This week the rugby league community says farewell and good riddance to Knowsley Road. This is a place where bottle tops were confiscated because staff feared that the elderly members of the crowd would chuck them at Johnny Vegas during one of his fowl mouth rants on the terraces. The feral OAP louts sometimes went a step too far and stole bars of soap from the ‘posh’ toilets of Knowsley road to try and teach the young ones a lesson or two about swearing.
The shocking toilets in the away end of Knowsley road deserve to be listed so that students of the future can see how hospitality was in St Helens for over one hundred years. If Park Hill in Sheffield could be granted Grade II listed building status, then so should the eyesore that many had the misfortune to visit over the years whilst in that part of the world.
It’ll also be nice to see the back of the 'English Defence League' style stewards that monitored the away end. The three or four times I’ve been to Knowsley Road I can always remember that the local chavs looking for trouble in the away end never got evicted. But if a Rhinos fan put a foot wrong you’d soon be doing Netty on the stadium walls rather than within the stadium.
So knocking down this stadium will be as historic as the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989, at least for the inhabitants of this suburb of Liverpool. Whatever nostalgic views we have of Knowsley Road will forever be in pictures, videos and most importantly our memories forever. Something that no stadium demolition can take away from us. I won’t miss Knowsley Road but I’ll miss what it used to be and I hope everyone’s feeling the same.
Rugby league isn’t running away from the past, its running to the future and that’s good. If it wasn’t for the commercial investment in the game we’d still be playing in dives like Central Park, The Boulevard and Wilderspool Stadium in the year 3000. It wouldn’t of been the best of legacy’s we left behind for the children of the future.
Good bye Old Friend.