FOR the last two seasons Grays Athletic FC has ground-shared with East Thurrock FC at Rookery Hill, Corringham. The generosity of East Thurrock allowed the club to survive almost certain extinction and all concerned with Grays are very grateful.
The arrangement is finishing at the end of the present season and Grays Athletic will shortly be submitting a planning application, to the local authority, for the construction of their own stadium and community sports hub at North Grays, to the east of the premises of Thurrock Rugby Club. It is estimated that up to two years will be needed to properly get through the legal procedures and to construct the infrastructure.
To have a home venue during the intervening period Grays Athletic has secured, in partnership with West Ham FC, the leasing of the old Ford United stadium at Rush Green. The site has been disused for some years and of late Grays supporters have formed working parties and carried out clearance and refurbishment work, bringing the site up to the standards required by the Ryman League for Premier football.
The club obviously wants as many existing and new local supporters to attend next season’s fixtures at Rush Green and are considering ways of ensuring this can happen by promoting car sharing among fans and organising a car lift scheme for individuals without their own transport.
The completion of the super North Grays sports hub project will ensure the future of Grays Athletic FC, established 1890, and the wider Grays community can look forward to many more years of participating in sport and watching their local football team on a prestigious site in their home territory. – GEORGE WATTS, Crammavill Street, Grays.