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City on right route after loss of Lane
IT is hard to believe that 12 months have passed since Worcester City played their last league match at St George’s Lane.
A whole year since more than 4,000 fans crammed into the old ground to witness City’s 1-0 defeat to Chester.
Yet, tomorrow is the anniversary of an occasion that forever will stir mixed emotions in the hearts of loyal Blue and Whites.
For some, it was a day they had hoped would never come at a ground steeped in more than a century of history.
For others, it was a chance to bid a final farewell to a sporting relic that had served the community of Worcester.
Driving past where the Lane used to stand still seems slightly strange and there are many who remain angry about how its demise came about.
Many feared it would be the end of the club, the appetite to keep it going seemingly crushed under the weight of emotion in leaving the Lane. Not to mention the sight of seeing it reduced to a pile of rubble and a building site for a housing development.
But that has not proved to be the case and, if truth be told, there is an argument to say it has gained a new lease of life in exile at Aggborough.
That is not to say all is rosy – there are still plenty of question marks over its future - but it’s almost as if leaving Worcester has galvanised the support.
Making the relatively short journey to Kidderminster every other week has not been the burden many thought, thanks largely to generous season ticket offers and train travel deals.
On the pitch, the predicted relegation has not materialised and, instead, Carl Heeley’s side have shown they can hold their own in the division, particularly on the evidence of the second-half of the campaign.
That, too, has kept the belief among fans and given fresh optimism for next season. After all, the team is ultimately the reason for having a club.
Crucially, more than 200 people attended the supporters’ trust meeting at Worcestershire County Cricket Club last week to hear about plans for the future.
That’s about the same number that showed up for the cricket club’s annual meeting earlier this year in the same venue, a clear sign that there is a fanbase out there for the football club.
Of course, Aggborough is not the future, with a ground-share deal currently only in place for next season, and the major issue remains returning to Worcester.
But steps are being taken and the trust have submitted plans to Worcester City Council for a modest stadium at Perdiswell.
Although not a foregone conclusion, with funding still a hurdle to overcome, it has given the club hope, something it didn’t have at the Lane.
It is said that time is a great healer and there are signs that losing the Lane need not be the end.
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