Cobridge Stadium, Waterloo Road, Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
LOCATED————————————About one mile south of Port Vale Football Club’s Stadium opposite Christchurch Vicarage just off the A50 Waterloo Road.
ORIGINAL SITE—————————–Old Coalshafts and Wasteland owned by The Coalboard.
DATE VENUE OPENED——————-September 1886 for Athletics.
Meaning other sports may have taken place prior to the arrival of Greyhound Racing.
FIRST MEETING—————————–July 19th 1932 and then closed-October 1st 1954. Re-opened Officially July 24th 1982.
Greyhound Racing only.
LICENSED OR INDEPENDENT———-NGRC 1932-1954 then Independent from 1982-1990.
All venues covered would have to be licensed with the government, licensed suggested in this section would refer to tracks operating under NGRC Rules.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HARE TYPE——Outside Sumner.
Please note that the Electric Hare suggested is only a guidance and would have been in operation for a certain amount of time at this venue. Although it is not necessarily guaranteed that it was operational all the time, as other types of lure may have been used and updated as time progressed.
DISTANCES———————————–251, 484 and 735 metres.
Please note that most racing venues distances had become varied throughout the years, the ones given above were at once point set and offers only a guidance to the track size.
Please note that alterations at most racing venues throughout its existence would see that the circumference of the track would vary, the one shown above offers only a guidance to the track size.
BIG RACE NAMES—————————Nothing known of.
STADIUM SHARED WITH——————Nothing known of while greyhound racing was there, but during other years it was mainly used for Athletics.
LAST MEETING——————————-September 17th 1990.
Greyhound Racing only.
STADIUM CLOSURE DATE—————-September 1990.
Meaning other sports may have taken place after Greyhound Racing had ceased.
BUILT ON SITE——————————-A cluster of bungalow’s known as The Stadium Court Residential and Nursing Home is situated just off Greyhound Way.
In some cases, structure’s that originally covered the venue after the stadium had been demolished, may have been themselves demolished too, so the one described is more likely to be the one which now presently covers the site.
EVIDENCE LEFT TODAY——————-Nothing known of.
FURTHER COMMENTS——————–The venue hosted league football with Burslem Port Vale hosting matches there between 1886 and 1913.
Another one of only a handful of Greyhound Racing Stadiums that existed in Staffordshire, was the one at the Cobridge Stadium, a venue situated two and a half miles northwest of Stoke on Trent. The land that it was built on was originally owned by the Coal Board, and after all its coalmining shafts had been filled in, the site became abandoned.
The council levelled the land, with a view of developing an Athletics track across it, ready in time for its grand opening on the 4th of September 1886. Two days later, the venue became a multi-purpose stadium, as football league club Burslem Port Vale hosted Preston North End in a match which would become the first of many over the next 27 years.
A cycling track was added before the turn of the century, and by 1913 the football club had moved on to play at a new venue in Hanley, the reason being that the pitch had experienced considerable subsidence. Athletics and Cycling continued right up until the early 1930’s, but attempts had been made in 1927 to introduce Greyhound Racing, but those efforts were soon rejected by the council.
In 1932 an approach by the Glasgow based, Albion Greyhound Racecourse Company, became more successful and was granted permission to install a greyhound track. The new grassed circuit was laid over the existing athletics track, after the company had invested £40,000 on their new project, the money having been raised by the means of £1 shares. The new Cobridge track was ready to stage its opening meeting on the 19th of July 1932, with all events being run under NGRC rules. A greyhound called Silent Marble won the first event over a distance of 480 yards, but within six months of its opening, the council ordered the track to close, the reason being was that it was operating a totalisator system illegally. But the closure lasted only a matter of days, and soon the track was up and running once more, this time legally with bookmakers in attendance.
After the Second World War hostilities had ceased, the tracks surface was reshaped, this time creating racing distances of 280, 500 and 650 yards. But in 1954, The Albion Greyhound Company withdrew its interest in Greyhound Racing at Cobridge, and staged their final meeting on the 1st of October.
Once the greyhounds had gone, Athletics returned once again and became its regular feature for the next 25 years or so, but Cobridge had also hosted other sports such as Midget Car Racing which had a brief spell during 1939, and later witnessed the introduction of American Football.
In 1979 attempts were made to bring Greyhound Racing back to Cobridge, but it took almost another three years before efforts were rewarded. When it re opened as a flapping track in early 1982, it began with just trials and a limited number of meetings, with its formal re-opening being staged on the 24th July 1982, and would be the first of many meetings to follow. The return of Greyhound Racing brought with it much interest, with a four-figure crowd attending, along with ten bookmakers at its opening meeting.
Race distances were calibrated at 251, 484, and 735 metres, on a grass running surface which had sanded bends, and an outside Sumner type hare. In 1986 the stadium celebrated its One Hundredth Anniversary, its age contributing to the run-down condition that it actually was, and with the council announcing plans for a new Athletics stadium, its future looked grim. The years following, had seen the council owned stadium being sold to developers, and with the new Athletics stadium almost built, the days at Cobridge looked numbered.
More issues contributed to the end, when the council refused to renew the lease to the track’s promoter, and also disrupted meetings by dumping mounds of earth at the car parks entrance, along with the clubhouse becoming padlocked by council representatives. Sadly, the pressure from the council was enough for the promoter to accept defeat, so on the 17th of September 1990, Cobridge Greyhound Stadium staged their final meeting.
The dismantling of the stadium began the following year, after the green light had been given for the construction of new structures on the site. The site became covered by the Stadium Court Residential and Nursing Home, a cluster of buildings situated along the side of Greyhound Way, an access road which is situated just off the A50 Waterloo Road.
A photograph or even memorabilia for this track is required for this page, if you can help please contact me.