LUFTWAFFE TARGETS GREYHOUND TRACK.
It is common knowlege that some towns and most cities aroumd the UK suffered during the Blitz of the Second World War. Even sporting venues succumbed to a bomb or two, with West Ham, Wimbledon, Clydebank and Hartlepool greyhound tacks all experienceing a direct hit. I could investigate further and sure enough I could find another name to add to that list, but the venue I am about to describe was in the Scottish city of Stirling. Why was Stirling different from the rest ? you may ask, well because only one enemy bomb was dropped on the city, and guess what it landed on the dog track.The venue was known as Forthbank Park, a venue that also staged Scottish League football with the now defunct King’s Park FC. using it as their home ground. Forthbank Park was situated half a mile east of the city centre and began to develop on grazing land during the late 19th century, with the view of staging amateur football. King’s Park had been quite successful at amateur level, but in 1921 became one of the original members of the newly constructed Scottish Second Division. But by the 1930’s it was another story of financial hardship for the Stirling based football club, and became another venue that would turn to greyhound racing for its financial support. Opening up as flapping track, Forthbank’s staged its first meeting on the 11th of March 1932. Again the same old story as complaints from visiting teams regarding the corner sections of the pitch being damaged by encroaching greyhounds, yet more importantly the disapproval from the Scottish Football League regarding gambling taking place at league venue’s. But financial figures announced at the end of 1933 had shown greyhound racing had made a profit of £300, and had reduced the football clubs deficit to just £481. Greyhound racing continued up until the outbreak of the Second World War, but it was an incident during hostilities that ended greyhound racing at Forthbank. It was during the night of the 20th of July 1940, that the only enemy bomb dropped on Stirling hit Forthbank Park. The lone German aircraft had virtually destroyed half the stadium with a direct hit. Temporary repairs were made just enough to host two more King’s Park football matches before the club eventually folded. The stadium was so badly damaged that it was beyond repair and therefore condemned for demolition. It wasn’t until 1953 that The War Office paid compensation to the Stirling council for the damage done. The site is now covered partly by The Phoenix Industrial Estate with Maxwell Conversions more or less pinpointing its once location. Although nothing remains of the old stadium, but by coincidence the present Stirling Albion Football Club now play at a new venue on the outskirts of the city, which happens to be called The Forthbank Stadium.