Berkhamsted FC #SaveBroadwater
Berkhamsted FC #SaveBroadwater
We are Berkhamsted Football Club.
In December 2020, our landlord, the Berkhamsted Sports Ground Charitable Association Limited (BSGCA) outlined a plan to sell our Broadwater ground for housing development in order to partially finance a new sports hub as part of a property development proposal in Bourne End.
BSGCA is working with a property development company from Sussex called Thakeham, and leaflets describing this proposal are being sent to homes in Berkhamsted.
In short, the football club’s landlord wants to relocate the club to an out-of-town facility to be built on the green belt, which would only be accessible by car.
The football club has been clear in its response: we wish to stay at our historic home ground at Broadwater.
The football club remains an important part of the Berkhamsted community, with our teams, the majority of which play youth football, playing in different leagues and all using Broadwater as their sole home ground for home fixtures.
The historic town centre location of the beloved Broadwater ground is in walking distance for the majority of spectators and also handy for away fans to come via train, which allows people to use the lively social facilities of the clubhouse without worrying about driving.
Successful darts and pool teams are based at the ground, and we also host parties, weddings and music events, as well as being home to a local nursery and the largest taxi company in Hertfordshire.
There have been 100 years of football at what is now the Broadwater ground, with the 'Berkhamsted Comrades' formed in 1919 by servicemen returning from the First World War.
Our club, like all teams, has had its ups and downs throughout its history, but the first team currently plays in the Southern League Division One Central, known as Step 4, although when the 2019/20 season was ended by coronavirus, Berkhamsted FC were top of the league, all set for promotion to Step 3.
The current players follow in the distinguished footsteps of the likes of Frank Broome, who scored 53 goals in the 1933 season, was then transferred to Aston Villa and won seven England caps, and the team of 2001 who reached the final of the FA Vase, played in front of 8,500 fans at Villa Park.
Other notable players nurtured here that went on to have long professional careers include Maurice Cook (Watford & Fulham) and Keith Ryan (Wycombe Wanderers).
We believe football and society has suffered enough in 2020, and when life gets back to normal, sports clubs like ours will be key to rebuilding a sense of community, allowing people to socialise once again, and revitalising our town centre.
We are a local community club, run entirely by volunteers, and have over the years worked with a host of different charities, including Mencap, the Hospice of St. Francis, Help the Heroes, the British Legion and Leukaemia Research, as well as hosting charity football matches and supporting women's football as the former home base of Watford Ladies.
Please help us with our cause and to #SaveBroadwater sign the petition and post your "Reasons for Signing" in the comments section - we will use this in our discussions with our landlord and with the local council. Sharing this petition on social media would be greatly appreciated.
As a committee, we are determined to #SaveBroadwater and ensure the Comrades continue to play football in their historic location for another hundred years.