I admit, these are not the most inspiring set of pics I’ve ever taken, but I thought I might as well post them up just in case there are people out there with a burning fascination for ex-grounds of provincial lower league teams in Thailand.
Let it be said I certainly didn’t cram myself into the 12-seater minivan which counts as a bus service in this part of the world to see a ground which is – and I don’t feel I’m being unduly critical here – a bit of a dump. I did a day trip 30 miles outside Bangkok to see apparently the world’s tallest Buddhist monument and a palace to the west of there.
The monument, a large golden bell-shaped tower, was certainly tall. I didn’t realise quite how tall until I saw a maintenance worker climbing a ladder up one side. It was the main feature of every postcard for the town I saw, mainly because that maintenance worker can’t get much work outside temples, as the rest of the city was ageing about as well as an obese alcoholic.
Unfortunately my guidebooks neglected to mention the small detail that the main part of the palace grounds, the bit with the palaces in that you want to see, is shut during working hours. It was only about 1 km from the Buddhist temple, but this is Thailand, and a 1 km walk when it’s 90 F and humid is not like a 10 minute stroll to the shops backs home. Even with it being weirdly hot & cloudy, the sun’s heat was enough to cause a noticeable change in heat from being in and out of the “shade”, even when you had no shadow.
The overriding”oh bugger” feeling caused by wasting a very sweaty near hour of my life making a fruitless trip was tempered ever so slightly by noticing a football ground just yards before the locked gates. I couldn’t get in there either, but the mesh fence gave a pretty clear view inside.
There wasn’t a vast amount to the ground. The main spectator accommodation was three very flimsy looking bleacher style stands, two on one side, and one on the other. Between the two on one side was a tiny “main stand” – which is really stretching the term, containing 99 brown seats, and a few more rows of bleachers in front.
Both ends were just flat expanses of grass. Walking round the other side, I tried to find evidence of whether this was a ground in use of not. All I found though were some cockerels roaming free, and cock-a-doodle-dooing their morning chorus, even though it was early afternoon.
It turns out the place was the home of Nakhon Pathom FC, just not any more. They’ve since moved out to a new ground to the south, and while it isn’t any bigger, it doesn’t look like it’s made out of Meccano and would fall over in a stiff breeze. With them having just been relegated to the 3rd tier, the highest finisher in a scary six-team relegation zone, they probably don’t need any extra capacity anyway.