My sport is rugby! In fact, my knowledge regarding football is still based upon my schoolboy memories of following Blackburn Rovers from the mid-90s. In fact for all I know, Man Utd are still the best team in England and Cantona is Kung Fu-Kicking his way around football grounds up and down the country. The kids are both getting to an age now, where I reckon they’d enjoy a live sporting experience. We’re blessed with options around us, none more so than Stockport County F.C.
Mila used to play football and still has an interest in it, but mainly when it comes to watching the Lionesses or Man City Women. Meanwhile, Sammy is obsessed! And if he isn’t training with Alex and the 8by8 football guys on a Saturday morning, he is out in the garden with his ball and goal or dribbling up and down the hall if it’s raining.
Making Memories With the Kids
Some of my best memories as a kid were going to watch sporting events with my dad. My first was going to watch the mighty Terras (Weymouth AFC) play the local derby with Dorchester Town FC on Boxing Day, in approximately 1994 at the Avenue Stadium. As a young boy back then, I loved the thrill of watching the live match, the chants from the crowd, the hotdog at halftime, the raffle to buy a ticket for time of first goal and counting the numbers of times the ball was kicked out of the stadium.
But most importantly I remembered the genuine time spent with my dad. And it is this that I’m most looking forward to recreate with the kids. I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time with both of them and am a hands on dad, but still, hope that I can create some of these memories for them that they will look back on in the future with fondness.
I recently went to watch my local team Weymouth FC play Stockport County F.C. during the 2021/22 season on a cold February day.
Parking Up / Getting to Stockport County F.C.
Edgeley Park Stadium the home of Stockport County F.C. is conveniently located in central Stockport in the area of Edgeley – the home of local boy Phil Foden.
There are plenty of town centre car parks that you can use to park up which are just a few minutes walk from Edgeley Park. Some of the closest are those situated around Stockport Grand Central swimming pool, the home of Stockport Metro. However these are ridiculously expensive!
Insiders tip: Head to the Mersey Way Car Park, there are over 1,175 parking spaces and parking charges are much more reasonable than the other local NCP car parks. Expect to pay £5.40 for 5 – 6 hours! In contrast you’ll be paying £14.95 for a similar length of time at Stockport Exchange (which is closer to the ground). There are a number of independently run car parks, but some have some nefarious business models and you may end up getting charged for much more than you think!
Taking the Train
My preference for getting to the Edgeley Park Stadium is taking the train. Public transport across Greater Manchester is really good and Stockport train station has plenty of train lines coming through it. Quite possibly all trains from Manchester Piccadilly (the main station heading south from Manchester) stops at Stockport whilst there are numerous smaller lines that also stop at the station.
From there it’s just a few minutes walk from the station to the ground!
Insiders Tip: make sure you take the subway and walk under the train lines, taking the King Street West exit to save yourself a much longer circular walk around Stockport. This is the much smaller exit and you’ll know when you leave because it’s much less developed, in contrast to the Station Road / Grand Central Way main exit.
Match Day Experience at Edgeley
Edgeley Park Stadium is a great ground for atmosphere. I went to watch Stockport County play against Weymouth Town in February 2022 which they won 1-0. It was pretty much the game that sealed their promotion on Football League 2. Naturally the atmosphere was buzzing. Stockport County have taken their form with them and narrowly missed out on back to back promotions in the 22/23 season, losing on penalties to Carlisle in the playoff finals.
Currently Stockport are topping League 2 and drive down the London Road / A6 on a match day and the atmosphere is buzzing.
Edgeley Park – Hidden Amongst Terraced Houses
For me, Edgeley Park is a proper football stadium. Not one of these mecano stadiums put up in the Premier League. Although I no longer follow football – as a youngster I did – and it gives me real vibes of the Dell and Fratton Park (my two local Premier League teams whilst growing up).
If you didn’t know the stadium was there, you could almost stumble upon the ground as you wander through the industrial terraced rows of houses.
Food and drink options are decent and reflective of where we are – Meat and Potato pies feature heavily on the menu. However, for old time sake, I opted for a hotdog! Prices were reasonable and the food decent!
Conclusion: Stockport County F.C. The Heart of Local Football
In an age where the sport (and Manchester) has become a global spectacle, with its star players and multi-million-pound deals, there’s an undeniable charm in the local football experience that remains at the heart of the game’s community spirit. Stockport County F.C. is a testament to that enduring love, nestled amongst the terraced houses of Edgeley, standing proud as a hub of local passion and excitement.
This is even more the case in the mid 2020s as they’re pushing for regular promotion to the higher echelons of the league. Here, the game is still about the roar of the crowd, the suspense of a penalty kick, and the simple pleasure of a halftime hotdog. It’s where every match is more than a game; it’s a thread in the fabric of memories that bind families and communities together.
Until the next match day for which I’m hoping to take the kids to, Stockport County F.C. may not have the universal acclaim of the Premier League giants, but there’s nowhere else we’d rather be on a match day – even for me, an egg chaser!