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Butlin Road (Rugby Town)
First Qualifying Round
(Saturday 9th September 2023)
Address: Butlin Road,
Capacity: 6,000 (Approximate Capacity) (740 Seated)
A very fine football ground for its level. A great mix of stands.
Taking its name from the road which passes by south, Butlin Road has been the home of Rugby Town Football Club since 1973. The modern-day ground has taken shape since the beginning of the 21st century, holding just under 5,400 around the middle of the 2000s. The development of a new stand to the west boosted capacity further, with a new elevated seating stand opened in 2003 by ex-England international Darius Vassell.
Dugouts in front of the ground's southern side are from Filbert Street, the old ground of Leicester City Football Club between 1891 and 2002.
Location and Getting There
Butlin Road is located in western Rugby, around 1.5 miles from the Town Centre. Railway lines pass by immediately to the north of the ground, with Rugby Golf Club further north from here. Whinfield Cemetery and Whinfield Woods are immediately south of the football ground.
Butlin Road's location makes it simple to access by car, albeit the road itself leading up to the stadium can be quite tight on matchdays. The ground has a good-sized car park outside of its main stand, and you are free to use the roads around the ground for free parking.
Rugby Train Station (RUG) is more centrally located within the town and is served by West Midlands Trains and Avanti West Coast. It is approximately one mile northwest of Butlin Road and walking from here to the ground takes around 20 minutes. Exit the station onto Railway Terrace and head east onto Murray Road, soon turning left onto Abbey Street. Continue down the residential road all the way as it eventually becomes South Street, later turning left onto Biart Place which leads to Clifton Road. Cross Clifton Road over to Butlin Road, and follow this street all the way down past the Whinfield Recreation Ground. The sign into Butlin Road's main car park will eventually appear on your left.
Outside the Ground
Butlin Road's car park leads you. up to the South Stand.
The exterior here can be split into two main sections. Over to the left is access to club offices and facilities, based under sloped roofs and behind royal blue glass windows. White windows at the western end look into a conference and events suite, and round the corner from here is a old turnstile entrance that is often closed on a regular matchday.
Head right along the southern side of Butlin Road, and you will pass an exterior which used a sandy-coloured stone base with corrugated iron higher up. Team coaches often park up outside here. There is a sign for "Spectator Entrance" at the exterior's eastern end, and this leads over to the Turnstiles.
Access into Butlin Road for all fans comes through turnstiles near to the ground's southeast corner. These are accessed from the main car park by heading through a set of blue gates and immediately turning left. A sandy-coloured stone wall continues on from here down to the eastern side of the football ground and the facilities beyond it.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction from the South Stand will bring you to the East Stand. This side of Butlin Road has an uneven, paved access road running right along outside of it, with allotments out beyond. The stand can be given the alternative name of Allotment End as a result.
The access road is reached off Butlin Road to the south, but those on foot also have the option of sneaking through a gap by the old turnstile and heading onto the access road further up.
In truth, there is no real reason to head over here other than to be curious. The stand's plain exterior consists of a sandy-coloured brickwork base with blue corrugated iron and blue emergency vehicle gates towards its southern end. There are no entrances or exits on this side of the football ground.
Heading round the corner will bring you in line with the northern side. The area immediately behind the stands here is taken up by fenced off space for groundwork and maintenance equipment. It is locked off to the public and monitored by CCTV.
This metal perimeter fence continues along the northern side of the ground, affecting how much of the exterior you can see and reach including a portacabin which holds the club boardroom and directors area.
There are no turnstiles on this side of Butlin Road, and the perimeter fence continues beyond the football ground on this side, making it impossible to reach the East Stand from here.
Butlin Road's East Stand is instead reached by heading past the aforementioned southeast turnstile block. Doing so takes you to an open space for parking vehicles and has the stand's exterior on your left. A sandy-coloured stone wall is in place along most of it but also includes blue corrugated iron where the covered section can be found.
Out beyond this East Stand are two 3G pitches, the latter double the size of the former. This is where Rugby Town train and its pitches are available for community use throughout the week.
Inside the Ground
Butlin Road's southern side is split between terracing and seating. Immediately in front of the turnstile block are five shallow rows of uncovered standing terrace. A set of metal bars sit in front of the third-highest row for supporters to lean on.
Butlin Road's turnstiles are in place front of the turnstiles and this terraced area,
The main feature on this side of the football ground is the Main Stand, a large elevated seating area. Seats inside are mostly blue, but also includes the letters VS spelt out in white on the outer seating blocks. The "S" block in turn has a flat platform in front of it for disabled supporters to use, and this is accessed via a ramp around the corner. Rugby Town's changing rooms are based inside this Main Stand, with the tunnel at the base on ground level. Views from anywhere inside the Main Stand are perfectly clear.
The western end of the southern side contains uncovered terracing which loops around to include the southwest corner. Up behind this terraced area is access to the main bar, refreshment hub and conference and events suite.
Views from this part of the southern side can be impacted slightly by a floodlight pole in the ground's southwest corner.
The West Stand is a large covered standing terrace.
There are a total of 12 rows, including a large open space right at the back which you can also stand on. A row of blue metal bars are in place right down at the front, and also close to the back for fans to lean on.
Views from inside the West Stand are perfectly clear with excellent overhead protection. There are just small walls in place at either end to provide sideways protection however.
Butlin Road's northern side is split into multiple sections.
At the western end is a section of uncovered standing terrace. This section includes 10 metal blue bars, alternative in position across the terraced area. Views are clear from this part of Butlin Road, but have no overhead protection.
Further along it a section of standing terrace which has upward-angled roof overhead. It is accessed through a fence which is closed whenever segregation is in place. Supporting pillars are in place at the front of this covered terracing section and will affect your view slightly as a result.
The central section of the northern side contains five shallow rows of blue seating, which interestingly have increasingly less leg room the further back you go. The westernmost seating block is marked as being for home directors, with a door at the back of the neighbouring walkway leading to the Boardroom. Another blue seating block follows, and the away directors seating block is the other side of a solid blue bar.
Two rows of seating are based in front of the football ground's control box. These rows of seating are marked as being reserved for match sponsors.
There are two further seating blocks in this central section, the easternmost block being marked as the Family Enclosure.
Supporting pillars run regularly towards the front of the stand, and will affect the view for most based inside. They do not get in your way however if you based right down in the front row.
Further along Butlin Road's northern side is another section of standing terrace which has upward-angled roof overhead. Supporting pillars are in place at the front of this covered terracing section and will affect your view slightly as a result.
The easternmost section of the northern side is an uncovered standing terrace, though this one doesn't have any metal bars running along it. Views are clear from here, but have no overhead protection.
Butlin Road's eastern side can be split into three sections.
The outer sections are four shallow rows of uncovered standing terrace. Views from these parts of the football ground are mostly clear, though a floodlight pillar can slightly restrict the view at certain places. This will only be a problem if the terraced sections are completely packed however.
The central section consists of thirteen shallow rows of covered standing terrace. The section has a row of metal bars down the front to lean on, as well as four metal bars up towards the back. Clear, well protected views are provided behind the eastern goal, with walls at either end to separate this section from its outer neighbours.
Segregation is very rarely in use at Butlin Road, if ever.
Away fans tend to congregate behind the goal their team is attacking. This places them either behind the large covered terrace to the west, or the partly covered terrace to the east. Both sides provide clear views from behind the goal and can accommodate a good number of supporters inside.
Away fans enter Butlin Road with the home fans, using the turnstile block near to the southeast corner of the football ground. It is reached by heading all the way through the main car park outside.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Bank (12 Bank Street, CV21 2QE) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Rugby)
-The Clifton Inn (343 Clifton Road, CV21 3QZ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located west of Butlin Road)
-The Courthouse (23 North Street, CV21 2AG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Rugby)
-Quigley's (22 Albert Street, CV21 2RS) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Rugby)
-The Seven Stars (40 Albert Square, CV21 2SH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Rugby)
The opening stage of my FA Trophy Challenge in 2023-24, and a lovely place to start.
Butlin Road has grown into one of the leading non-league grounds around, an excellent bland of terracing and seating. All four sides offer something different, be it an opportunity to see the action either at ground level or from a much higher up view.
It's not a central location within the town of Rugby itself, but worth taking the trip out east for.
First Qualifying Round
Saturday 9th September 2023
Rugby Town 1-Grantham Town 5
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