After relegation from the Football League in 1988, Newport County went out of business – but have since come back with a bang. Promotion to the Conference came the same year that we won the title; three years later, the Exiles were ‘back’ in the League. Here’s a fun fact while you’re here too. By virtue of winning the 1980 Welsh Cup, Newport took part in the 1980-1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup… and reached the quarter finals!
First and foremost, the Exiles are notNewport (IOW). At no point have we ever needed to catch a ferry for this one. To be fair, we might have done so in the days before that Bridge. Nor are they Newport Pagnell Town. But you’d need to be even more confused to think so. No, this lot are – whether they like it or not – Wales’ third-best club team. For a while, you could say it was Wrexham. Not so much now, however.
By our own rules here at BoroGuide, we shouldn’t be going back further than 1989 for this tale. Yes – the Exiles first formed in 1912; becoming a Football League team in 1920 (and again in 1932 after failing to get re-elected in 1931). And when we were just starting out in senior football in 1980-1, they were storming through to the quarter finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Now that’s something we could only dream of… for now. Then again, it did help that winning the Welsh Cup took you into Europe back then.
After climbing up through the Hellenic and Southern Leagues, the Exiles (re-)added their lost County suffix in 1999. And their road ‘back’ to the Football League continued. First, it started with a place in the new Conference South for the 2004-5 campaign. In 2010, they won the title and came up to the Blue Square Premier (just as we were leaving). And just three years later, the playoffs brought them into League Two. Restoration complete?
Oh, right – what about us. Well, their debut season in the League saw us relegated from League One. The two aren’t connected, of course. But that’s how we eventually came to meet for the first time.
How to get to Newport County – Travel Information – Distance: 157 miles
If you’re driving across the border, the motorway is the quickest way to do it. Probably. Go south on the A1(M) and take the counter-clockwise M25 around to the M4, before heading out west. It’s around 130 miles that you’ll be sticking with the M4 for; although that’s if you opt to take the Second Severn Crossing.
You can, of course, take the original crossing if you’re feeling nostalgic.
At Junction 24, exit the motorway; the Newport East/A48/A449 exit if you were asking for more detail. Take the second exit at the roundabout for The Coldra/B4237 and plunge into the outskirts of Newport. From here, it’s pretty simple; continue on the B4237 right into the city, before turning left after around three miles – and before the river – for Rodney Road.
Don’t be surprised to find no parking at the stadium itself; it’s located within a residential area and spaces are set aside for locals. That said, you may get lucky if you turn up with time on your side in streets where the scheme isn’t enforced.
The alternative, of course, is to use city centre car parks; one is located on the other side of the road to the railway station, for example.
Services to: LONDON PADDINGTON
The move from the Newport International Station to Rodney Parade has made it easier to make the journey from the train station by foot. Leave the main entrance of the station (on the south side) and turn left onto Queensway, going towards the big roundabout.
Get yourself to the other side of the roundabout so that you are crossing the river bridge, taking the first right on the other side; Rodney Road.
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