Middlesbrough Football Club has played a central part in the wider town’s history dating back to the club’s origins in the 1870s.
From an early nomadic existence that included matches in Albert Park, to nurturing local stars who went on to represent England including Wilf Mannion, Brian Clough and Alan Peacock and the modern era at the Riverside, the story of football in Middlesbrough has been closely intertwined with places and people at the heart of the town.
Inspired by material from the club’s archives, oral histories, podcasts and a range of personal collections, a new ‘From Ayresome Park to the Riverside’ trail will be launched this Saturday, October 30, as part of the Discover Middlesbrough festival.
The digital walking trail – designed by Peter Hinton Design and curated by Heritage Unlocked’s Dr Tosh Warwick and FMTTM editor Robert Nichols with support from Middlesbrough Council Public Health – will be available through the Huntee website and will be launched with a guided walk taking place before the next home match against Birmingham City on Saturday.
The Boro-inspired trail will take in a route from Middlesbrough FC’s home of 92 years Ayresome Park and lead supporters on a journey through the club’s history en route to the Riverside Stadium, home since 1995.
The trail combines visits to a number of familiar, fascinating and perhaps unfamiliar places that have played an important in part in Middlesbrough’s football history.
These will include the pitch puddle installation by celebrated sculptor Neville Gabie at Ayresome Park marking the spot from where Pak Do Ik famously struck his winning goal against Italy in the 1966 FIFA World Cup – a sculpture thought to be the only public artwork outside of North Korea to be recognised by the DPRK government and considered a National Historic Monument.
The trail also takes in Albert Park – the club’s first home – and the statue of Boro legend and managerial colossus Brian Clough, who famously used to walk through the park en route to Ayresome Park from his home in Valley Road.
Information on Clough’s career at the Boro features alongside other Boro players memories of Albert Park, including those of legendary forward Alan Peacock who used to play in the park as a child before sneaking into Ayresome Park when the gates opened to allow fans looking to make an early exit!
The walk will continue into the town centre and take in the sites of former Boro grounds, buildings closely associated with Boro history and will revisit stories of Victorian trophy processions and 1980s promotion celebrations – all supported by a rich array of photographs and historic material.
Heading to the Riverside Stadium, statues of Boro greats George Hardwick and Wilf Mannion will also be visited along with a number of historic plaques and memorials telling the story of the club and players through the ages – including those who lost their lives during the First World War.
The new digital trail will also provide an opportunity for supporters to share their own Boro memories, stories and souvenirs with view to updating the trail regularly with new anecdotes and information about Middlesbrough FC from a fans’ viewpoint.
It is hoped the ‘From Ayresome Park To The Riverside’ trail will also be used as an education and tourism resource so younger supporters and visitors to Middlesbrough can explore the history and heritage of the club and town.
· Join Dr Tosh Warwick and Robert Nichols at The Holgate (TS5 6BX) – opposite the Holgate End Wall at 1pm on Saturday, October 30.
The walk will take approximately 90 minutes allowing enough time to arrive at the Riverside Stadium for the match.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07591 093136.