Spytty Park (New Ground)

May 1989
The New Ground at Spytty Park
Without a penny in compensation from previous landlords, Newport Athletic Club, 
the very existence of Newport Cricket Club was in doubt. Sterling work by Club
Chairman Eddie Mogford and others set up the opportunity to build a new future
at Spytty Park.


Grants from The Sport's Council of Wales, fantastic support from Newport Borough Council and
lots of fundraising, laid the initial 'seeds of hope' of making it into a new home to be proud of.

In 1990, Spytty Park was a pretty bleak place to be, vast areas of grass land was home to a host 
of sub standard football and rugby pitches. But the 'Dream' was to make it into a State of the Art,
Sport's Village'.
Wow!

Study The Pictures Closely
A close look at the background in the early photo's clearly show none of the developments that 
grace the site today. In fact apart from the red bricked, squash court, there was no other
development on the site. No Pavilion! No Tennis Centre! No Swimming Pool! No Artificial Football
Pitch! No Newport Stadium! No Velodrome! No FAW Headquarters ..... Nothing!!

It must be said, there were many doubters when the scheme was first mooted!
But, we believed ..... we saw a vision ...... One Day!!

Work Begins on the Cricket Ground (October 1990)

Work on the Square of the Main Ground is started.

The Square is dug out and drained.

Layers of Shale are laid onto the cricket square.

Now For The First Layer of Top Soil.

Phase 1 Complete ..... Ready For The Winter.

March, 1991
The New Season Dawns

May 1991
Final Top Dressing
After a winter of bedding in, it's time to do the final top dressing and levelling.

Experts Level the Square.

Work on the Reserve Ground
An Interesting picture of the Reserve Ground.
No Newport Stadium or Velodrome! ..... remember those Fotball Pitches?

The Summer of '91
 
The Artificial Wicket on the Reserve Ground

A new artificial wicket ...... what an invention!

The Artificial Wicket Is Completed

As work on the Artificial wicket finishes, the grass on the square is bedding in.

Work On The Outfield
There's still a long way to go before it looks like a cricket ground though!

The End of The 1991 Season

Things are beginning to take shape! ..... still no pavilion!

The Summer of '92
It had been a long wait, with the Club being 'homeless' for 2 full seasons ('91 & '92). 
During this period the Club received tremendous goodwill, not only by the Club's opposition,
but by other Cricket Clubs in Newport.
The Newport 1st Team were forced to play all its Cup and League matches in the 'Famous Grouse'
Western League away from home during the 2 seasons in exile. (It would not be until the 1993
season that the Club would play League matches at Spytty).
Meanwhile the Club's 2nd X1 were playing all their matches at 'Home', which was at Whiteheads
Sports Ground in Bassaleg.
The 3rd Team were playing at Risca Leisure Centre and the Junior Section (only 3 teams in those
days! U11, U13 and U15) were playing at the Orb Steelworks Ground (to be 'lost' later for the
site of the new River Bridge).

However, there is always light at the end of the tunnel ..... the Official Opening
Match would take place during the 1992 season
..... July 11th, 1992.

Initial Plans of The Sports Complex.

Who Knows! 
One Day ...... it could even be called Newport International Sports Village!

Still a long way to go ..... Who would have thought!