Portrack Grange, Football Ground
13 Nov 2023
Portrack Shamrocks FC (?)
NEHL - A football ground was situated directly next to Portrack Grange Farm and the Billingham Beck branch line from around the early 30s to the 50s. The railway opened in 1920, slicing the field in two. The ground was modest in nature, with it being illustrated on the 1930s Ordnance Survey maps without any formal facilities. No clubhouse nor footpath are implied. This is complimented by aerial photographs in 1932, which simply show the ground as an enclosed field with no obvious indicators.
The ground may have been used by Portrack Shamrock, the only team related to Portrack in the 1930s. They were an amateur team, partaking in the FA Amateur Cup of 1932 against Cargo Fleet and Cochranes and Filey Town the year after. They formed around the beginning of the decade, which corresponds to the formation of the ground.
They also competed in the FA Cup qualifiers and the Durham Cup. Matches include the first round of the FA qualifiers against Billingham South in 1938, and the seventh round of the Durham Amateur Cup against Stockton Reserves in 1939.
The club played in the Teesside League well into the 1950s, though any records of them dissipate by the 1960s. It was around this time that the ground also vanished, with a new ground constructed behind the Phoenix Telephone & Electric Works also on Portrack Lane. Unfortunately I haven't been able to ascertain whether the club folded or changed name.
Ordnance Survey, 1947 (surveyed 1939)
The ground can be seen on the far side of the railway line in 1932. Source: Historic England. Aerofilms Collection Historic England Photograph: EPW038901 flown 01/07/1932
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