“The day we went to Bangor” – Fiddler’s Dram.
Some people might glorify the fact that Notts County FC and Nottingham Forest FC in England are separated by a river – the Trent. Other people might glorify the fact that Dundee FC and Dundee United FC are separated by a road – Tannadice Street. And yes – those stadiums are very close and those clubs are professional football clubs all with great history and fame. Nottingham Forest won the European Cup in two different decades – 1979 and 1980. Dundee United played in two major European finals – in 1987. However, even though I have been to all four of those stadiums, they are NOT the closest two football stadiums in the UK for separate clubs and that’s because Bangor FC and Bangor Amateurs FC share a wall – they are separated merely by a wall or a fence. This makes them the closest (or at worst joint-closest) two separate football stadiums in the UK, possibly in Europe, possibly in the world…
Bangor Amateurs FC and Bangor FC
To set some important context here – my father used to play for Bangor Amateurs FC – I watched him play live many times growing up! I grew up in the city of Bangor in Northern Ireland, so this magical little fact of two clubs side by side is from my homecity and obviously I have been to both stadiums, and multiple times. However, the clubs rarely play each other and have not been in the same division before.
Bangor Amateurs FC
Bangor Amateurs FC – established 1969
Stadium – Ballyvarnet, Clandeboye Road, Bangor, Northern Ireland
Colours – Red and White
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BangorAmsFC/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BangorAmateurs
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangor_Amateurs_F.C.
Current League – Northern Amateur Football League, Northern Irish Football League Pyramid, 1B (5th tier)
Glory Days Loyal – Won the Clarence Cup in 2003
Famous Former Players – Joe Blair
Bangor Amateurs are the smaller club of the two, their stadium is also smaller and their greatest achievement so far in the Amatuer Clarence Cup of 2003.
Bangor FC – established 1918
Stadium – Clandeboye Park, Clandeboye Road, Bangor, Northern Ireland (but they used to play at the Ballyholme Showgrounds)
Colours – Blue and Yellow
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bangorfootballclub/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/bangorfc
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangor_F.C.
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bangorfc/
Website – https://www.bangorfc.com/
Current League – NIFL Premier Intermediate League, Northern Irish Football League Pyramid (3rd tier)
Glory Days Loyal – Won the Irish Cup and League Cup in 1993 and were three points off a domestic treble that season
Famous Former Players – George Best, Gerry Armstrong, Paul Byrne
Visiting The UK’s Closest Two Football Stadiums
To visit, get yourself to the city of Bangor in County Down, Northern Ireland. The nearest airport is George Best Belfast City Airport. The nearest train station is Bangor Central, but there is also a Bangor West and a Carnalea, both in the city. I recommend sleeping in the Cairn Bay Lodge now that The Royal Hotel and The Marine Court Hotel are closed. You can pub crawl the city too – some great bars there as well as a load of top backpacking sights from war memorials to murals to churches to Bangor Abbey. I’ll be writing more about my homecity in times to come, and don’t forget my first printed solo book was entitled “Don’t Look Back In Bangor“, a homage to the city I grew up in…