Could internationals be returning to home of Wrexham FC


Charlie Croasdale

FOOTBALL such as like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey could grace The Racecourse turf after work to upgrade the world’s oldest international stadium.

Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium is to get a £300,000 revamp after the university secured the necessary funding. Work will begin on Monday.

The home of Wrexham FC and North Wales Crusaders rugby league team will include a new pitch, as well as new changing rooms for players and referees.

The results will see The Racecourse reclassified to a category three level stadium, meaning it can  again host international football.

Currently the ground can host junior internationals matches, but it has not hosted a full international since 2008.

But it remains the ground to have hosted more Welsh full internationals than any other. As recently as the 1980s The Racecourse was frequently used for high-profile Wales matches, such as a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Spain in 1985.

The reclassification means full Wales internationals could return to The Racecourse, bringing players such as Bale and Ramsey back to the the hallowed turf.

The ground’s medical and treatment facilities will be upgraded as part of the works, as well as improved seating for disabled supporters, better floodlighting and removal of cambers at the Kop end of the ground.

The university’s announcement comes after funding as secured from the Football Association of Wales (FAW), Rugby Football League (RFL), Wrexham FC, Wrexham FC Disabled Supporters Association and the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).

Ex-Wales international Barry Horne, who gained 59 caps during his career, said it would be “fantastic” for the club to see internationals return.

“It would be win-win for everyone to have international football back in Wrexham,” he said.

“It would be fantastic for the club and it is great the upgrades are taking place at the ground. It would be an opportunity for people in North and Mid Wales to come and see Wales play, as the chances to see them in the past five years have been few and far between with excellent new stadiums in Cardiff and Swansea.

“I loved representing Wales at Wrexham – we had tough games against Ireland and Holland with big crowds, and it would be great to see the spotlight on Wrexham once more.”

Glyndwr’s sports manager, Anna Marie Brown, said: “We have worked hard over the past year to secure this funding and are thrilled to announce these major improvements will go ahead this summer.

“As well as new changing facilities and better seating for disabled supporters there will be a brand new pitch and improved drainage and irrigation around the stadium.”

The ground will be closed for two months after work begins on Monday.  

Two of the Crusaders’ rugby league games will be moved to an alternative location.

The upgrades will be completed in time for the start of the 2014-15 football season in August.

At times The Racecourse pitch suffered last season in a winter beset with prolonged periods of higher-than-normal rainfall.

But Mrs Brown added: “We hope fans of both the rugby and football clubs will be happy with the results and the new surface will contribute to successful futures for both Wrexham FC and the Crusaders.”

See full story in the Leader

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