After an absolute train wreck of a 2021-22 campaign (won 4, drew 14, lost 28) The Iron exited the Football League in which they’d been ever-present since 1950, eventually 18 points short of safety. Naturally they sacked a manager during the campaign (almost a surprise it was only one) amidst such carnage, Neil Cox getting the boot. Incoming replacement, the experienced Keith Hill, has been absolutely brutal in his assessment, publicly stating that “the dynamics of the club have been terrible” and openly accusing many players he inherited of a “lack of professionalism”. Needless to say, there was a mass clear out at the end of season.
Meanwhile, Peter Swann, chairman since 2013, appeared to shoulder some of the responsibility for those dynamics, resigning the post with immediate effect on 31st March 2022. Former professional footballer Lee Turnbull, Chief Operating Officer at Glanford Park, is currently Acting-Chairman, though with Swann still owning 87.5% of the club and he, his wife and their son making up half of the Board of Directors some might ask the question whether Turnbull is really just a front man to deflect fan anger away from the Swann family.
The first team bearing the name Scunthorpe United took to the field in 1899 but what it was doing in those early years – other than presumably kicking a ball around local parks – remains something of a mystery. A merger with North Lindsey United took place in 1910 – leading to the club rejoicing in one of the longer names in football : ‘Give us an S….’!
Scunthorpe is another club that appears rather uninterested in its pre-League history. It’s quite difficult finding much information about the club’s early years other than noting that they joined the Midland League in 1912, when they also turned (semi-)professional, which they went on to win twice, in 1927 and 1939. They applied to join the Third Division (North) on its formation in 1921. Sixteen of the twenty places were gifted and the final four went to a ballot. Scunthorpe & Lindsey United as they were then called came a poor thirteenth, second from bottom in the voting. Whether they felt humiliated, or for some other reasons, they didn’t put themselves up for election again until 1938 and 1939. However by then Shrewsbury Town were the clear front runners amongst the Non-League hopefuls in the North, having built up a healthy support, though they didn’t get in either. The Iron applied each year after the War and in 1950 their moment came. With Division Three (North) expanding by two clubs Shrewsbury waltzed in, but the other place took three ballots to settle before first Nelson and Workington and then finally Wigan Athletic were seen off. Their first ever Football League game was a 0-0 at The Old Showground, against Shrewsbury Town. They were solid if unspectacular performers through the Fifties until winning the title in 1958. They decided that was the moment to drop the “& Lindsey” part of their name, becoming simply Scunthorpe United. Two years later they also changed their colours from the traditional claret and blue, adopting blue and white.
The club finished 4th in Division Two in 1962 and that gentle reader is as good as it’s ever got for Scunthorpe United in terms of league position. Two years later and they were back in Division Three after finishing bottom of the pile in the Second, and four years after that they were last again and into Division Four. They responded by changing their kit again in 1969, to all red. Unsurprisingly that didn’t make any difference and the Iron remained towards the bottom end of the lowest tier, calling on re-election twice to retain League status. After the second occasion, in 1982, the club completely out of the blue turned things about in the 1982-83 season and secured a promotion. It was celebrated by returning to the claret and blue colours.
However success was fleeting and they returned to Division Four after a single season, to remain there (through the renaming to Division 3 with the creation of the Premier League) for another fifteen years. This period, following the Bradford City stadium fire and the resulting changes to ground regulations, saw The Old Showground pretty much deemed unfit for use. The site was sold to a supermarket chain and in 1988 Scunthorpe became the first Football League club since 1955 to move to a new purpose-built ground, Glanford Park. The stadium design influenced those for a number of other small clubs moving home in the years that followed, including Huish Park.
The introduction of play-offs into the game created a bit more opportunity, and in 1998-99 they were at last on the move up, defeating Swansea City and Leyton Orient to exit the basement. Again another false dawn, immediately relegated the following season.
Things looked grim for them in 2003-04, Yeovil Town’s first Football League season and thus our first ever meetings with The Iron, but they eventually clung on in 22nd. And the next season completely changed their fortunes around, second to the title winning Glovers and thus automatic promotion. This would be the start of Scunny’s best ever spell since the late Fifties / early Sixties. Another promotion followed, Champions of League One in 2006-07, and they were up to tier two. They only lasted a single season in the Championship finishing 23rd; but the very next campaign were promoted again through the play-offs, beating Franchise FC on penalties and Millwall 3-2 at Wembley. This time they lasted two seasons at Championship level, finishing 20th then 24th.
Two years later The Iron were back in the bottom tier, but bounced straight back up with an automatic promotion in 2013-14 bolstered by some new investment with the arrival of the Swann family in the boardroom, and supposed ambitions (of which nothing has subsequently come) to move to another new stadium. They maintained League One status for five years, including two failed play-off campaigns, before relegation in 2018-19. Since then Scunthorpe’s situation on the pitch has become precarious, finishing 20th and 22nd before finally crashing out of the EFL last term.
The club is (apparently) up for sale, with the Swanns saying they want the best for the club (i.e. to cash out). How close to being sold Scunny is, or whether it’s all a load of wishful hopes, who knows.
Former Yeovil Town and Scunthorpe United player, Ian Terrence Botham, now Baron Botham, who also fitted in a bit of cricket at some point, is the club President.
We’ve Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Scunthorpe United
|20/12/2003||Home||EFL3||W||2-1||5714||Lindegaard 71, Jackson 82|
|22/02/2005||Home||EFL2||W||4-3||7598||Tarachulski 16, Johnson 47, Fallon 82, Davies 86|
|01/10/2005||Away||EFL1||W||4-3||4311||Way 26, Jevons 37, Harrold 59, 66|
|13/03/2012||Home||EFL1||D||2-2||3767||G Williams 30, Franks 68|
|25/08/2012||Away||EFL1||W||4-0||3279||Marsh-Brown 37, Reid 50, Ugwu 88, 90|
|16/02/2013||Home||EFL1||W||3-0||4163||Webster 28, Hayter 72, Madden 90|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Scunthorpe United
|06/08/2022||Yeovil Town||Home||NLP||W||2-1||3131||Boyce 26, Butterfield 62|
LEAGUE ATTENDANCE STATISTICS
Highest League Attendance: 3,131
Lowest League Attendance: 3,131
Average League Attendance: 3,131
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win:||0||Games Without A Home Win:||0|
|Games Without An Away Win:||11||Games Without Defeat:||1|
|Games Without A Home Defeat:||3||Games Without An Away Defeat:||0|
|Games Without A Draw:||2||Games Without A Score Draw:||2|
|Games Without A No-Score Draw:||12||Games Without Scoring:||0|
|Games Without Conceding:||0||Home Results Sequence:||W|
|Away Results Sequence:||Overall Results Sequence:||W|
Address : Glanford Park
Jack Brownsword Way
(click for map)
Telephone Number : 01724 747670
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman (acting) : Lee Turnbull
Club Secretary : Adam Grice
Ticket Office Manager / Supporters’ Liaison Officer : James Moody
Stadium Manager / Ground Safety Officer : Phil Jacklin
Team Manager : Keith Hill
Capacity : 9,088
Seated : c. 6,000
Covered Terrace : the only terracing left is the home end, the away end being changed to seating in 1991.
Record Attendance : 9,077 v Manchester United, League Cup, September 22nd 2010 (and at The Old Showground, 23,935 v Portsmouth, FA Cup 4th Round, January 30th 1954)
Colours : half claret and half blue design shirt, white shorts, white socks
Nickname : The Iron
Programme : Scunthorpe wasn’t doing a printed programme last season. Doesn’t seem like that policy is going to change so head here if wish to download a digital version. There’s also a download & print off team sheet service.
For those who have not been before, Glanford Park (current sponsor name The Sands Venue Stadium) is stuck out in a retail/ leisure park on the western edge of town, a couple of miles from the centre. Away fans are located in the AMS Stand (turnstiles 7A & B) at the south end of the stadium. This is a covered all-seater stand with a 1,678 capacity. There’s no ticket sales on the turnstiles, so if haven’t pre-purchased on-line head for the ticket booth at the north-east corner of the ground first. Turnstiles open around an hour and a half before kick-off. Glanford Park is a cashless venue.
Permission to bring large flags and musical instruments into Glanford Park for a match is required. To submit a request, email email@example.com no later than 48 hours before the game. Without such permission the club reserves the right to refuse entry to the supporter.
Official Away Travel
The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Scunthorpe on Saturday 6th August for a 5.20 p.m. kick-off.
Details are as follows:
Members: Adult £34; Concession £32
Non-Members: Adult £37; Concession £35
Coach departs Huish Park: 9.30 a.m.
To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Scunthorpe is a town of something over 80,000 population at the northern end of Lincolnshire. Glanford Park is situated on the western outskirts of Scunthorpe, mere yards from the M181 route into the town.
It’s 266 miles by the most obvious route from Huish Park to Glanford Park and after hitting the M5 it is motorway virtually all the way from thereon: M5 to Junction 4A; take M42 (becoming A42) linking across to M1 at Junction 23A; exit M1 at Junction 32 for M18; at Junction 5 exit on to M180; leave M180 at Junction 3 taking M181 to Scunthorpe.
By time the short spur that is M181 ends (becoming A1077) Glanford Park should be clearly visible ahead to the right. At Frodingham Grange Roundabout take the third exit on to A18 (Doncaster Road). Almost immediate (about 100 yards) at the next roundabout take the third exit into the southern section of Gallagher Retail Park. Glanford Park Stadium and the club car park are at the bottom end of this retail park.
The club’s East Car Park has 600+ spaces. There is a charge of £4.00 per car booking in advance on-line, or £5.00 on arrival. There’s other (free) parking in the retail park but it’s pretty much all customer only (they are particularly vigilant about this on matchdays) so do check signage for terms & conditions or risk a wheel clamp.
Given the ground location free on-street parking is more problematic, with hunting and then some walking involved the Hilton Avenue estate (north off A18 Doncaster Road) around half a mile away being the nearest likely possibility.
Disabled parking: free to blue badge holders on a first come, first served basis on a matchday. These spaces in the East Car Park can also be reserved in advance by calling the ticket office during opening hours on 01724 747670 or email email@example.com with your request and copy of blue badge.
Scunthorpe is on the Doncaster / Cleethorpes Line. The nearest station to Glanford Park (by a small margin) is actually Althorpe, which is exactly 2 miles west, rather than Scunthorpe, 2.2 miles east of the ground. Both are on the same line, with the majority of services provided by Northern Rail and occasional ones by TransPennine Express, but only the slowest all-stations services stop at Althorpe. Most services will require a change at Doncaster though some do connect direct to Sheffield / Manchester Piccadilly.
For this fixture this is all academic for supporters based in the West Country as with the match rearranged to a 5.20 p.m. kick-off there’s absolutely no chance of getting back on the night. With the later kick-off even fans from London and the South-East are going to be pushed, with only one return option: the 20.08 out of Scunthorpe, change at Doncaster, arriving Kings Cross 22.39.
With Scunthorpe railway station over 2 miles from the ground, buses or a taxi (there is a rank) are definitely a consideration. If you like a walk however, then turn left out of the station and head towards the crossroads (facing a church) and turn right into Oswald Road, going past a set of traffic lights and the Honest Lawyer and Blue Bell pubs (above). At the next traffic lights turn left into Doncaster Road (A18). Then just go straight down this road and you will eventually reach the retail park and Glanford Park stadium on your left.
A number of services do run close by the ground. Probably the most useful is the No. 1 (1A on a Sunday) operated by Stagecoach. This runs a circular route around town, but for the purposes of this guide has stops close by the railway station (Museum stop in Oswald Road), pretty much right outside the Malt Shovel and Honest Lawyer, and a couple of hundred yards from The Blue Bell Inn (all below). The stop to alight for the ground is at Tesco (in the section of the retail park north of Doncaster Road). This service has two buses an hour.
A selection of taxi firms in Scunthorpe can be found here.
The Official Site is rather good, lots of useful information and easy to navigate. Very EFL standard. Expect can be dragged down to National League standard soon enough though.
Iron-Bru – independent website that also hosts a forum, called Blast Furnace, though one appears to have to register an account even to read that. Does have (irregular) podcasts which anyone can listen to without registering.
SUFCOfficial – official Twitter account of the club.
The Scunthorpe Telegraph carries Iron material, though as it’s under the banner of the GrimsbyLive website presumably no one from Scunthorpe would deign to read any of it.
Food & Drink
Oop North is very hit and miss for beer (rather like Dahn Sarf to be fair): some towns have so many real ale / craft beer pubs, taprooms, micropubs etc. it would take a week to do them all properly rather than a single matchday; other towns are still stuck back in the Eighties and Nineties, with little except chain pubs and bars serving multinational industrial corporation brewery stuff. Scunthorpe very much falls into the latter camp. The bulk of pubs are scattered round the town centre, which means roughly two miles (and up) from the ground. We’ve picked out The Blue Bell Inn (Spoons) and Honest Lawyer (both below). For those into output from smaller independent breweries and cider makers the Malt Shovel (also below) almost certainly has the best range in town by quite some way. Apart from that there’s a number of pubs and bars along Doncaster Road (A18) from the town centre towards the ground but they run out a mile and a half short.
In the other direction, west of the ground along the A18, the village of Gunness down by the River Trent and a mile and a half from the stadium, has two pubs, Ironstone Wharf and The Jolly Sailor (useful should anyone actually be choosing to use Althorpe station, see By Rail above).
A retail park has been growing up on both sides of the A18 adjacent to the ground. Glanford Park is in the section south of the main road. Various food & drink outlets have gone up as the park expands, all of the junk chain persuasion, with the likes of: Burger King, Costa Coffee, KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. The Old Farmhouse (see below) is the alcohol option, providing they’ll let you in……and providing they haven’t run out of beer. Running out of draught beer (as did on one of our visits) on a Saturday matchday? Oh well, who could have predicted football fans would want a drink?!
In short, if the Old Farmhouse or the club bar are not to your tastes and you haven’t got a designated driver the day will involve either plenty of walking, checking out bus timetables or booking a taxi.
There is one, called The Iron Bar. Oh come on, you wouldn’t have been able to resist naming it that either! Located at the northern end of the stadium below the home terrace. It is usually open to away fans.
Once inside the stadium visiting fans have food and drink provision from kiosks beneath (at the ends of) the away stand. Food is the usual football ground fare: pies (though those are by Pukka, which is a bit of a cut above the average) including a vegetarian option but nothing that seems likely to be vegan, pasties, burgers, chips etc. Drinks available are Worthington Creamflow, Carling Lager and Cider; or Coke, Fanta, Tea, Coffee, Bovril etc.
Berkeley Hotel: Massive red brick pub popular with home and away fans, being only five minutes walk from the ground on the A18. If have used this before, at time of writing it is currently long-term closed. Humphrey Smith, dictatorial owner of Sam Smith’s Brewery, shuts pubs on a whim – this one was closed overnight with no notice, locks changed and a hand written note on the door, at end of January 2019. As a Grade II listed building, and also listings for its nationally important interior, who knows what Humph intends to do with it. Quite possible it could suddenly reopen again at some point on another whim…
Berkeley Hotel, Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 7DS. Tel: — Map: Berkeley Hotel.
Blue Bell Inn: Usual fairly town centre location that Wetherspoon pubs frequent. It’s on the way from the railway station to the ground, but only if you like long hikes. Fairly recently refurbished. Standard Spoons ‘house’ beer selection plus a better range of guests than the norm. There was cask conditioned cider on previous visits. Opens from 8.00 a.m. every day, closing 12.00 midnight Sunday to Thursday, 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. (In the past children welcome until 7.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, but only up to 5.00 p.m. on Friday & Saturday – can’t find any recent info on whether that remains the same or has changed.) Food served all day up to 11.00 p.m. Step free access. Large outside area to rear. No parking of own but there’s a council car park off street behind the pub that appears to be free at weekends. 1.8 miles from the stadium, so around half an hour walk or see Bus / Taxi information above.
The Blue Bell Inn, 1-7 Oswald Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 7PU. Tel: 01724 863921. Map: Blue Bell.
Honest Lawyer: Longstanding real ale bar downstairs / Tapas restaurant upstairs outlet that selects its offerings from small independent breweries. Has reduced hand pumps from eight to four since we first went twenty years ago. Perhaps surprisingly, for a place that has prided itself on its beer quality, it’s not gone towards ‘craft’ keg offerings, these remaining resolutely industrial multinational mainstream. Half way between the railway station and the Blue Bell (above) and exactly two miles from the ground. Small amount of outside seating on pavement at the front; disabled access, Sky Sports. Opening hours: 4.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday; noon* – midnight Friday & Saturday; noon – 11.00 p.m. Sunday. The Tapas aspect appears to operate Friday evenings and all day Saturday. (One can catch a bus from here up to the ground, see By Bus above).
(* Used to open 11.00 a.m. on Saturday – recall standing outside waiting for it to do so on a couple of occasions – and website still states this; but a quick phone call confirmed no longer the case, now 12.00 noon am afraid.)
Honest Lawyer, 70 Oswald Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 7PG. Tel: 01724 276652. Map: Honest Lawyer.
Malt Shovel: In the Ashby district of Scunthorpe (south of the town centre and railway station) so three miles from the ground. Doesn’t have a website but its Facebook page has regular updates on what beers are coming. Independently run (and recently refurbished, 2019) has six regularly changing / rotating real ales mostly sourced from small independent breweries. Also possibly the only place in Scunthorpe you’ll find some proper craft keg beers (not just stuff produced by macro-breweries with the word “craft” slapped on the label). Also has up to five real ciders and perries available. Food served noon – 2.00 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon – 8.30 p.m. Sunday. There are two bars downstairs: one mostly populated by serious drinkers; the other lounge style ‘family dining’ which allows children. There’s a snooker room with tables and another bar for members (though temporary membership may be available). Has a small beer garden and a covered area for smokers. Open from 10.00 a.m. every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight Friday & Saturday. (One can catch a bus from here up to the ground, see By Bus above).
Malt Shovel, 219, Ashby High Street, Ashby, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN16 2JP. Tel: 01724 843318. Map: Malt Shovel.
Old Farmhouse: Closest pub to the ground; in fact in the retail park virtually on the doorstep – couple of minutes walk at most. A Hungry Horse / Wacky Warehouse pub it is of course neither old, nor ever was a farmhouse. Used to be badged under the Tom Cobleigh pubco logo (and their outlets weren’t great), but became Greene King (so worse). It’s chopped and changed whether it does any real ale at all over the years we’ve been going to Scunny. Currently seems to have two hand pumps back operating so expect a couple of beers from the Greene King core range stable, for what that’s worth. Otherwise, delight your taste buds with Carling, Carlsberg Export, Fosters, Stella, John Smiths Smooth, Guinness, Strongbow Cider etc. – or not. Packed on matchdays – arrive early if you want a table (or pre-book one through its website). It is wheelchair friendly, and has its own parking and an outside area. Opens every day from: 9.00 a.m. for coffees, soft drinks, the Wacky Warehouse; then at 10.00 a.m. breakfasts join in; and finally from 11.00 a.m. the rest of the menu and alcohol is served. Closes 11.00 p.m.
N.B. It has no problem with admitting football fans – which is pretty sensible given its location – but back in the days we were trekking up to play The Iron pretty frequently the pub claimed licence restrictions didn’t allow colours to be worn. That said, saw home fans in colours in there regularly; and the bouncer on the door let me through after one match despite clearly having clocked I had away gear on.
Old Farmhouse, Doncaster Road, Gunness, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 8TE. Tel: 01724 276376. Fax: 01724 276524. Map: Old Farmhouse.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You: pretty unlikely. Scunthorpe is a grim northern town with no redeeming features, suffering from the long decline of its iron and steel industry. Meanwhile Yeovil is a grim southern town with no redeeming features, suffering from the long decline of its glove and helicopter industry. Oh, hang on…
Top-Tip: Skegness is quite close for that Great British Holiday Experience. Okay, we admit it, we have no top-tip for Scunthorpe.
Local Amenities: We’ve searched hard and there really is nothing of interest in Scunthorpe. From its expression Scunny Bunny reached a similar conclusion quite a while ago.
Other Points Of Interest: Both Ray Clemence and Kevin Keegan began their careers with The Iron.
[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]