Dark times hit Rossendale United

In this modern day and age in Non-league football many teams sadly go under. A number of them are due to mounting costs and lack on income from supporters attending the games.

The sign outside Rossendale United now broken  (photo by Joe Gibbons)

The sign outside Rossendale United now broken
(photo by Joe Gibbons)


Most have been able to reform because fans wanting to carry on the name of the club or having football in the area to go and watch the beautiful game.

However sadly one club who hasn’t been able to carry on. This one was Rossendale United.

Based in the Lancashire Valleys. Rossendale were forced to compete with many non-league clubs and even Football League and a Premier League clubs in drawing in attendances.

Things started to go wrong back in 2007 off the pitch and the future of the club was hanging by a thread in the Northern Premier League. But, a new board stepped in a saved the club for going out of business.

The goal at the far end of the Dark Lane ground  (photo by Joe Gibbons)

The goal at the far end of the Dark Lane ground
(photo by Joe Gibbons)


However, in 2010 the faced relegation the North West Counties league with attendances being around the 100 mark (when the big teams came into town.)

Problems on and off the field continued through out the 2010-2011 season and by mid February they found themselves bottom of the North West Counties League which also promoted most of the backroom staff to resign.

Chairman Steve Hobson said at the time: “Those of us behind the scenes have fought tooth and nail, for the past two seasons to keep the club going. Our supporters know why we have resigned and I am not prepared to go into the reasons publicly. My family, friends and I have given our all to the club for many years now and we have come to a point where someone else needs to pick up the baton and run.”
The club were sadly expelled from the North West Counties and the club folded which was a shame as the ground was set in a nice area of Lancashire.

There was talks in 2011 to bring football back to Valley of Rossendale for the 2012-2013 season either in the West Lancashire Premier Division or the North West Counties first division north. But sadly these were soon shelved after a fire ripped through the stadium and brunt the main stand which housed the dressing rooms in January 2012.

The fire at Rossendale United  photo thanks to Chris Lord

The fire at Rossendale United
photo thanks to Chris Lord

Now a days the stand ground stands empty and overgrown with grass while Graffti is sprayed along the stands with the goal nets still left up as you can see from the photo which Photographer Joe Gibbons has taken.

But attempts now to bring back football have seemed to all but stopped apart from local rivals Bacup Borough (who compete in the North West Counties league) changed their name to Bacup of Rossendale Borough. Which surely be one of the longest names in English football.
Hopefully football can return to Rossendale soon but by the looks of the announcement from Bacup it may not be happening for quite a while.

To see more of Joe Gibbons photos from Rossendale United’s Dark Lane ground then you can see them here.

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