>> 2008/09 >> Rough
Guide > Ashton United
hate mail to:
Concessions - £5.00
Children under 14 - The little bastards go free when accompanied by
the hell are Ashdown County?
six miles from Manchester and Stockport and a mere four miles from
Oldham, it’s fair to say that residents of Ashton-Under-Lyne
have their pick of debt-ridden professional clubs to support. It’s
not hugely surprising to note, then, that the club has spent much
of its 130 year history bumbling aimlessly around provincial no-name
leagues with names like ‘Combination’ and ‘Alliance’
– a bit like The Pilgrims are now.
Ashton only managed to make the escape to a proper league - the North
West Counties - in the early 1980s. Success followed, depending on
what your definition of success actually is, of course. In this instance,
we simply mean that the club has spent the last few years slowly scratching
and scrambling its way up the pyramid.
And yes, you
read that right – the club is 130 years old. Ashton were originally
known as Hurst FC and for those unable or unwilling to do the maths,
that means Hurst FC were founded in 1878. Hurst changed their name
to Ashton a year after the Second World War. That’s 1946 if
you’ve not watched Band of Brothers. To celebrate their 130th
anniversary, Ashton finished tenth in the NPL last season.
it’s easy to forget that Paul Gascoigne was once a highly successful
midfielder, given he’s now a weirdo basket case, as his last
club Boston United will forever be associated with his playing career.
Ashton United played the similar role of retirement home for another
legendary figure when they signed Dixie Dean in 1939. Dean saw out
his final playing days at the small club before the outbreak of the
war finally severed his ties with the muddy pitches of the Manchester
regional league – and football – for good.
Alan Ball started
his career at Ashton in 1959. Sir Geoff Hurst was born in Ashton,
but like all self-respecting big-time charlies, headed straight
for faaahkin’ Essex at a very early age and so never had anything
whatsoever to do with United.
former resident is Sadie Frost. We’re sorry to report that,
for some unknown reason, she appears not to have a season ticket
for Ashton United. Apologies folks. You’ll just have to hope
the FA send Lisa Rashid to run the line instead (she’s
too good for this pub league – ed).
Where do they keep getting caught offside?
play at Hurst Cross. It is, 'they' reckon, one of the oldest football
grounds in the world. If the toilets at Burscough are anything
to go by, that’s probably a very bad omen indeed. Even Workington
managed to give theirs a bit of a scrub to celebrate the D-Day
landings. They might not have touched them since, but at least
they’re showing willing.
Aerial reconnaissance: Hurst Cross
We’re struggling to find out a huge amount of information
on the ground, so we’ll just give you the facts up front:
4,500 capacity, two big(ish) stands, nice flags, lopsided
shape (birds-eye view weirdly reminiscent
of London 2012 logo), did we say we liked the flags?, lovely flags,
lot of flags, without flags a football ground is nothing, Deva
Stadium – world’s worst football ground - doesn’t
have flags: coincidence?, flags are good.
many away fans will they bring?
serves as a satellite town to nearby Manchester so there is a distinct
possibility you may be struck by a few stray bullets, although you’re
far more likely to perish under the wheels of a truck on the M62 –
a road we believe was used for inspiration by the producers of the
Mad Max franchise.
with all our reports, we’re culling most of the facts about
these nondescript provincial hellholes and hamlets from Wikipedia,
and as if to serve as a salutary warning as to why letting the dunderhead
masses muck about with knowledge is a bad idea, Ashton’s entry
proudly boasts: “Notable is Ashton Moss Transmitter, one
of the few European AM transmitting aerials to use free-standing tower
This ‘notable’ bit of trivia was clearly added by a
48 year old father of zero who collects photos of transmitting towers
and other large broadcasting structures. Indeed, it’s amazing
the guy in question was even able to type out the above sentence
when you consider he was probably spunking furiously over a high
resolution JPEG of Emley Moor. Best leave knowledge to the Thought
of which is Ashton’s fault, really, so let’s see how
else we can insult it. Ah yes. Corrie. The town appears to have
supplied Coronation Street in tinpot actors for generations. Jack
Duckworth hailed from Ashton, so did Alma Baldwin. Martin Platt
not only came from Ashton, he tried to top himself there as well.
Such is the circle of life, eh?
us more about Ashton, recommend a pub or try and obtain our bank details