Football in Bracknell
History & Nostalgia

Current and former Bracknell Town players pay tribute to the Larges Lane turf

Bracknell Town’s Larges Lane grounds time as a grass pitch is coming to an end, the redevelopment is underway and the ‘hallowed’ and much-maligned turf is due to be torn up next week.

In the next few weeks work will start on laying an all weather artificial surface that will turn the Lane into a seven days a week operation with the majority of the clubs teams playing out of the new facility.

We spoke to a few former players from down the years, and unearthed some photos of ground at it’s muddy best for a sepia tinged look back at the place Bracknell’s footballers have called home for over half a century.

Bibbly bobbly Lane

Bracknell Town striking legend Justin Day.

Bracknell Town striking legend Justin Day.

Justin Day – Bracknell Town’s record goalscorer who we interviewed last year paid his respects to the the unmissable bobble: “Otherwise known as the bibbly bobbly Lane. The draw with Aldershot Town was probably the best memory I have. One of the only times the Lane had a full house amazing.”

Related: Final game on grass at Larges Lane on Saturday afternoon

The bobble cost me 10 goals a season!

Adam Crittenden came through the youth and reserve setup in the 2000s and enjoyed a real purple patch in front of goal for Bracknell  said: “I enjoyed it because all the other teams hated it so much! There were always mistakes from the opposition defenders to make the most of.

“It was never an easy surface to play though and I’m sure the bobble cost me at least 10 goals a season but it will be great to see the club move forward and finally get the ground it deserves.”

A muddy spectacle at Larges Lane.

A muddy spectacle at Larges Lane.

I look forward to not having to clean my boots

Prolific Bracknell Ladies goalscorer Caroline Paterson has been a regular on the pitch for the last few seasons.

“I’ve been involved in some really competitive games at Larges Lane and think that the wide pitch really suits our style of play, especially in the winter months when the centre of the pitch can get quite boggy.

“I’m not sure if our manager has been going down early and making puddles to force this tactic?

“I will miss playing on the pitch as I have some good memories after being with Bracknell for six years but I’m really looking forward to the new facilities. I think it will only improve us as a club on every level and encourage more technical play on the pitch. And most importantly.. I look forward to not having to clean my boots!”

It was ‘an experience’

Look at the state of that!

Look at the state of that!

Former men’s first team captain Neil Baker and current Slough Town (also having an artificial surface installed) manager had this to say: “You had to be a very clever player to play at Larges Lane. You needed to second and third guess the infamous Larges Lane bobble. It was certainly an experience!”

The place hasn’t changed since I was five!

George Lock captained the youth side and was a staple of the first team under both Keith Pennicott-Bowen and Mark Tallentire this season.

He said: “It was a bit surreal to play on the pitch as I had spent so much time watching the first team when I was younger. So to then eventually play on it, was pretty special when I realised how much time I spent there as a kid. Obviously a bit gutted for it to change because it literally hasn’t changed since I was 5. But at the same time I think it’s a much needed changed for the club to begin to push forward.”

A rainbow over Larges Lane. Photo: Richard Claypole.

A rainbow over Larges Lane. Photo: Richard Claypole.

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Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football and manages Binfield Ladies team. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror.

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  1. […] July, former players paid tribute to the ground with Adam Crittenden saying: “I enjoyed it because all the other teams hated it so much! There […]

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