The Reckless Guide to... Exeter City
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 30th December 2017
Kick Off - 3.00 pm
Stadium St James’ Park, St James Road, Exeter, Devon, EX4 6PX
Telephone 01392 411243
Club Colours Red and White stripes with Black trim
Nickname The Grecians
Manager Paul Tisdale has been at the helm at St James since June 2006 and is currently the second longest serving manager in England behind Arsene Wenger. Injury forced an early playing retirement for Paul, who had represented Southampton, Northampton Town, Huddersfield Town, Bristol City, Exeter City and Yeovil Town. He also played in Greece and Finland during his career. He became manager of Team Bath in 2001 before joining the Grecians.
Brief Directions by Road
The M4 and onto the M5 and junction 29 is a very straight forward way to get to Exeter but the much more pleasant - and it covers a lot less miles - is the M3 westbound until junction 8 and onto the A303. This bypasses Basingstoke which is a bonus. Remain on the A303 passing Stonehenge (is it not the most magnificent sight?) until it becomes the A30 around Honiton. Stay on the A30 into Exeter. As you pass under the M5 bridge, look out for the signs to the City Centre. Now it gets tough! Follow signs for City Centre on the Honiton Road. This road becomes Wonford Hill and then Fore Street and passes through Heavitree. Turn right at the roundabout into Western Way (B3212) which is signposted Pinhoe and Broadclyst. At the next roundabout, take the second exit into Old Tiverton Road where the ground becomes signposted. At the top of the hill take the first left into St. James' Road. I hereby announce that these directions are taken from information provided by Exeter City FC.
Some street parking is available plus very limited parking at the ground if you get there early enough. The club suggests the pay and display in the city centre and a ‘short’ walk (20 minutes) to the ground.
Directions by Train
An early morning London Paddington to St James’ Park train will take around 3 hours with a small change at Exeter St David’s. St James’ Park station is right beside the ground. Its St Davids for my band of brothers and then a Bob McNab to the ground!
Eating and Drinking Locally
The Social Club at the ground admits away fans - I spent some serious drinking time in there once and very reasonable prices and a well kept pint were on offer I must add. The walls were covered in City memorabilia and historical artefacts plus it’s well worth checking out a ‘Devon Pastie’ which are on sale in the club before the game – they were superb!
The St Anne's Wells comes recommended with good ales and very good bar meals.
The Victoria Inn can be found in Victoria Street a short walk from the ground while the Wetherspoon at Exeter St Davids is the Imperial. This will suit most tastes as always. In fact most of the pubs close to the ground serve up great “Real Ale” so Tweed jackets, goatie beards and jugs at the ready!
Major construction work is under way and the first thing one notices is the gap of the now demolished Main Stand. The old structure dated from 1925 and ran 3/4 length of one touchline and they won't build them like that any more! To the left is the large covered Thatchers Big Bank terrace where the majority of The Grecians support is to be found. It used to be called the Duke Bank (long before it was re-terraced and covered in 2000) in honour of a local MP H.E. Duke who helped City to expand their pitch in 1911 to meet League requirements by persuading the local landowner to part with some of his pig and sheep grazing land - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. To the right was the uncovered away fan terrace called the St James’ Road End. Still in storage ready for this area when ground redevelopment develops is the North Stand Cover that was at the Hive! Opposite the main stand is the all seated IP Stand erected in 2001. It replaced the beloved Cow Shed terrace which had stood through wind and rain for nearly 80 years. We will be allocated a section of seat here for the afternoon.
Adult - £22 in advance; £23 on match day
Senior (Over 64)/Full-Time Student valid NUS/matriculation card - £19 advance; £20 on the day
U18 - £9.50 advance; £10 on the day
Previous Meetings and Memories
Our last visit was in April 2017 when a John Akinde goal was not enough in a 2-1 defeat.
In October 2004, our Conference Championship winning season, a simply unstoppable Barnet side in front of a 3,500 attendance cruised to a 3-0 victory thanks to goals from Dwane Lee, Richard Graham and Dean Sinclair.
It was sensational start to the 1996/7 season with the Bees 4-0 demolition of City at St James Park in the Coca Cola Cup 1st round 1st leg. Robert Codner, Micky Tomlinson and Phil ‘OJ’ Simpson were superb, and I slept some of the night in the car outside the Victoria Inn mentioned above, marvellous. The following season an exciting Sean Devine hattrick gave the Bees a 3-0 win at Underhill - so that’s why they bought him. Who remembers Sean’s outrageous yet tongue in cheek goal celebration as a Grecian in front of the Bees travelling fans in 2003? He seriously milked it and so would I. History tells us that in the 1924 FA Cup competition Barnet travelled to Exeter City only to be beaten 3-0. I missed it as I was a little too young.
Uri Geller, who fortunately for his dentist bills wasn’t born with a silver spoon is his mouth, was a Director of City. Noel Edmonds holds regular parties at his house, and Deals too I understand, which is just an Edwin Stein corner kick from the ground. Dame Agatha Christie was born in 1890 in Torquay but lived in Exeter. Mr and Mrs Reckless have always found her crime thriller ‘They Do It With Mirrors’ very stimulating. Don’t worry if you get a hole in your trousers while in Exeter as Isaac Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine, comes from these parts.
Comedian Tommy Cooper was born in Wales but spent his childhood in Exeter. Queen Elizabeth 1st privateer Sir Walter Raleigh was born in the local village of East Budleigh and direct descendants of the intrepid explorer own the ‘Smokers Paradise’ newsagent on the Exmouth Road.