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Older seasons

Ilkeston Town >> Rough Guide > Ilkeston Town

Club Details
Send hate mail to:

New Manor Ground
Awsworth Road

Telephone: 0115 932 4094

Matchday prices: Adults – Who knows?
Concessions – No idea
Kids – Your guess is as good as ours
Who the hell are Ilkeston FC?
Oh no. Dear God. No. Not this lot again.

The mere mention of ‘Ilkeston’ stirs unwanted memories of THAT FA Cup defeat in 1997; the stunningly bad defending, the bleak, apocalyptic surroundings, the elderly Boston fan being punched by some local idiots after the game, Paul Cavell, the disgraceful racist abuse meted out to Leroy Chambers by the massed ranks of knuckle-dragging losers behind the goal. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

But hey, we’re sure that the many morons we encountered eleven years ago only crept out of the woodwork for the glory Cup game. And besides, Ilkeston are owned by a gazillionaire now, one that makes Jon Sotnick look like a penniless pauper.

Step forward, Mr Chek Whyte. Chek Whyte is not merely a very wealthy local property developer. He’s actually one of the richest men in the UK and was the subject of a Channel Four documentary called ‘The Secret Millionaire’.

He also appears to be some kind of visionary urban designer who has managed to whip the members of the Skyscraper City website into frenzied excitement by drafting up plans to construct Nottingham’s first skyscraper. The plans call for a 50-floor glass and concrete beast of a tower - just slightly shorter than the Frickley slag mountain - that Whyte has provisionally dubbed, with a degree of modesty not normally witnessed in football chairmen, the ‘Chek Whyte Tower’.

The only way is up.

Unfortunately, despite the cash rich owner, no-one appears to have had the foresight to set up an official website for Ilkeston Town FC, so other than telling you that the club was established 1945 we have absolutely nothing to say about them. Which, frankly, is fine by us, because what do you care if they won the Midland Alliance Combination on goal difference in the 68/69 season – if indeed, they did?

Ex-Boston scamp Lee Thompson signed for the Robins at the end of last season.

Claims to fame
Ilkeston was perhaps best known for the American Adventure theme park.

Although now mercifully closed, it’s a wonder that the park wasn’t shut down by trading standards officers decades earlier since the park was (a) not actually American nor (b) even slightly adventurous.

The site of the old park, which has been partly demolished, now stands silent and deserted, visited only by urban explorers with names like Oxygen Thief and The Silent Night, light-painting the night away with preposterously expensive digital cameras.

No doubt the site will soon be redeveloped into a large retail park featuring a large Homebase and a Frankie and Benny's.

Where's yer theme park gone?
Where do they keep getting caught offside?
“When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will gather on the terraces at New Manor Park,” a character in a well-known seminal horror movie did not actually say, ever. But he might as well have.

True, our memories of the ground are somewhat clouded by visions of hundreds (by which we mean a dozen - tops) of grunting Neanderthals baying for Bostonian blood, but we can’t say that a trip to Ilkeston should be viewed as anything other than an absolute necessity borne from unbridled and unswerving support of the Pilgrims. Arrive, endure the defeat and retreat - swiftly. Hopefully the locals will have mellowed a little, but don’t bank on it.

Is Ilkeston still as dangerous?
Although impsTALK is based in Nottingham, it tends to avoid Ilkeston whenever possible. Why? Because it’s a pothole.

From personal experience, not even people from Ilkeston (and we know enough) attempt to pretend otherwise – although admittedly it’s not as much as a pothole as Shirebrook.

Like many in the area, Ilkeston is yet another deprived town ruined by the decline and eventual collapse of heavy industry, with the usual local suspects disappearing over the years: coal mining, textiles etc etc and so on.

Again, not exactly the town’s fault, but such empathetic socio-economic understanding is unlikely to help you as six emaciated addicts sink their knives into your face, steal your wallet and use your hard earned cash to buy heroin. And if you think we’re scaremongering, you’re right. We are.

Like Eastood/Aaaaystwood, some of the more senior townsfolk still converse in some kind of ancient Middle English dialect unique to this nook of the Midlands. Even that is now dying out, with the local young scallywags preferring instead to conduct their communication exclusively via Bebo, cuz dat is wat itz all bt, u git me? Or at least, they do when they’re not in court or lying in a ditch bleeding to death after their latest smack-deal-gone-bad. Or maybe we've just mistaken Ilkeston for Bestwood.


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