Sheffield FC : Football’s coming home…

Sheffield FC Chairman Richard Tims talks us through the latest update on the club’s vision for their new ground.

If you’ve passed by the Sheffield Transport Sports Club in recent months, you might have noticed a sign emblazoned with the words ‘home of football coming soon’.

That’s because this site, situated just off the Meadowhead roundabout, is where the world’s oldest football club plan to take their next step on a long and illustrious journey, returning over county lines back to South Yorkshire and its native city of Sheffield.

It was March 2021 when plans were first unveiled for a new 4000-seat stadium and understandably there was plenty of excitement amongst football fans in the city. Now the dust has somewhat settled, we sat down with Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims for an update on progress and further details on the club’s vision for the site.

Sheffield FC

How’s it looking?

There has been progress and the stars do seem to be aligning, but there have been some, I suppose you could say, political hurdles to overcome. Despite the sites being only a mile away from each other, we’re actually working over two local authorities, so there are naturally a few challenges and boxes to be ticked. But we’re getting there now and ticking those boxes.

It’s important to remember, though, that we were technically homeless for 141 years, so there’s no need to rush things. It’s important we do this properly. The support locally has been great, so have Sheffield City Council, and we hope we can follow through on the promise to deliver something special for the city.

The Vision 

We’re looking to build something that’s more than just a ground. Considering our heritage, we want something that’s of local, national and international importance. We hope it will serve as an international visitor centre where football fans from around the world can take a trip to the city that gave the beautiful game to the world. It should be on every fan’s list to visit the home of football once in their lifetime.

Sheffield FC proposed stadium

We’ve got plenty of interesting ideas, and I think what’s key is having somewhere which brings together the history of the club but also maintains a fun, interactive side. We want it to be somewhere that people, young and old, will be enthused about. For example, we invented the first crossbar, so how about a crossbar challenge using a 1957 leather case ball? If that’s not difficult enough, try it in an old pair of antique leather boots. See how you get on with that. We have many historical artefacts to showcase, going right back to the formation of Sheffield FC, and that’ll all be on show in the visitors centre.

Another thing we’ve discussed is ensuring the food and drink offering will be top-notch. We’ve already spoken to some local food vendors about getting them in there, a good craft beer selection is important too. We’ve got a great relationship with Borussia Dortmund and St Pauli, who love a bratwurst beforehand, so I’ve promised to have a bratwurst corner in tribute. Then of course, we’ll have the traditional stuff – pies, fish and chips, etc.

Coming Home 

Pretty much everyone in Sheffield knows the Meadowhead roundabout, and if you’re coming in from the south side of the city, you can’t miss it really. The transport links there are fantastic, and we really think that’ll be instrumental in boosting the numbers of people coming to visit. It’s important to mention, too, that there’s been a cricket pitch there for a long time and we’ll help to ensure cricket remains an important part of that site for years to come.

When will it be ready? 

It’s obviously not entirely in our hands, but we’d like it to be a couple of years. I think that’s optimistically achievable if all goes well. Sheffield FC have lived a very nomadic existence for some time now, so we’re really excited about the opportunity to put down some proper roots back in the Steel City. It’s going to be another exciting chapter in The Club’s history, and we hope we can bring as many Sheffielders as possible along for the ride! // @_sheffieldfc // @sheffieldfc

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