Scarborough needs football

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IT may be a few years since a ball was last kicked at the McCain Stadium, but it still brings a disappointed shake of the head every time I drive past it.

I was first taken down there as a lad of seven in 1986 for Scarborough FC’s meeting with Dagenham.

Boro may have lost the game by a single goal, but I was hooked.

Seventeen years later I landed the job of covering the club, so I spent a good amount of time at the ground, talking to players and managers alike, filling my pad with stories.

I just can’t believe what has happened.

Not only did the club fold, which was disappointing enough, but my regular haunt also fell into wrack and ruin.

Council chiefs are making their judgement on the ground this week, and it looks as though the area will be flattened and filled with houses.

That would be fair enough if there was a replacement already built, but still we wait patiently.

Football halted at the McCain Stadium in 2007, so almost four years have passed without there being a recognised stadium in a town that hosts over 50,000 people.

I spend many a Saturday afternoon taking a trip to villages like Thackley and Nostell, both of which have a stadium suitable for NCEL level, or possibly above.

I find it absolutely disgusting that there are facilities floating around in all corners of these places, but nothing in our town.

Now we have dreams of a new stadium in the Weaponness area, but how long will that take?

There is talk of it being ready in a couple of years, but that is just too long.

There was a perfect ground in Scarborough, which is owned by the council, but for some bizarre reason they chose not to maintain it.

Meanwhile Scarborough Athletic are toiling away 20 miles down the A165 in Bridlington, not getting anyway near their full potential.

Even if they do grab the success that new manager Rudy Funk has promised, they will still be playing their football in Bridlington.

If the club were enjoying this success in Scarborough then the crowds would be likely to reach up to 2,000 like the old Scarborough FC hosted.

The snowball effect would then kick in, more people, more money, better team, more success.

This could spark what we all want, a push through the divisions and the return of games like the visit of Chelsea.

Boro are a club that are currently raring to go, but being held back.

And the longer this goes on, the less likely it is that the potential will be fulfilled.

So instead of focusing efforts on the quiet park and ride set-ups, the council need to get football sorted.

The national game is a tourist attraction as well.