A number of interesting articles
which I came across whilst scouring the record books, newspapers and
other sources for the history of Ayresome Park.
was an area of Middlesbrough bounded by Linthorpe Road, Southfield
Road, Woodlands Road and Park Lane North. Following the development of
the area, in the late 1870's, The
Swatters Carr Hotel was opened. The
hotel was reputedly used as changing rooms for the Boro team when
they played at the Linthorpe Road ground, towards the end of the
No text messages or emails in the 1940's, as post
cards were the favoured communication mode of the day. John
'Jack' Dent found out he had been selected to play
for Boro in a WWII fixture, after receiving a post card from Boro manager Wilf
Gillow and was requested to
"bring your own football boots".
The Book of Football, first published by Amalgamated Press in
1906. The article gives a fascinating look at the trials and
tribulations of a football club at the start of the 20th century. It
charts Boro's early history, from their foundation in 1876 to their
struggles with relegation in the early years at Ayresome Park.
In the 1989/90 season the Boro manager Bruce
Rioch introduced a number of measures to clean up the chanting
and encouraging Boro fans to get behind the team. These included
the 'Bruce Requests . . . " signs and the
Boro Bugler, who played whenever Boro won a corner.
Ayresome Park was an evolving stadium, never
more so than during 1957 when floodlights were installed. To
celebrate Boro played a series of
friendlies against teams from England, Scotland & Europe.
Radio Ayresome went live at the start of the 1966-67 season and
was hosted by Bernard Gent from a 'studio' in the South Terrace.
Bernard will be fondly remembered for introducing Boro's well known
run-out theme, The Power Game, which greeted the players onto the
pitch for nearly 30 years.
but again this article gives an absorbing view of life as a Boro fan
in the mid 1960's when a group called the
Ayresome Angels introduced organised chanting at Boro games,
both home and away.
In 1978 Ayresome Park hosted three days of Jazz when the world
famous Newport Jazz Festival came to town. In a
it was billed as the greatest gathering of Jazz talent ever in
Britain and was headlined by Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson.
There were also performances by Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy
Gillespie and Art Blakey, to name just a few. A festival
highlighted the vast appeal of Jazz music, even to the youth of the
Many have heard of the legend about a group of
gypsies, who placed a curse on Ayresome Park, after they were
removed from the site, which restricted Boro from winning a
major trophy while they were in residence. But, there is also
the tale of Ayresome Park being
by a young spirit called Ned, who would appear at the gates of
Ayresome Park if Boro were going to win.
It's always refreshing to read an away program
to see how Boro fare without the rose-tinted glasses on. This
extract from the
program in 1950 shows how respected Boro were at the time. Who
knows, failing the 'curse' in the previous article, where Boro
would be now?
Boro have never been strangers
to controversy over the years, from playing illegal players to
not playing at all, from dodgy dealings by club officials to
liquidation in 1986. One such event revolved around the transfer
Alf Common from Sunderland in 1905 when Boro were investigated
by the football authorities.