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Monday, February 15, 2010

Turls' Origins of Stadiums

In the first of an occasional new series, Turls delves into the football history books to bring us the definitive, absolute, 100 per cent real reasons behind some of football's most quirkily named grounds.

The Dripping Pan (Lewes FC)

A beautifully crafted name that truly reflects the nature of Non League football.

The name originates from the late 1880s when a local whore would head down to the fields in search of business.

The male residents of Lewes would follow her down and for a small fee, they were able to "discuss the meaning of life" with her.

The field later became known to locals and 'clients' as The Dripping Pan because it is believed that after a night of business, the local whore - believed to be named Pam - would walk away with the subject matter dripping from every orifice.


The Snake Pit (Atherstone Town FC)

The seemingly obvious name of the Snake Pit is a recent moniker and one that, surprisingly, does not relate to the club's nickname - the Adders.

The time was 1977, and the late Jeff Astle was plying his trade for the Warwickshire club. Having worked his way down the leagues, he was enjoying football and was known as a master of the practical joke.

Before the last game of his Atherstone career, he sneaked into the changing rooms 15 minutes before everyone else and planted snakes in the toilets.

He also placed a snake in both goalmouths and under the referee's door. With the story going down in folklore, the Snake Pit was born.

Wallace Binder (Maldon Town FC)

Wallace Binder was Maldon's most famous resident in the early 1900s. He was a cad and a bounder but he was loved by one and all.

After a journey to the Far East, he brought back a particularly dangerous case of Typhoid. Those who became infected began to experience strange symptoms.

The Typhoid Ten - a catchy title that referred to the ten people who carried the disease - became increasingly erratic and would be seen stumbling around the grounds of what would later become Maldon Town's home.

An orderly from the hospital would be sent down every evening to make sure they weren't doing any harm and to tend to their problems.

Upon hearing this story, the chairman of the club decided to honour the club by naming the stadium after the man who was indirectly responsible for the first football team from Maldon.

Wallace Binder brought Typhoid to Maldon and the Typhoid Ten were the the outfielders and the orderly was in goal.

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