Sunday, 25 October 2009


The petition continues to go from strength to strength, as we now sit proudly at 8,199 names - only 2,301 short of our overall target of 10,500.

Credit for this must go to El Poncho, who has driven this campaign forward with the gritty determination of oxen on amphetamine. Bravo!

That is not to neglect, of course, the support we have had from fellow Town fans and from the wider football world. Astounding. Football may be tribal, and therefore often divisive, yet we see, time and time again, football fans standing shoulder to shoulder on issues which transcend our rivalries. We may have witnessed such solidarity before but it never fails to be humbling.

We must reach our target. Can I ask for anybody who hasn't signed the petition yet to do so now, and if you have - ask your mates, family, neighbours, workmates, random people in the street. Anybody with a name, basically.

The petition is here.

One group of people from whom we've felt support has been lacking has been our elected representatives - our councillors, our Assembly Members, our Members of Parliament. Why they have been reluctant to come out in defense of the real jewel in the crown of our humble little town, we do not know.

There are one or two notable exceptions, and we will give the others a little more time to respond before we let our fellow Fanistas know who has helped and who hasn't, but I will take this opportunity to remind our politicians of this - the football club is, in many people's eyes, the town. Supporters' loyalty to their club is unswerving and paramount; they will remember who has supported this campaign, and who hasn't, come polling day.

Just ask Dr John Marek.


Friday, 23 October 2009


With thanks to Twitter's Flock Follower for the above information. You can view a copy of the above here.

This document appears to show the sale of the whole or part of the Racecourse to Wrexham Village Ltd, a property development company.

Answers on a postcard.



Brothers and sisters, as you will be aware, the collective is fond of a wee bit of poetry, and we recently implored the masses to send us their creative babies.

Senor Poncho of Red Passion fame has spoken to his close personal friend Sir John Betjemen, who has kindly penned this wonderful ditty. Sir John and Baron Ponch, we salute you.

A Racecourse Love Song by Sir John Betjeman
My Racecourse, My Racecourse,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by the Wrexham roar,
What magnificent matches you housed before tea,
We in the terraces – peering to see!

Two-thirty, Four-forty, oh! weakness of joys,
The speed of a cross, the catch of ball boys,
With dazzling comradeship, gaily we won,
We weak from your loveliness, our beloved Racecourse sun

Your convivial turnstiles shimmer we walk,
And swing past the turf, buried in talk,
And gate of the Kop that welcomes us in
The six-o'six show and pints when we win.

The glint of your memories, sound of the crowd,

The view from each spot is ever so proud,
Everlasting belches over chips and pie, oh! eye
As we dance in the Cent, and light up the sky!

My Racecourse, My Racecourse
A glimpse from the hills your charming red hue,
Oh! Shankly standing and applauding you!
Oh! Arsenal’s one, and our triumphant two!

Around us the Robins and Dragons are set,
And Psycho soars through the roof of your net,
And here in my sight is the ‘Course of my choice,
With the tilt of your stanchions and the chime of your voice.

My Racecourse, My Racecourse we’re not letting you go ! 
You’ve been slung like confetti and pushed to and fro
How sad are we, they don't give a toss
And leave your kop end covered by moss

And the keen reminisces and words never spoken
And the ever present ritual and songs our love token
We sit in your shadow prolonging the fun
My Racecourse, My Racecourse let the battle be won!


Wednesday, 21 October 2009


"Clearly redundant".

A strange turn of phrase. What does it mean?

“Development which adversely affects the continued use and development of County-wide and sub-regional indoor or outdoor leisure facilities and sports stadia is not permitted. Enhancement of such facilities is supported provided there is no significant adverse effect on local residential amenity by virtue of noise, floodlighting, car parking, traffic generation or other disturbance."

“The Council’s policy emphasises that their use should be maximised and that change of use or redevelopment of such facilities will be resisted unless they are clearly redundant or their continued use and development would create environmental damage. On the other hand, the enhancement of such facilities is supported provided there are no significant adverse effects on local residential amenity by virtue of noise, floodlighting, car parking, traffic generation, or other disturbance.”

So if the club's owners, whoever that may be, were to move the club out of the stadium prior to applying for planning permission for, let us say, a giant B&Q, then the world famous Racecourse Ground would be redundant, no? Or, perhaps, if the club was to cease to exist altogether...

Yes, a very strange turn of phrase indeed.

If anybody out there is familiar with planning legalese, then please do let us know your thoughts.

You can email us at or you can post in the comments section below.

Before we're all left feeling completely redundant.


Sunday, 18 October 2009


Following a series of top-level secret meetings in the bunker, the collective have unanimously agreed to invite submissions from our vast readership, which we understand amounts to literally billions of people.

The meetings were intense and emotions were fraught. Without the aid of Red Bull, ephedrine, and a shopping trolley full of stolen Wotsits and Wagon Wheels, I don't think we'd have made it through. Tough times.

Anyway, we implore - nay, beg - our fellow aficionados to submit articles for publication. You can submit prose detailing your favourite Racecourse memories; humorous anecdotes of days gone by; poems; haiku; manifestos for change. Anything really. We're not fussy.

Besides, we could do with a little culture on this rather tawdry and down-market blog.

So, comrades, if any of you feel like penning a few words in homage to the Racecourse, please email us your creative babies at

To get you in the mood, reproduced below is a short piece from some pompous old windbag on Red Passion. Strikes me as a blatant rip-off of the rhythms and style of Sir Tommy but I'm sure the tosser who wrote it will claim he was merely 'inspired' by the great man. I did say we're not fussy.

It was a winter night
On my way to the 'course
Weaving past people
And a copper on a horse

The horse had shat
On the road
A man in a comedy jesters hat
Approached the copper and moaned
The copper just looked down at him
And said "move along sunshine"
Whilst fondling his bat

I stopped for a fag
And sent a quick text
"You coming the game?
Then we'll go out and get wrecked"

In through the turnstile
£18? You're having a laugh
For a cheap plastic seat
That'll give me a pile
Or three
I couldv'e stayed at home
And had a bath

I meet a mate
And get a beer
£2.70 for warm Carling, which I hate
They saw me coming

The game begins
We lose
We're shit
I feel like I've been mugged
But on the plus side
Wrex The Dragon
Did look quite fit

Off to the pub
For a pint
Or six
As a parrot

Bit shit isn't it? See, if we'll publish this we'll publish anything. Get writing!

Nos da brethren



Below is one of Tommy Tainant's finest poetic offerings, reproduced for your delight. For those not in the know, Mr Tainant is Wrexham's number one fan, in addition to being a spiritual guru to the great unwashed, a wordsmith of unchallenged superiority, the greatest Jacko since Twm Sbaen, and the world's foremost unelected but benevolent Great Statesman. We are truly not worthy.

You can follow the spiritual and intellectual endeavors of Mr Tainant (surely it should be Sir Tommy by now) on his wonderful blog, Tommy Tainant's World Of Wonder, here.

Oranges and Carrots are the same colour 


are orange.
So are carrots.
Why is “orange”
And not ”carrot”?

Going down

In truth
Its well

It’s a fact.
They have

Been poor
For several
But then again,

So have we.
Are they
In disguise?
Or are we

Which is the
And which is
The orange?
And who makes
These decisions?

Decisions about
Naming colours.

And A
Or FC.
And so on.

Orange juice
Carrot juice
Orange cake
Carrot cake
Which is which?
Which is Chester?

Questions need answers
Like plants
Need water
But some Questions
Are harder
Than others.

A carrot

Is a carrot
An orange
Is an orange
Wrexham are Wrexham 
And Chester are shit.



Some more photos of yesterday's game, courtesy of redstarwxm on twitpic, aka Serencoch on Red Passion.

We may be playing crap football in a crap league but that is one hot mamma of a football ground. Oh yes.

We've lost our industry; our steelworks, our pits, our breweries, our quarries. We've lost the markets, the Miners Institute, the Hippodrome. A walk through Wrexham town centre today is the same as a walk through any town centre anywhere on this poxy little island we call home. Anytown, UK. The Racecourse is one of the few landmarks we have left and we will be damned in hell before we let this one go.

Sign the petition here!



Queuing controversy at The Racecourse before today's victory against the mighty Grays! Read all about it, here.

Just an excuse to post up a couple of photo's of the world's oldest international football stadium, really. Look at it. Beautiful. Not the queues, of course. Bloody ugly, they are. But the ground, oh the ground. Lovely stuff. Stirring, in fact.

Back on topic, it strikes the collective that if you are going to spend cash money on flash new technology, cash money that will ultimately be paid back by the supporters, with interest of course, then it might be an idea to ensure you actually have the means with which to use the technology. But then, perhaps we're just being Luddites, standing in the way of progress. Ho hum.



Brothers, sisters, Cestrians, lend me your ear...

The petition has thus far been a great success, although more names are still needed.

However, in order to successfully lobby Wrexham County Borough Council, we need as many people to send a letter to WCBC's Chief Planning Officer, Lawrence Isted.

A basic template for a letter can be found here, and the text has been reproduced below:

Attn: Lawrence Isted
Chief Planning Officer
Wrexham County Borough Council
Lambpit Street
PO Box 1290
LL11 1WL

19th October 2009

Re Wrexham Local Development Plan 2006 -2021 Submissions, The Racecourse Ground.

Dear Mr Isted,

I write to you as a member of the Red Passion website community and someone who added my name [number 324] onto the ‘online petition’, seeking inclusion of the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, in the Local Development Plan.

I believe the unique importance of the Racecourse Ground to the borough and the North Wales region as a whole, as confirmed by overwhelming Public Opinion, must require the Racecourse to be named in the LDP, with a specific policy or designation. In addition I believe it should also be covered by general policies of planning for the protection of community and sporting facilities.

Please include this letter as part of the submissions for the LDP process and am assured from your public comments on this matter, you and your fellow council members will be giving this matter your utmost consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Cae Ras

2021, Mold Road



Saturday, 17 October 2009


Reproduced below is an article written by the crown prince of thoughtful football journalism, David Conn. Conn wrote the article back in July, when the petition to include our venerable old ground in the Local Development Plan was launched. You can read the original article here.

Wrexham fans have launched a petition for the Racecourse Ground to be protected by the local authority from being sold off without a replacement stadium being in place.
Besides being a North Wales sporting home of history, pedigree and now, following investment, some quality, the Racecourse Ground is also a symbol for all football fans of the need to protect clubs and their grounds from speculators seeking to make money out of them.
In 2005, Wrexham's administrator, David Acland of Begbies Traynor, won a crucial battle to have the ground saved from the bulldozers and returned to the club. It had been transferred to the ownership of a property developer, Alex Hamilton, who had bought the club for £50,000 and was threatening very seriously to throw the club off the site and sell it for retail. Hamilton, and his then partner, Mark Guterman, bought into Wrexham to make money out of the land the ground stood on - and they even signed an agreement to that effect.
"The management and control of the football club is to be on an equal control basis," their agreement stated, "with the main or sole objective to realise the maximum potential gain from the property assets of the football club for the benefit of [Mr Hamilton] and [Mr Guterman]."
I wrote a full account of the court victory which saved the ground, as a landmark for all football fans, here.
Wrexham supporters campaigned passionately over three torrid years then and have not forgotten how close their club, formed in 1872, came to being put out of existence and its ground flattened. The petition, organised by the Red Passion website is part of their ongoing campaign to make sure proper protection is in place to prevent the same kind of scheme being tried again.
It can be signed here.



This piece originally appeared as a letter in the local paper 'The Leader' and on Wrexham Blog.

Wrexham FC may not be the most glamourous football club in the world, and the fifth tier of the English pyramid certainly isn’t the highest standard of football.
Yet the importance of the club, and crucially the club’s home – the Racecourse Ground – to the town of Wrexham and the North Wales region cannot be emphasised enough.
In the past few decades, Wrexham has lost its heavy industry; its pits, its quarries, its steelworks. We have lost, too, our breweries and our world famous Wrexham Lager Beer Company. To many, from Wrexham and beyond, our industry was a huge part of our identity, and its passing has been keenly felt. The Racecourse, however, remains standing, and has become more important than ever as a symbol of our distinctive local identity.
Perhaps to others, used to Sky Sports and modern ‘elite’ stadia such as the Emirates Stadium, Old Trafford, and the new Wembley, the Racecourse may seem humble; with its terraces, its mix-and-match stands, its faded and weather-beaten seats and aged turnstiles. Yet the Racecourse is of huge historical and contemporary importance. The Racecourse is the oldest international stadium in the world, having hosted both Wrexham and Wales games since 1877. The inaugural international fixture at the Racecourse was a 0-2 defeat to Scotland.
The ground has played host to genuine greats of the game; players such as Stanley Matthews, Johann Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Socrates, and Ryan Giggs. On the Racecourse pitch, Wales have beaten more noted footballing nations such as Spain and England; and Wrexham, a club with a reputation for slaying giants, have beaten the likes of Porto and Arsenal on the hallowed turf.
The stadium is renowned across the British Isles and beyond as an authentic and genuine theatre of the game; it is cherished not just by supporters of Wrexham and Wales, but also by football enthusiasts the world over.
Unfortunately, the stadium also sits on prime town-centre real estate, which has made the club and its land a target for property developers. In 2002, Alex Hamilton took control of the football club, and immediately transferred ownership of the Racecourse from the club to a separate company, Crucialmove, making the club tenants in their own stadium in the process. Hamilton then raised the rent to a prohibitively high level, and changed the terms of the lease to allow a 12-month notice of eviction.
Two years later, Hamilton – having saddled the club with debt as he sought to create a financially unstable situation at the club – served notice of eviction, and many feared that this historic stadium was on its knees. Hamilton’s intention, having asset-stripped the club, was to sell the land for property development, which would have pocketed himself millions but would have meant the end not just for ground but also for the football team.
The supporters of Wrexham FC organised, orchestrating an outstanding campaign to raise the profile of the situation at Wrexham and to shine a light on the dealings of Alex Hamilton. This resulted in thousands marching on countless protests, and a media campaign of epic proportions, but befitting of a stadium as venerable and as significant as the Racecourse.
A ferocious legal battle followed, along with a nationwide campaign of support in solidarity with Wrexham fans. In late 2005, a ruling by judge Alistair Norris in the high court provided a historic rebuke to property speculation in football: the judge ruled that “A fiduciary position in the club has been misused for the benefit of those interested in the exploitation of its property assets.” The ground was returned to the club.
Fast-forward to today, and ownership of the club has changed hands several times since the era of Alexander Hamilton. However, to ensure that the Racecourse is not the target of asset-strippers and ruthless property developers in the future, the online community of Red Passion – the primary website and forum for Wrexham supporters – has launched a petition calling upon Wrexham Council to safeguard the Racecourse by including it within the Local Development Plan.
The petition asks that the councillors ensure that the Racecourse is clearly identified in the Local Development Plan as an area that is protected and reserved for leisure activities, and specifically in its role as the primary sporting arena in North Wales.
Describing the aim of the petition, a Red Passion spokesperson said “By including and thereby protecting the Racecourse within the Local Development Plan, fans will be eternally grateful to the council for safeguarding the stadium, should a rogue property developer attempt to purchase the club or stadium in the future. With this in mind, the online Wrexham fans community ask that Wrexham County Borough Council’s Planning Policy Committee agree on the inclusion of the Racecourse Stadium in the Local Development Plan (LDP) for the years 2006-2021.”
The petition has already received a phenomenal amount of support in only a couple of months. A Red Passion spokesman went onto say, “We have been overwhelmed by the response so far. Signatories to the petition include not only many residents of Wrexham County Borough and supporters of Wrexham FC, but supporters from clubs across the UK and the world. We have support from fans of our greatest rivals, such as Chester, Tranmere, and Shrewsbury, and supporters of clubs as diverse as FC United of Manchester, Wimbledon, Brighton, Cardiff, Swansea, Porto, Valencia, Roma, Manchester United, Celtic, and VĂ„lerenga.
Included in the signatories are individuals such as Stephen Birch, currently serving in Afghanistan, Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, and former players, such as ex-Wrexham, Chelsea and Wales goalkeeping great, and current Manchester City coach, Eddie Niedzwiecki. This illustrates the diversity of support for the petition, and those names sit proudly alongside over 8000 others at the time of writing, with messages of solidarity pouring in from the United States, Malaysia, and Thailand, and of course from across Wales and the UK.
The support that the Red Passion community has received thus far from across the footballing world demonstrates the affection in which the Racecourse is held.
Safeguarding the Racecourse Stadium is not only good for sporting and cultural events, it is also important for the local economy. A spokesman for the Red Passion group of fans said “The North Wales Economic Forum has identified the Stadium as the regional venue for events such as international football, rugby and other team events. This theory is borne out by the stadium currently being used as one of only four venues in Wales for the junior World Cup Rugby tournament, and the only venue in North Wales. The North Wales Economic Forum has adopted the North Wales sports strategy, which singles out the Racecourse Ground for this purpose. The Welsh Assembly Minister for Sport, Culture and the Welsh Language accepted this document formally as the basis for Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) policy development relating to North Wales and sport and physical activity. We are of the view to secure the ground through the Local Development Plan is therefore in line with national policy.“
We ask for anybody who cares about the game, the town, the region, or about heritage and the preservation of local, civic, community identities, to sign the petition in solidarity with Red Passion, with Wrexham fans, and with supporters of clubs throughout the world, to ensure that the Racecourse is protected, so that future generations can cherish this historic ground as much as we do.


Welcome, comrades, compadres, aficionados of the ugly game.

This is the new blog for the Protect The Racecourse campaign.

We are a collective of Wrexham supporters from the community website Red Passion aiming to preserve football at the oldest international stadium in the world.

It is our objective to lobby our local authority, Wrexham County Borough Council, to include the wonderful stadium you see above in the Local Development Plan. This would ensure that the land can only be used for sports and entertainment, and would offer some, albeit not enough, protection against that phenomena that all of us lowly football fans have come to fear, namely asset-stripping.

You can help our campaign by signing our petition.

You can sign the petition here:

Our Petition

We already have more than 8,000 signatures from fellow football addicts the world over - but we need more!


The Collective