Cray Wanderers calls for support for £75 million plan for stadium complex
PUBLISHED: 15:09 26 June 2012 | UPDATED: 09:34 27 June 2012
The world's second oldest football club says it faces extinction unless supporters back ambitious plans for a new stadium.
Cray Wanderers – formed in 1860 – currently ground shares with Bromley FC in Hayes Lane, Bromley, but there are fears it could become homeless when its lease ends in two years.
The club has drawn up a £75 million scheme to secure its future which includes a new 5,000 capacity stadium in Sandy Lane, St Paul’s Cray, along with a hotel, gym, conference space and retail shops.
Chairman Gary Hillman’s company Hillman and Son has submitted a planning application with Bromley Council and is seeking a company to develop the site.
Now senior staff at Cray Wanderers are urging fans and residents to register their support for the proposals with the council - or they fear they could be relegated from the footballing community.
Secretary Kerry Phillips said: “This famous football club, could go out of existence because in 2014 we will have no ground to play at. We cannot emphasise strongly enough that if residents, supporters and traders want the new ground to happen, bringing many community benefits to the Crays, please tell the council.”
The Football Association has confirmed it is the second longest running side behind Sheffield FC, which started three years earlier.
Bob McKie, 50, a former player who lives in Dawson Avenue, Orpington, said: “This will bring businesses into the area. It is absolutely ridiculous to be based in Bromley - the name says it all and it has been too long. The club must come back to Cray.”
Residents and fans can leave comments on the Bromley Council website which will be then be considered by councillors when decided whether to grant planning consent. Visit www.bromley.gov.uk.