun nests in the trenches of the European theatre.

The military theme continued over into the next round of genocidal massacres in 1939 when RAF Hednesford was established. This base was later used to house Hungarian refugees in the 1950s.

 
Links

Official site
Forum
Unofficial site

 
Anything to add?
Tell us more about Hednesford, recommend a pub or try and obtain our bank details by E-MAILING us.
 

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