Doctor Foster went to Gloucester City? Well, if this particular physician is a Boro’ fan, then he’ll have made the trip once. It took 180 minutes to separate ourselves from them in our 1998 FA Trophy Round Three tie, but we made it in the end. In the years since, the Tigers found things tough. Just before Christmas 2000, their ground found itself under seven feet of River Severn water. It meant no games, no revenue and no stopping players from leaving.
The Tigers got themselves back on an even financial keel – but flooding struck once again in 2007. The club had to contend itself with a number of years as nomads, sharing with a wide range of neighbours. They also had to deal with the idea of Worcester City (north of them) being put in Conference South, while the Tigers went into the North division.
The Tigers aren’t a side that we’ll be boring the grandkids about. It’s not their fault, however, and nor is it ours. The fact is we’ve met just twice before. If you want to chat about our shared footballing past, you’re much better off casting your net back to Town and Athletic times. In fact, Athletic took on Gloucester towards the end of the 1975-6 Southern League Division One North season. It proved to be last ever time Athletic ever played at home in a league fixture. And that’s likely to pale in comparison with anything more we have to say!
It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try, though. Gloucester City and Stevenage (Borough) never crossed paths in the league. That’s because we chose to climb the Isthmian League ladder – not the Southern League. The Tigers, meanwhile, joined the competition in 1939 – albeit part of a restricted wartime edition. It remained their home for the next 70 years. It could have been so different too. In 1991, Farnborough pipped them on the final day to go into the Conference; in 1997, it was their nearest of neighbours Cheltenham Town. Ouch.
How to get to Gloucester City – Travel Information – Distance: 110 miles
Now the Tigers are returning home, we’ll give you the road directions to Meadow Park. It’s unlikely that you’ll need them any time soon anyway. To get started, go south on the A1(M) and round the M25 to the junction with the M40. Here, take the M40 towards the Midlands.
At Junction 8 of the M40, come off the motorway and take the A40 for Cheltenham. Follow the A40 around Oxford and out into the countryside.
Later down the road, turn left onto the A436. You’ll come to a double roundabout where it’s the first and then second exits to stick with the A436. When you come to the Air Balloon roundabout, you now need to take the A417 by using the second exit. Follow the A417 up until the point it rejoins with the A40 at a roundabout.
Go along the A40, continuing over just one roundabout. At the next, however, take the first exit onto Over Causeway (A417). Use the right two lanes to turn right onto the A430 soon after and continue on this road for just under a mile. The ground will be on the right here.
Services to: LONDON PADDINGTON
The zig-zagging walk across Gloucester from station to ground will take you around half an hour on a good day; longer if you choose to stop for refreshment. Leave the station; crossing over and going down the right hand side of HM Land Registry on Bruton Way.
Turn right and then left at Jane’s Pantry (go straight on for a Wetherspoons) towards the Kings Walk shopping area. Go past Primark on the left, through a car park. This will take you over Eastgate and down towards the museum. Turn right into Greyfriars soon after.
Next, turn left into Southgate Street and bear right around onto Commercial Road. Head around the docks here onto Severn Road. At the T-junction, turn right and then left onto Llanthony Road. The ground will be off to the right; down Sudmeadow Road.
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