Rotherham - Rotherham Town FC

Clifton Grove : S65 2BH
The Clifton Grove ground opened in 1891 when Rotherham Town Football Club moved there from Clifton Lane cricket ground. The Rotherham Town Football and Athletic Company was formed in January 1892 with a share capital of £1,000. The company was set up to take over the running of Rotherham Town Football Club and their ground at Clifton Grove, Rotherham.

In September 1892 the Company applied for an occasional drinks licence for football match days. This was refused, but it was commented that occasional licences had been granted in the past for bicycle races at the ground, although there is no available record of this.

The first bicycle racing at Clifton Grove was the Rother Ramblers Cycling Club Sports on August 13th 1892. This was a large meeting with 160 entries, 3,000 to 4,000 spectators and £60 in prizes. The bicycle events were; 1 mile novices handicap, club members 1 mile race, ½ mile and 2 miles open handicap races. Rotherham Cycling Club held their first track meeting on September 29th 1894 with four bicycle races including a one mile handicap race for the Eyre Challenge Cup.

The year 1895 saw several bicycle races at Clifton Grove. Rotherham Town FC held their 3rd annual sports on June 15th 1895 which included one and three miles bicycle handicap races, entertainment was provided by the Rotherham Borough Temperance Band. On Monday evening July 29th 1895 Rotherham Cycling Club held their sports which featured four bicycle events including a 10 miles handicap race. Kimberworth Cycling Club held a 20 miles handicap race on August 31st 1895. The limit man was on 15 minutes as he was riding solid tyres. There were nine starters and the race was won by J Brookes in 57½ minutes.

The workmen of Rotherham held their first annual sports on September 12th 1896 in aid of the local hospital. There were 1 and 2 miles bicycle races for working men from Rotherham. These were the last bicycle races at Clifton Grove.

In 1896 Rotherham Town FC was voted out of the Football League and subsequently folded, their last League game at Clifton Grove was watched by just 300 people. The Rotherham Town Football and Athletic Company, after continued financial problems, fell into debt and folded in August 1896. The contented of the ground were sold off by auction in 1896 and the ground was subsequently used for housing.


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