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Tilbury Football Club Ground (Chadfields) 13 Spindles, Tilbury, Essex RM18 8NP

Limited information is available regarding Tilbury’s first Greyhound Racing venue, although it is quite clear this venue in question was operational during the late 1930’s. The venue described in this chapter is known today as Chadfields, an amateur football ground that is presently the home to Tilbury Football Club.

Greyhound Racing events first appeared on a section of grazing land on Tilbury Marshes, which was located roughly half a mile north of Tilbury town centre, just off St Chads Road. Information regarding type of track, racing distances and hare type remains a mystery, but it is known that it had two small shelters that covered areas of shale banking.

It is further known that the sport surrendered itself to the Second World War, due to the site being taken over by the Ministry of Defence, with the venue being used as an anti-aircraft site to guard the very active Tilbury docks. After hostilities had ceased, the MOD moved out, and what they left behind was nothing more than a derelict site.

Next to Chadfields was a football pitch known as Orient Field, and prior to the war it had been the home to Tilbury Football Club. The post war years had witnessed disputes between the football club and the landowner, meaning that the football club need to move on.

After successfully agreeing terms with the council for the use of Chadfields, officials and supporters began to rebuild Chadfields back into a more recognised sports venue. By the end of 1947 the venue had totally transformed, and football now was regularly being played at the ground. In 1949, the football club purchased the ground from the council, with cash they had received from a player that they had sold to Southend United, and during the same year, the ground set itself a record attendance of 5,500 in a match against Gorleston.

Over the years, the venue has developed into a useful sized amateur football stadium, but today Chadfields clearly suffers from wear and tear, this due to its 70 years of existence.

This press cutting is dated September 1947.
Two more modern images of Chadfields around 2009.