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Legends in town for new ground
11:10am Thursday 5th July 2012 in News
CHAIRMAN Jim Cockerton said he always believed Evesham United would move into their new home.
The £2million Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium has been ready since March 2011 but could not open because of delays to the access road from a roundabout on Cheltenham Road.
It has cost the club an extra £50,000 to get the project finished, as well as money from the Football Foundation and talks between the Highways Agency and MP Peter Luff.
However, work has been completed and ex-Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson will officially open the ground on Saturday at 2pm ahead of a match between an Evesham XI and Manchester United legends (2.30pm).
Cockerton said: “We are all over the moon, we can’t wait for it. I always believed it would happen but I had my doubts, particularly from a financial point of view. It was never a strong doubt but when you have so many disbelievers around you, it does get to you.
“Having had planning permission since October 2002, it’s cost the club a lot of money, especially in the last 12 months when we expected to be in there.
“The roundabout has been the biggest stumbling block in the last couple of years but there will be suitable traffic management in place to allow people to get in and out of the ground with no problems at all.”
Saturday’s showpiece marks the end of more than a decade of work to build the Robins a new home in the town.
After planning permission, Evesham did not leave their Common Road home, which was sold for housing, until 2006.
Since then, they have played their matches at Worcester City but crowds have gradually dwindled. However, the club hope returning to the town will see attendances increase as fans flock to see the new stadium.
It has a 3,000 capacity with a 300-seat main stand, six fullsized pitches, eight smaller surfaces, six changing rooms and a function room.
As well as Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South and West side United, around 30 teams will play on the 13-acre site, including junior sides.