Club Background

Another team where, despite the name, the club we see today is not the same one as in the past. To be fair, the current Maidstone United Official Site (Club Honours and Records) makes no attempt to claim the history prior to the spectacular collapse of 1992.

The original Stones were formed at the end of the Nineteenth Century and spent their first seventy years or so variously knocking around the Kent, Corinthian, Athenian and Isthmian Leagues as an amateur club. In 1971, turning semi-pro, they joined the Southern League, winning Division One South in 1972-73; and thus for the first time crossing paths with Yeovil Town in the Southern League Premier Division the following campaign.

Decent performers at this level, finishing 5th, 13th, 4th, 10th, 3rd and 4th from 1974 onwards, the Stones were comfortable candidates to become founder members along with the Glovers of the Alliance Premier League in 1979.

In an attempt to break the old-boy-network that made new elections into the Football League very rare Non-League clubs agreed that from 1980 only one club would put its name forward each year so as not to split possible support. It was initially assumed this would be the Alliance winners (though in practice it turned into the highest finisher with a suitable stadium). In 1982-83 Enfield were Champions but didn’t have the ground grading, so Maidstone’s name as runners-up went forward. They got 26 votes, ten short of the lowest vote for the clubs seeking re-election, which in this case went to Hartlepool United. The following season Maidstone went one better on the pitch, finishing Champions; but off the pitch were again ten votes short in the subsequent election, and again it was to Pools.

By the time the Stones won the title again (in the by then renamed Football Conference) in 1988-89 the election system had ended and there was automatic (subject to suitable Ground Grading) one up / one down. Maidstone replaced Darlington in the Football League.

What should have been the ultimate triumph for any Non-League club didn’t take long to turn into an unmitigated disaster. Chairman Jim Thompson had broken The First Rule, never EVER dispose of the ground before there’s another one built to move into, when Maidstone’s London Road Athletic Ground site was sold for development in 1988. It meant the Stones had no home of their own and entered the Football League while ground sharing with Dartford FC 23 miles away. As schemes for a new stadium came and went (planning permissions are always much harder and take much longer to obtain than the optimists hope – a piece of land had been bought for £400,000 but the council refused permission for the building of a stadium on it) and the monies received for London Road road drained away in club running costs and expenses, enter: Spencer Trethewy. Trethewy had made the headlines when he turned up with an affidavit claiming he had £200,000 to save Aldershot FC in 1989. He was kicked off the board three months later when it turned out he didn’t. Needless to say his reappearance as Maidstone saviour was no more productive. (Trethewy would later spend time in prison, convicted for breaches of the Companies Act; then change his name to Day and end up at Farnborough FC which on his watch was deducted five points for submitting false financial information to the Conference in 2011-12 and then ten points the following season for going into administration, its second in five years, with debts of around £2 million.)

With Trethewy come and gone, enter in 1992 a second actor: Mark English. Whether in by now desperation, or through sheer gullibility, Thompson swallowed English’s claims to be a property mogul and majority shareholder of Kettering Town and declared he’d sold him the club. English’s great plan, apparently, was a merged Maidstone & Dartford United (not that anyone had asked Dartford, or the Football League as to whether it would sanction this). He claimed to have invested £800,000 – which was odd, as the only transactions people could discover was him looting the club of what little money it had left and the staff wage cheques bouncing. English departed Maidstone. (A year later he would be arrested in Rockingham Road car park after a Kettering Town Supporters Club investigation had uncovered £250,000 worth of hidden debts.)

With just two contracted players remaining in the summer of 1992 at the eleventh hour Thompson informing a creditors meeting that he would be unveiling a third Mr X (who unfortunately he wasn’t in a position to name but who would save the club). The creditors had had enough and in June 1992 Maidstone United was liquidated. It wasn’t just a catastrophe for the Stones, but seriously damaging to Non-League football as a whole as Football League chairmen latched on to a handy pretext to justify their self-protectionism. In 1994, 1995 and 1996 no clubs were allowed up from the Conference; and introduction of the two up / two down system was almost certainly delayed longer than it otherwise would have been.

Maidstone Invicta, a local youth team, was ‘taken over’. Given the time frame it continued only playing youth football for 1992-93, but for 1993-94 an adult side joined the Kent County League, at Division Four. Invicta rocketed up through the Kent County divisions to Division One but there they stuck for four seasons before finally making it to the Kent County Premier. In the meantime they had changed their name to Maidstone United in 1997.

Now at the top level for men’s junior clubs an application was made for senior club status. This was accepted and they entered the Kent League for 2001-02.

The Stones had been playing on the defunct Maidstone’s former training pitch. While this was acceptable for junior status it most certainly wasn’t for senior. So a ground share with Sittingbourne FC was arranged. Sittingbourne was still in the midst of resolving its own financial and ground crisis so only a season was spent at Central Park before both clubs moved to Bourne Park, where Maidstone would remain sharing until 2009.

With a stadium to play in Maidstone were Kent League Champions twice, and after the second occasion moved up to the Isthmian League Division One South for the 2006-07 season. Champions there at the first time of asking the Stones were into the Isthmian Premier for 2007-08.

In the background the Stones had been trying to build a home of their own but things were not going well. They had obtained planning permission for a stadium at James Whatman Way in 2004. However negotiations over lease terms with the Ministry of Defence which owned the land dragged on interminably.

Trying to juggle the (potential) development of a new ground and Isthmian Premier football put a huge strain on the club’s stretched resources. A £1.2 million grant application made to the Football Foundation towards the costs of a stadium was turned down in October 2008. Chairman Paul Bowden-Brown put the club up for sale but couldn’t find a buyer. The wage bill had to be cut in half. The drop was avoided, but it was to be a temporary reprieve.

The Stones had left Sittingbourne in summer 2009 and went to groundshare with Ashford Town at The Homelands citing a cheaper rent and an agreed cut of the refreshment takings as the reasons. However, Ashford (21 miles from Maidstone) compared to Sittingbourne (12 miles) was enough to see crowds fall substantially. In December it was revealed two months of staff wages were being ‘deferred’. The management team of Alan Walker and Lloyd Hume resigned in protest. Maidstone stayed up with one game to spare.

Meanwhile, if Maidstone were having a hard time, their hosts Ashford were in meltdown. Without going in to too much detail (this is a Stones history) such were the civil wars going on in the Nuts & Bolts (yes, that really is their nickname) boardroom that no one would back away from entrenched hatreds to take the responsibility of paying the club’s debts to Ebbsfleet United, so The FA suspended the club from all competitions. Ashford Town went into administration but exited, as Ashford Invicta, too late to participate in the 2010-11 campaign.

So Maidstone (though still paying rent) now had The Homelands to itself for a season. It did them no good. Bowden-Brown had at last found someone to sell to in October 2010 and stepped down as chairman. The new regime sacked manager Peter Nott and all his backroom staff in November and brought in Andy Ford. Things didn’t improve and he resigned in March. Club captain Jay Saunders accepted the poisoned chalice as caretaker. Maidstone, as had been on the cards for a couple of seasons, went down.

Maidstone was back in Isthmian League Division One South… and back in Sittingbourne ground sharing at Bourne Park again. Better news was that, at long LONG last, seven years late, the building of a new stadium on James Whatman Way had begun.

It took the Stones two seasons to get back into the Isthmian Premier, through the play-offs, beating Folkestone Invicta and Faversham Town, by which time they had moved into what would be called the Gallagher Stadium (after the construction company). Another two seasons, and a title gave them automatic promotion to National League South for 2015-16.

One season was enough, into the play-offs where victories over Truro City and Ebbsfleet United (on penalties) saw them catapult into the National League Premier. But again, maybe too fast, too soon. Three seasons – 14th, 19th and 24th (18 points shy of safety) – saw the Stones back in National League South. There was an upper-mid-table 9th in 2019-20, and the 2020-21 season was of course abandoned at that level, before 2021-22 saw a return to the NLP as Champions.

Life back in the NLP proved tough and the Stones only won five matches, finishing bottom on 25 points. And their exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Needham Market (yep, we remember them!) of the Southern League Premier Division Central had manager Hakan Hayrettin very publicly calling out his team as “absolutely disgraceful” and “woeful” and suggesting that the players ought to be reimbursing the travelling Stones fans out of their wages. With results not improving it was inevitably (that’s the way of football) Hayrettin rather than the players who carried the can and he, along with assistant Terry Harris, was sacked in early January. George Elokobi, a former captain of the club, got the caretaker role. Although Maidstone’s slide out of the division wasn’t halted, or even slowed, the board did recognise he’d been trying his best with the unwinnable hand dealt and made the appointment permanent in March.

Off the pitch, co-owners since 2010 Terry Casey and Oliver Ash were looking to sell their stakes in the club and in January 2023 announced a deal had been done with local businessman Alan Manchett… only to announce two weeks later that the deal had fallen through. At the time of writing Casey and Ash retain a controlling interest in the Stones but still appear to be seeking outside investment although the FA Cup run may have reduced the urgency for that.

The Stones are the last Non-League club standing in the 2023-24 FA Cup with a Fourth Round tie away at Ipswich Town the week before they meet the Glovers. Picked for live TV their £110K broadcast fee can be added to the £230K already banked in prize money whatever the result at Portman Road. Having reverted to part-time on the previous occasion relegation from the National League Premier struck, after the 2022-23 relegation the club chose to remain full-time. A slightly unsteady start to the league campaign has been turned into fairly consistent performances and they’ve not been out of the play-off spots since late September.  The FA Cup financial bonus – perhaps equivalent to around a third of Maidstone’s annual budget – could see the Kent outfit splashing a bit of cash in the second half of the season to increase its promotion hopes.

(Update: the FA Cup run goes on, a 1-2 victory at Portman Road seeing the Stones into Round Five Proper and an away tie at either Sheffield Wednesday or Coventry City.)

We’ve Met Before

Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Maidstone United

30/03/1974 Home SLP W 1-0 1844 Plumb
26/04/1974 Away SLP L 2-4 Plumb, Clancy
07/09/1974 Away SLP W 2-1 1042 Pickett, Plumb
25/04/1975 Home SLP W 4-0 1506 Plumb(2), Cotton, K Thompson
20/09/1975 Away SLP L 1-2 K Thompson
01/01/1976 Home SLP W 2-1 2829 McMahon, Jones
30/10/1976 Away SLP D 1-1 Cotton
06/11/1976 Home SLP W 2-0 1678 Own Goal, Plumb
24/09/1977 Home SLP L 0-1
18/02/1978 Away SLP D 1-1 Plumb
23/12/1978 Away SLP D 2-2 Cotton, Platt
23/04/1979 Home SLP D 0-0
22/08/1979 Home APL W 3-0 1374 Cottle, Leigh(2)
04/09/1979 Away APL W 1-0 717 Platt
12/01/1980 Away FAT1 D 2-2 822 Green(2)
21/01/1980 Home FAT1r W 4-2 1216 Finnigan, Payne, Green, Harminson
06/12/1980 Home APL W 2-1 1384 Green, Morrall
14/02/1981 Away APL L 2-4 1104 Ward(2)
03/10/1981 Away APL W 1-0 922 Ward
13/02/1982 Home APL W 1-0 1390 Bell
25/08/1982 Away BLT1A L 1-4 820 Payne
01/09/1982 Home BLT1B L 1-3 563 Own Goal
06/11/1982 Away APL L 1-2 1465 Platt
26/01/1983 Home APL D 0-0 1259
10/09/1983 Away APL L 0-4 1116
03/03/1984 Home APL L 1-3 1044 Brown
22/09/1984 Home GOLA W 3-0 936 Gibson, James(2)
24/11/1984 Away GOLA D 3-3 968 Thorpe, Barnes(2)
28/01/1985 Away BLT3 L 1-3 1042 Botham
02//031987 Away GMAC3 L 1-5 657 Pardew
22/10/1988 Away CONF L 0-5 638
11/03/1989 Home CONF L 1-2 2235 Spencer
19/11/1989 Away FAC1R L 1-2 2625 Spencer

Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Maidstone United

Home Away Overall
9 2 4 25 13 3 5 10 23 45 12 7 14 48 58

We’ve Met Before

Gallagher Stadium Main Stand, 2015.

Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Maidstone United (reformed)

08/11/2015 Away FAC1R W 1-0 2811 Fogden 55
29/10/2022 Away NLP D 1-1 2147 Fisher 13
04/02/2023 Home NLP D 2-2 2421 Fisher 67, o.g. 70 (Bone)
19/08/2023 Home NLS D 1-1 2899 Murphy 83
03/02/2024 Away NLS L 1-2 3119 Morgan 76

Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Maidstone United (reformed)

Home Away Overall
0 2 0 3 3 1 1 1 3 3 1 3 1 6 6


Club Statistics


28/11/2023 Havant & Waterlooville Home NLS W 3-1 1538 Rush 16, Amantchi 25, 67
02/12/2023 Barrow Home FAC2 W 2-1 2903 Corne 35, Gurung 74
05/12/2023 Truro City Home NLS W 2-1 1450 Rush 28, 79
09/12/2023 Barnet Away FAT3 L 0-4 636
16/12/2023 Worthing Away NLS L 1-5 1321 Rush 61
23/12/2023 Chippenham Town Home NLS L 0-1 2148
26/12/2023 Tonbridge Angels Away NLS D 1-1 2806 Rush 57
01/01/2024 Tonbridge Angels Home NLS W 2-0 3021 Lyons-Foster 34 (og), Corne 39 (pen)
06/01/2024 Stevenage Home FAC3 W 1-0 4024 Corne 45+2 (pen)
09/01/2024 Dartford Home NLS W 2-1 1979 Kyprianou 69, Rush 74
13/01/2024 Havant & Waterlooville Away NLS L 1-2 945 Rush 38
20/01/2024 Slough Town Away NLS L 1-2 1054 Faal 64 (pen)
23/01/2024 Braintree Town Home NLS D 1-1 1593 Faal 45
27/01/2024 Ipswich Town Away FAC4 W 2-1 27273 Reynolds 43, Corne 66
03/02/2024 Yeovil Town Home NLS


Highest League Attendance: 3,021
Lowest League Attendance: 1,450
Average League Attendance: 1,943


Games Without A Win: 3 Games Without A Home Win: 1
Games Without An Away Win: 5 Games Without Defeat: 1
Games Without A Home Defeat: 1 Games Without An Away Defeat: 0
Games Without A Draw: 0 Games Without A Score Draw: 0
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 16 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence: WWLWWD
Away Results Sequence: LDLL Overall Results Sequence: WWLLDWWLLD


Club Information

Address :
Gallagher Stadium
James Whatman Way
ME14 1LQ
(click for map)

Away terrace, FA Cup First Round Proper, 08/11/2015.

Telephone Number : 01622 753817
Email :

Chairman & Director of Football : Bill Williams
Ground Safety Officer : John Harvey
Club Secretary : Ian Tucker
Team Manager : George Elokobi

Capacity : 4,200
Seated : 792
Covered Terrace : 1,850
Surface : artificial
Record Attendance : 4,175 v Hampton & Richmond, National League South, 07/05/2022

Colours : shirt yellow (definitely looks yellow rather than their traditional amber) with black trim, shorts black, socks black
Nickname : The Stones
Programme : They do one.


Another of those wretched 3G pitches for our enjoyment. Gallagher Stadium is tucked between the River Medway (to West) and the A229 (to East) around half a mile from the town centre.

Tickets for the trip on 3rd February (originally scheduled for 19th August but the home and away fixtures were reversed as building work at Gallagher Stadium hadn’t been completed) with a 3.00 p.m. kick-off, are available for purchase on-line HERE. Unless specified all games at the stadium also have the option of walk-up pay on the day and have seen no indications of a surcharge for that; but given Yeovil Town is reporting that our allocation for this fixture is only 500 maybe buy buy in advance for peace of mind if plans allow. Gates open at 12.30 p.m.

Prices have basically dropped £2.00 across the board (and Under 11 now free) from last season in recognition of dropping a division down into regional football:
Adult: £17.00
Concession (65+ and Students with valid ID): £13.00
Youth (11-16 years-old): £7.00 (must be accompanied by paying adult)
Junior (Under 11): FREE (with paying adult)

Away Fans’ admission is via the North End Entrance (8 & 9), which is opposite the Kent History & Library Centre and Angels Café on James Whatman Way. This leads to the Genco Stand, a covered 1,700 capacity behind-the-goal terrace, which is divided between home and away fans.

Since this stand was built the area now used for away supporters appears to have been redesigned to include a small area of perhaps twenty seats in the bottom corner. Given the information below for wheelchair users I’d assume the other seats are principally available for ambulant disabled. How that ties in with information provided elsewhere on the Maidstone OS about those wishing to be seated being able to pay an additional £3.00 after arrival in the ground IF there is available capacity in the Manchett Main Stand – Gallagher Stadium only having seating for 792 fans in total – is less than crystal clear.

There are two visiting supporters’ wheelchair user positions, with seats for personal assistants in the Genco Stand. Please contact the club office on 01622 753817 in advance of the match.

Official Away Travel

The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Maidstone on 3rd February, 3.00 p.m. kick-off.

Details are as follows:

Members: Adult £27; Concession £25
Non-Members: Adult £30; Concession £28
Coach departs Huish Park: 8.30 a.m.

To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 (after 6.00 p.m. please) or email him on

If you are getting in touch by email, please make it clear which match you are booking for and that you give your full name, the names of people that are travelling and a contact telephone number.

You may be asked to pay a £5 deposit to reserve your seat.

Directions To The Ground


Maidstone is the County Town of Kent, with the population of the town itself (rather than the wider District) pushing up towards 100,000.

By Road

Huish Park to Gallagher Stadium is 161 miles. A303, M3 and M25 anti-clockwise. At Junction 5 of the M25 exit on to the M26. Stay on the M26 all the way to its end where it will filter you on to the M20. Exit the M20 at Junction 6 following the signs for Maidstone (A229 southbound). Stay on the A229 (Royal Engineers’ Road) for about a mile and a half. At the third roundabout take the third exit on to James Whatman Way. You have now arrived at Gallagher Stadium. But you can’t park there… (see below)

In practice there is no parking for away fans (unless for some bizarre reason you have a season long parking permit for the Gallagher) at the stadium. The nearest pay and display car parks are all to the South-East of the stadium: at Invicta House County Hall (five minute walk), Sandling Road (five minute walk, but closes at 8.00 p.m. so not suitable for evening fixtures – which isn’t relevant to us this season), Maidstone East Train Station (ten minute walk) and Fremlin Walk (ten minute walk). The host club’s Official Website has fuller match day parking details on a dedicated page here.

By Rail
Maidstone has three stations: Barracks, East and West. All are operated and served by Southeastern. East is the largest – staffed full-time, a station buffet, 524 space car park, taxi rank etc. It is the only one that has direct services from London, running out of Victoria (mostly) and Blackfriars (more sparsely). Journey time is just over the hour for most services.

West (staffed part-time, and has some facilities) and Barracks (an unstaffed small ‘halt’) are on the local Medway Valley Line between Strood and Tonbridge. If getting a London train Charing Cross would be the terminus, but the journey requires a change (at Strood).

In terms of distances from the stadium: East and Barracks are about ten minutes walk; West is further away at around fifteen minutes or so.

By Bus

Gallagher Stadium is close enough to the town centre, and even closer to the Maidstone East railway station where most Yeovil who are training it will be alighting, that buses are unlikely to be a priority. If you are looking for one the most useful is probably the 101 Sapphire (destination Gillingham) which run from the Bus Station just off the High Street in the centre of Maidstone, via Maidstone East Railway Station and then on past the ground, with the nearest stop appearing to be Kent History & Library Centre.

By Taxi

Some numbers for Maidstone taxi services can be found here.

Web Resources

Web Sites

Maidstone United – Official Site. Above average in terms of design, ease of use and range of information for this level.

Stones TV – club’s YouTube channel.

Maidstone United unofficial fans forum – exactly what it says on the tin.

Social Media

Maidstone United – Official Twitter account.

Local Press

Kent Messenger at Kent Online – has a fair amount of Stones coverage.

Food & Drink

The ground has been further developed since this picture from our 2015 visit.

Gallagher Stadium is fairly unusual in that despite being a relatively new build (opened 2012) it wasn’t stuck out on some industrial estate or retail park but built pretty close to the centre of town which means there’s plenty of eating and drinking options within walkable distance. The nearest pubs (I don’t count Miller & Carter outlets as pubs) were The Dragoon and the Hare & Hounds (below); with The Flower Pot (also below) not much further away. If you’ve used the Dragoon before NOTE: it is closed at time of writing with a planning application submitted to convert to housing. The Stag has been removed from the guide. The micro-brewery, Rockin’ Robin, for which it functioned as the Tap, has gone out of business and while the pub is still operating there’s no longer anything to distinguish it from masses of other bog standard pubs in Maidstone.

Maidstone has two Wetherspoons, The Muggleton Inn on the High Street and The Society Rooms (below), with the latter being the uglier building but probably having the better beer range, and certainly the closer to the ground.

The ‘Craft’ beer scene has only begun to make a tentative appearance in Maidstone so far. The town has plenty of pubs and bars, but little that isn’t where and what our mums & dads were drinking thirty years back.

Club Bar
This is called The Spitfire Lounge. That name, and being in Kent, means it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out the bar probably has a tie in with Shepherd Neame; and indeed you’ll find mostly their beers stocked (whether one considers that a good or bad thing may be another matter). Keg beers only now, the hand pumps being removed some years ago. Has Sky and TNT Sports and disabled toilet facilities. However, with our fixture being segregated this is unlikely to be available to away fans.

There’s a refreshment kiosk to serve the Genco Stand away section. The club warns this is not always opened but presumably they’ll be calculating there will be more than enough Yeovil fans to make it worth their while for our visit.

It’s not always the case at National League South grounds but this one imposes a smoking ban throughout the stadium.

Local Pubs

Cellars Alehouse – micropub.

Cellars Alehouse: Kent was very much the originator of the micropub and there are now dozens around the county. So it’s slightly surprising they are such a rare beast in Maidstone. However, there is this one (with listings kept up to date of what it has on). Just across the other side of the River Medway from all the other outlets in this guide and close by Maidstone West railway station. Down in the cellars of the long defunct Style & Winch Brewery, it opened December 2015. There’s a warning the steps down are narrow and steep. Offerings are a constantly changing range from small independent producers, with six real ales, eight keg fonts, around a dozen ciders and bottles and cans in the fridge. There’s on-site parking. As with many micropubs opening hours appear rather ‘flexible’, with closing times not specified. What this tends to mean in practice in many such establishments is if trade is quiet – or the owner’s mates aren’t in – they just shut. On a Saturday it appears to open from 1.00 p.m. …and will close whenever.
The Cellars Alehouse, The Old Brewery, Buckland Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 0DZ. Tel: 01622 761045. Map: Cellars Alehouse.

Dragoon – currently (at time of writing) CLOSED.

Dragoon: Along with Hare & Hounds (below) was closest pub to the stadium, around 200 yards away. Currently closed and the expectation is it’s not likely to reopen.
The Dragoon, 40 Sandling Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2RF. Tel: 01622 752620. Map: Dragoon.

Fishermans Arms: A few doors along from Ye Olde Thirsty Pig (below), this was a Shepherd & Neame pub but fear not, it’s now a Freehouse. Kent’s Nelson Brewery and Gemstone Ales (which cuckoo brews on Nelson’s kit) often feature on cask; the changing keg selection comes from small breweries all over. Also stocks a couple of real ciders. Small frontage belies a pub that leads a long way back, with a garden to the rear. Has TV, but terrestrial only. Food of some sort may  be available Thursday to Sunday. Family friendly. Opening hours are hard to pin down (not helped by its website being “under construction) but there are indications elsewhere they may have been quite drastically reduced since last season and that even on a Saturday it doesn’t open until 3.00 or even 4.00 p.m. so would be post-match only. A little under a mile from the ground so around 15 minutes walking.
The Fishermans Arms, 40 Lower Stone Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6NA. Tel: 01622 755433. Map: Fishermans Arms.

The Flower Pot.

Flower Pot: Independent Freehouse (with a tie to Goacher’s Ales but not restricted to its beers); and been Maidstone’s premier real ale pub (the website includes a live menu showing what’s on and what’s coming up) for around 15 years. A split-level bar has nine handpumps serving something (usually Gold Star) by Goacher’s as the ‘house’ beer and the other eight rotating an ever-changing selection from all round the country on the upper level; and a number of ciders and two or three ‘craft’ keg beers on the lower level. The Budweiser Budvar is the proper Czech original. For those who must there’s Amstel and Guinness. Food (home-made stone-baked pizzas) served 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Pool table and Shove Ha’penny board. Covered yard to the rear (which closes at 11.00 p.m. to avoid annoying the neighbours) and sometimes isn’t open at all in the winter months. Opens from noon every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Third of a mile (so 6 or 7 minutes walk) from the ground.
The Flower Pot, 96 Sandling Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2RJ. Tel: 01622 757705. Map: Flower Pot.

Rifle Volunteers.

Hare & Hounds: Now, with the closure of The Dragoon (above), closest pub to the stadium a couple of hundred yards away. Appears to very much see itself as a home fans pub, with an interior décor in The Stone’s amber and black colours to emphasise the point. However, no indication away fans aren’t welcome. Wet led, no food. Couple of hand pumps but often only one operational – Ghost Ship by Adnam’s is the most regular on. Keg is the likes of Amstel, Fosters, Stella and Strongbow. Has pool, darts and a jukebox inside; and a further pool table under cover outside in the large garden at the rear. Opening is noon every day. Has a ‘late licence’ until midnight which it uses on music nights, otherwise standard closing is generally 11.00 p.m.
Hare & Hounds, 45-47 Lower Boxley Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 2UY. Tel: 01622 768645. Map: Hare & Hounds.

Closer of two Spoons in town to the ground.

Rifle Volunteers: One of three tied Goacher’s Ales (I rate Goacher’s beers highly!) pubs in Maidstone (see also Flower Pot, above), this is a very traditional hostelry – no TV, games machines or food (though they may make customers some rolls if asked nicely), but has darts. Expect to see four or five Goacher’s beers on cask plus a number of real ciders. No idea what keg it does as looking it up on Untappd everyone appears to drink the Goacher’s. Nice courtyard garden to rear. Opening hours (ignore their website which hasn’t been updated any time recently) are: Monday 6.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m.; Tuesday to Saturday noon – 11.00 p.m.; Sunday noon – 6.00 p.m.  Fifteen minutes walking (0.8 of a mile) from the stadium.
The Rifle Volunteers, 28 Wyatt Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1EU. Tel: 01622 750540. Map: Rifle Volunteers.

Society Rooms: One of the two Spoons in town, this one is 150 yards from Maidstone East railway station and ten minutes walk from the ground. Disabled access and toilet. Large patio area to front. Opens 8.00 a.m. every day, closing midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Society Rooms, Brenchley House, Week Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1RF. Tel: 01622 350910. Map: Society Rooms.

Thirsty Pig.

Ye Olde Thirsty Pig One of the oldest buildings still surviving in Maidstone this hostelry is just a few doors from Fishermans Arms (above). Wet led two floors pub, it has four hand pumps with Real Ale offerings from Kent microbreweries. Also stocks real ciders, again of the Kent persuasion, plus Thatchers Gold and Stowford Press on keg. The keg beers are mainstream mostly multinational stuff. Courtyard to rear. Winter opening is from noon every day to midnight Sunday to Thursday, 1.00 a.m. Friday & 2.00 a.m. Saturday. A little under a mile from the ground so around 15 minutes walking.
Ye Olde Thirsty Pig, 4a Knightrider Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6LP. Tel: 01622 299283. Map: Thirsty Pig.

Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You: Probably. Despite being relatively close to That London, Maidstone is a provincial town of little appeal so is likely to feel all too familiar to Glovers fans.

Top-Tip: Imagine have stepped back into the 1980’s and won’t go far wrong in Maidstone.

Local Amenities: As the County Town there’s lots of administrative stuff and it’s a shopping hub for the more rural parts of Kent.

Other Points Of Interest: It’s hard to find anything to say about Maidstone. It’s one of those places that just is. Although probably dating back to Roman times there’s very little attractive from across those two millennia surviving and nothing much of interest ever seems to have happened. No one’s ever found it worth setting novels or films there; no one has it on their bucket list to visit. It merely, fairly pointlessly, just exists.

[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]