Wednesbury Oval is disappearing !!

17/12/2013 15:30

Back in the 1870-1890 period, one of the most important cups in the Midlands was the Wednesbury Charity Cup. Teams as far away as Nottingham Forest, Stoke, Oswestry, Derby Town would compete against the local sides such as Wednesbury Strollers, Old Athletic, Elwells, Walsal Swifts, Wton Stafford Road, Wolves, Albion etc. Two feet high of solid heavily engraved pure silver, it was a highly regarded competition, and the final was always played at the Wednesbury Oval. Other important games were played there too, in the Birmingham, Walsall, and Staffordshire Cups, one game, Walsall Swifts v Stafford Road drew no less than 10,000 when only 8,000 saw the English FA Cup Final in London that year. I went here about 15 years ago when I realised how important the place was to the history of West Midlands football, and have gone back since, every few years. Im sad to have to report that although the far side is still used for school sports and dog-walking, that the 'cup final' pitch fell into overgrown neglect. But I was horrified at my last visit in November 2013 to find that bulldozers who were working on the opposite side of the lane (St.Pauls Road), were dumping their spoil on top of the old cup final pitch, and it was now under a layer of rubble and soil ! I wrote to the Black Country Bugle paper about this sad state of affairs. Surely the council-or whoever owns the land- cannot permit this to continue ?

Instead of destroying the old ground-where Walsall, Villa, Albion have all played- there ought to be a blue plaque errected instead?