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Ashton United >> 2008/09 >> Rough Guide > Ashton United

Club Details
Send hate mail to: Ashton United FC
Hurst Cross
Surrey Street
Matchday prices: Adults - £8.00
Concessions - £5.00
Children under 14 - The little bastards go free when accompanied by an adult
Who the hell are Ashdown County?
Just 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.

Claims to fame
Although 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.

Another notable 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?

Ashton 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.

How many away fans will they bring?


The town
Ashton-Under-Lyne 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.

As 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 radiators.”

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 Police.

None 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?

Official site
Ashton United unofficial
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