With the onset of Rugby Professionalism (Officially), Newport Athletic Club was
losing money fast and saw a quick sale of the cricket ground as a potential saviour.
Over the course of several years, the Athletic Club's Management Committee was taken over
by the Rugby Club and the writing was on the wall for the Historic Cricket Ground.
The Battle had been raging for several years, but it was in the late 1980's that things started
to take a turn for the worse.
By May 1987 the Athletic Club, had made it's intentions clear. The original idea, of being a major
sports club catering for many sports had long since disappeared. With several of the original
sports sections of the club being forced out, the famous Newport Athletic Club was by now, little
more than a Rugby and Bowls Club. The Management Committee's intention to sell the Cricket
Ground was the next step in their efforts to create a Rugby powerhouse from the proceeds of a
The Cricket Ground was on prime land adjoining the Rugby ground, close to the town centre and
developers and councils clammered to secure the purchase.
Despite strong protests by many the sale of the ground was inevitable.
In 1988. Glamorgan were celebrating their own Centenary and decided to visit many of their
'out grounds' to mark the occasion. With the 'Death Knell' looming it was a fitting time to play
at Rodney Parade, a ground they had not played First Class cricket on for 23 years.
The club won many new friends leading upto and after the match and had continued to forge
good relationships with many parties, including the Town Council and another 1st Class match
was planned for 1989.
Despite the game being a major success, played in front of a large crowd, sadly the days of
cricket at Rodney Parade were coming to an end.
However, it was not long before the 'Deal was Done'! Gwent County Council made a Compulsory
Purchase Order on the ground and bought it for close to £1 Million, to build a replacement for
Maindee Primary School.
The Club was given 2 year's grace to continue playing on the ground, while plans were finalised
to build the new school.
Every game on the now doomed ground was treated like a Cup Final and the ground had never
looked better in all its history.
A very strong Newport team were sweeping all before them, but the icing on the cake was the
announcement that Glamorgan would play one final game on the famous ground against
Yorkshire....... What a way to go!
With Newport's Glamorgan left arm spinner, Phil North missing out on last year's Glamorgan
match v Derbyshire at Rodney Parade, a similar fate was bestowed on Newport's other
Glamorgan player, the popular wicket keeper Martin Roberts this time.
In 1990, Glamorgan returned to Rodney Parade for the last time and it was fitting that one of the
'All Time Greats' and 'Legend' of the game Viv Richards would tread the sacred turf during it's last
season of cricket.
Viv was playing for a very successful Glamorgan team and no doubt recalled the previous time
he had played on the ground, way back in 1973 as a youngster, learning his trade for Lansdown
playing against Newport (see Scorecard in the 175 Year History Section).
Unfortunately, the game was abandoned without a ball being bowled as rain ruined the final
'The Gods are shedding one final tear for the ground,' quipped Club President and Newport
legend, Bill Jones.
As the bulldozers moved in and the dust settled on Rodney Parade, the Cricket Club were left
to pursue new pastures and after lengthy discussions with the Town Council a new site at
Spytty Park was identified.
Despite initial promises of a Compensation by the Athletic Club Officers, this did not materialise
and the Cricket Club were left to relocate without a penny!
Still to this day, the rugby dominated Athletic Club has offered no financial
assistance or support to the Cricket Club!