Monday, March 07, 2011

A well-grounded football education - Plymouth Argyle FC

*Ground Name: Home Park (opened 1901)
*Address: Home Park Stadium, Plymouth, Devon, PL2 3DQ
*Main Club Number: 01752 562561
*Club Founded: 1886
*Club Nickname: The Pilgrims
*Ground Capacity: 19,500
*Current League status: Npower League One
*Official Club Website:
*Email address:
*Record Attendance: 43,596 vs Aston Villa, Division Two, 10th October 1936
*Record League Victory: 8-1 vs Millwall, Division 2, 16th Jan 1932 & 8-1 vs Hartlepool Utd, Division 2,
7th May 1994
*Nearest Train Station: Plymouth station is about a 15-20 min walk from the ground. On exiting the station, turn right, down the hill under the railway bridge and follow this road to the ground, which is on the right.
*Pubs for away fans: The Britannia in Wolseley Road, which is a ten minute walk from the ground. Alternatively there is a good variety of pubs in the city centre. Beer is also available inside the ground

The Ground:
Originally built in 1893, Home Park was extensively redeveloped in 2001/02 at a cost of £11 million. Three sides of the ground are now a modern well-proportioned and comfortable stadium, with the remaining side due for redevelopment. The Grandstand is the only side of the ground that is underdeveloped. The lower tier, which stretches the length of the pitch, is open, a legacy of the open terrace that used to be there and is uncomfortable in wet and windy weather. The upper tier is covered but only stretches three-quarters of the pitch. The dressing rooms are located below The Grandstand and there is a scoreboard between it and The Devonport End. A new, multi-tier stand, with a capacity of 6,000 is planned, though no date has been fixed for the commencement of this development. The Devonport Stand was the first of the new stands to open and is home support only, including a family enclosure. Like the other two stands it forms one continuous sweep around the ground in a single tier, allowing for a real atmosphere to be generated. The Lyndhurst Stand is a single tier, which continues the sweep around the ground, joining the two ends. The louder Plymouth fans sit in the Barn End corner which generates an excellent atmosphere between opposing supporters. The Barn Park End houses away support that takes up a varying amount of the stand, depending on the fixture. The views & facilities are very good.

Home Park - home of Plymouth Argyle FC

Fiercest - The club's traditional rivals is fellow Devon side Exeter City, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth (the Plymouth-Portsmouth game is known as the Dockyard Derby). Although the rivalry with Exeter City has been blunted for a while due to a difference in Divisions, Argyle's relegation into League One at the end of the 2009/10 season, coupled with Exeter City's survival has reignited the tensions. Welsh sides Cardiff City and Swansea City are also seen as local rivals. A distinct rivalry arose between Argyle and Luton Town after inflammatory comments made by Joe Kinnear who was manager of The Hatters during the 2001–02 promotion season, although this mutual antipathy has now somewhat abated. Similarly, after the departure of Ian Holloway to Leicester City in November 2007 a noticeable mutual dislike arose, although this mutual antipathy has now similarly subsided.

Famous/Celebrity fans:
Michael Foot - Former Labour Party Leader
The late Sir Clement Freud - Broadcaster and former MP

Legends that have worn the shirt:
Jack Chisholm - 1949–1954
Johnny Williams - 1955–1966
Colin Sullivan - 1968–1974
Jim Furnell - 1970-1976
Paul Mariner - 1973-1976
Kevin Hodges - 1978–1992 (Manager 1998-2000)
Tommy Tynan - 1983-1985 & 1986-1990
Paul Wotton - 1994-2008
Also Paul Sturrock (Manager): 2000-2004 & 2007-2009

Argyle Villans:
Taribo West - 2005-2006
Ian Holloway (Manager)- 2006-2007
George Reilly - Reilly scored the winning goal for Watford against Plymouth Argyle in the 1984 FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. Nearly 20 years later, Reilly was working as a bricklayer on a building site in Corby, when he was attacked by another worker who bit part of his right ear off, before whispering "Plymouth" in his other ear by way of explanation.

The city of Plymouth is now the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football. They are the most southern and western League club in England.

At the height of the Cold War in the sixties, Argyle went on a tour of Eastern Europe, which included a match against Legia Warsaw, played in front of 100,000 fans.

In 2006 Viz magazine ran a one-off comic strip 'The Pirates of Plymouth Argyle' based on the team.

On 21st February 2011, the club issued a notice of intention to appoint an administrator and were immediately docked 10 points by the Football League which dropped them to the bottom of the League One table.
The club officially went into administration on the 4th March 2011.

# Next time I shall be picking another English Football League club at random, in my efforts to give all my readers the opportunity of 'a well-grounded football education.'

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