Address: 16 Hardcastle Road,
Capacity: 10,841 (All-Seater)
One of Cheshire’s oldest football stadiums, and one that has undergone quite a life so far. Edgeley Park may not carry the aesthetics of modern football grounds, but that’s what helps to make it so special and unique.
Built in 1901, it has been the home of Stockport County Football Club since 1902.
The stadium was originally built for Stockport Rugby League Football Club, but the team was defunct within 12 months. Stockport County moved into Edgeley Park from Green Lane, where they had been since 1889. The move to a bigger stadium was needed as The Hatters had gained entrance to the Football League in 1900.
In 1935, the then-wooden Main Stand at Edgeley Park was burned down in a fire, with all of Stockport County’s records taken with it. This left the club having to rebuild a large part of their ground whilst also piecing together information about previous results and squads from more than 50 years of history.
The stadium has also hosted various events other than Stockport County matches. On 14th January 1959, the England International Team played two training games here in one day after their originally played venue, Maine Road, had a frozen pitch.
Between 2003 and 2012, Stockport County shared Edgeley Park with Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club until they moved to the A.J. Bell Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell.
Since 2015, the ground has been leased to The Hatters by Stockport Council, who purchased the stadium so that it wouldn’t be demolished or redeveloped.
Location and Getting There
Edgeley Park gets its name from the area of Stockport that is based in.
The ground is situated less than one mile southwest of Stockport Town Centre. Part of the Sykes Reservoir is beyond the stadium’s southwest corner, Alexandra Park is to the west, and the centre of Edgeley is to the north.
The stadium is in a well-built up area and finding parking spaces should not be too great of an issue.
The ground’s main car park is based outside of its West Stand, but I’ve personally been able to find free parking spaces along Cheadle Old Road a little into Alexandra Park.
Finding spaces north of the ground in Edgeley should also be possible, but be careful not to block any front drives and be wary of any parking restriction notices that could be in place.
Stockport Train Station is based roughly 0.5 miles northeast of Edgeley Park and walking to the stadium from there should take around 10 minutes along Station Road, King Street West, Mercian Way and then onto Hardcastle Road.
As an alternative to walking, you can head to the Grand Central bus stop and take either the 11 or 368 bus service, getting off at the Worral Street stop and walking the final bit up to the stadium’s North Stand.
Outside the Stadium
Edgeley Park’s North Stand is based along Hardcastle Road and was formerly known as the Hardcastle Main Stand. Since 2012 however, it has been named after Danny Bergara.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay on 24th July 1942, Bergara was the manager of Stockport County between 1989 and 1995, securing survival in the old Fourth Division (now League Two) in his first season. He would guide The Hatters to promotion to the old Third Division (now League One) in 1991. Over the next three seasons, Bergara would take Stockport County to the old Wembley Stadium on four occasions, two of them being Play-Off finals and the other two being Football League Trophy finals. Though they lost all of these games, Bergara’s eternal legacy at Stockport County had been secured, and you can find a Uruguayan flag flying above Edgeley Park’s East Stand during every game.
Bergara passed away on 25th July 2007 at the age of 65. The Main Stand at Edgeley Park has been named after him since the start of the 2012-13 season.
The Danny Bergara Stand’s exterior consists mostly of brickwork that is coloured blue at the bottom and brown higher up. Towards the middle of the stand are a pair of white doors that act as the entrance for Players and Officials.
The Stockport County Legends Lounge and Museum entrance is over towards the northwest corner, with a couple of turnstiles also based close by. The other turnstiles for this stand are based over towards the northeast corner of the ground.
The East Stand is better known as the Railway End because of the tracks that run along beyond it.
Immediately outside the Railway End however is The Bungalow Club, and this means that you cannot walk along the back of the stand.
Turnstiles into here are therefore based in the northeast corner of Edgeley Park along Hardcastle Road. Be careful not to confuse these with the nearby pair of turnstiles that are for the Danny Bergara Stand.
The South Stand is better known as the Popular Side or ‘Pop Side.’
Its outer wall has a brown brickwork base which protrudes out from the main part of the stand. That base has a blue corrugated iron roof, and then further back is more corrugated iron that leads to the roof which hangs over the stand’s seating area.
This area out the back of the stand is sectioned into two by a blue fence, and this is because the stand on occasion has been split between home and away supporters. Home supporters will get to this area using turnstiles at the far end of the car park outside the West Stand, whilst away supporters use the same northeast turnstiles as those based in the Railway End.
The West Stand at Edgeley Park is better known as the Cheadle End after the area of Stockport out beyond it.
It is the clear largest of the ground’s four stands, with a brickwork base, blue corrugated iron higher up and grey corrugated iron at the top. Additionally, strips of grey corrugated iron come down along the blue section with red circles inside of them.
Towards the middle of the stand’s exterior is a blue, glass entrance to the Conference and Banqueting Centre. The Stockport County Club Shop and Main Ticket Office is over towards the northwest corner.
Out beyond the stand is the main car park at Edgeley Park.
Turnstiles into the Cheadle End can be found a little in front of the southwest corner and in the northwest corner along Hardcastle Road. Be sure to check your matchday ticket so you know exactly which turnstile you are permitted to enter through.
Inside the Stadium
The seating area of the Danny Bergara Stand only runs along roughly two thirds of the pitch. This leaves open spaces in the northwest and northeast corners that are taken up by toilets, refreshment stalls, the Edgeley Park Control Box and the Legends Lounge Building.
The Danny Bergara Stand’s seating area is single-tiered and divided into three sections. The press and media seats are based right at the back and a little to the left of here is the executive seating area, sectioned off from other seats by small blue walls.
The third seating section is right down the front of the stand and in front of the main path for supporters. It consists of three rows of blue seats and is as close to the pitch as the stadium’s dugouts are. Alongside these dugouts, you can also find the changing rooms and tunnel inside the Danny Bergara Stand.
The view from inside the Danny Bergara Stand is generally quite good, but there are three large pillars in place, one at either end and the third in the very middle. These can restrict your view slightly if you are sat in the rows at the back of the stand, and will not get in your way at all if you are sat in any of the three rows right down by the pitch.
Windshields only provide protection to the very back rows of the stands, with just small walls in place for those sat closer to the pitch. The very front rows have no windshields or walls in place at either end, and the stand’s roof doesn’t always guarantee protection from above either. Because of this, it tends to be the least full part of the Danny Bergara Stand on a matchday.
The Railway End consists of a single tier of blue seating.
Up behind the very back row of the Railway End is an electronic scoreboard which can be easily seen by fans in the other sides of Edgeley Park. Fans get from one side of the Railway End to the other via a footpath behind the very back row of the seating area.
Your view from inside this stand is perfectly clear, and the reason why is because there is no roof overhead.
The stand does have windshields at either end and a tall blue back wall, but with no overhead protection you will feel all the wind and all the rain if it is present on a matchday.
The Popular Side consists of a single tier of entirely blue seating.
The stand runs along almost the entire length of the pitch and each of its five seating blocks are very similar in size. Hanging down from the stand’s roof is the gantry which holds the matchday camera.
Supporting pillars come down towards the front and back of the stand, but these pillars come down on the staircases between each seating block. Your view of the pitch will be restricted somewhat if you are sat in the rows at the back, but will progressively get better the closer you get to the front of the stand.
A windshield is in place at the end next to the southwest corner, but the end next to the southeast corner is completely open. The wind and rain can get in through here as a result.
The Cheadle End is divided into two tiers, though you can freely get between the two of them via staircases.
The bottom tier is larger than the one above and has the letters SCFC spelt out in white across its blue seating blocks. All the seats in the upper tier are coloured blue.
With no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above, your view is very, very good from anywhere inside, although you may find that the maze of red support beams can get in the way if you are sat right at the back of the upper tier.
Large windshields protect every row in the upper tier, with walls in place to offer protection for the lower tier rows.
With the high quality view of the pitch and a good level of protection from the elements, the Cheadle End is understandably a very popular place for Stockport supporters to watch a game in. You will likely find the loudest and most vocal Hatters fans based towards the back of the upper tier.
The location of away fans at Edgeley Park often depends on the allocation.
Typically, they are housed behind the goal in the Railway End. This means that away supporters are usually given a great view of the pitch, but have absolutely no protection overhead from any wind or rain.
When crowds are smaller, and the home crowd is also expected to be small, the Railway End is closed and away fans are instead housed in the Popular Side, usually taking up the block closest to the southeast corner. Large sheets and stewards are then used to segregate this away following from any home supporters sat in the rest of the Popular Side.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Bungalow Club right next to Edgeley Park itself (Away Supporters Typically Welcome for a Small Entrance Fee)
-The Armoury (31 Shaw Heath, SK3 8BD) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Located south of Stockport Station)
-The Chestergate (66 Mersey Square, SK1 1NP) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located north of Stockport Station)
-The Olde Vic (1 Chatham Street, SK3 9ED) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located southwest of Stockport Station)
-The Sir Robert Peel Hotel (83 Castle Street, SK3 9AR) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Located north of Edgeley Park)
-The Wellington (59-61 Wellington Road South, SK1 3RU) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located northeast of Stockport Station)
*There are few pubs within close distance of Edgeley Park. The recommendation is to find a drink in more central Stockport before making your way to the football ground)
Edgeley Park has been around for a long time and in truth, it shows.
The stadium’s interior and exterior has an old-fashioned look to it, but still serves its purpose well. Whilst there are supporting pillars in place on its northern and southern sides, the view from inside them is generally still good.
With no roof over its head, the away end isn’t going to be the most popular amongst travelling supporters, but the stand at the opposite end is superb and looks even better when full to the brim with Stockport fans.
Nicely placed within the Cheshire town, Edgeley Park really is a football ground unlike any other.
It’s well worth checking out.