Capacity: 2,400 (Seats 306)
Address: Polwell Lane, Burton Latimer, Northants, NN15 5PS*
Telephone: 01536 217006
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Poppies
Year Ground Opened: 1973
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Red & Black Stripes
Normally I try and highlight the positives of a ground, but with Latimer Park, I am struggling somewhat. It is indeed quite basic and is mostly open to the elements. On one side are three small covered seated stands, two of which sit each side of the half, with a third, a prefabricated temporary stand is located towards the South End. The latter has 109 seats housed in seven rows and like the other stands on this side of the ground, it has a number of supporting pillars, as well as the base of a floodlight pylon in front of it that could impede your view. The two stands sitting each side of the halfway line, are quite old looking. The larger of the two has Kettering Town Football Club emblazoned on its roof, whilst the smaller has Burton Park Wanderers (who share the ground and play in the United Counties League) on its roof. The larger stand has 150 seats in five rows, whilst the smaller has just two rows comprising 47 seats. In fact, the mobile catering unit located next to this stand on my visit, I noticed was actually taller in size. In-between the stands is the players tunnel.
On my visit, the opposite East side was open to the elements and had flat standing for spectators along the perimeter fence. It did though have a team dugouts on that side, as well a couple of cabin-type buildings as well as scaffolded television gantry. However, I believe that the Club are looking to install temporary seating at some point along this side of the ground. Both ends are similar with small portions of covered terrace located directly behind the goal, with flat standing areas to either side. The ground has a set of eight small floodlights, four of which are located down each side of the ground. Towards the north-west corner, situated between two of the floodlight pylons, is a tall radio mast.
After leaving their Rockingham Road Ground in 2011, the Club have led a bit of a nomadic existence, first playing at Nene Park, the former home of the now-defunct Rushden & Diamonds Football Club. Before moving onto Corby Town in 2012 and then moving to Burton Latimer in 2013. Although basic Latimer Park has helped the Club get back nearer to their Kettering home (Burton Latimer is situated three miles south of Kettering Town Centre) and the Club are hoping to build a new stadium in Kettering itself (see below).
The Club have purchased some suitable land off Scott Road in North Kettering, where they hope to build a new stadium. The Club have a lease on Latimer Park until 2042 and is believed that it would be retained for reserve and youth academy sides. If the new stadium does not happen then the Club would look to further develop Latimer Park.
The majority of matches at Latimer Park are not segregated. On the rare occasion that fans are segregated then away fans are mostly housed in the Station Road End. This end comprises a small covered terrace, which is just five rows high and has flat standing areas to each side. In addition, away fans are given a small temporary covered seated area on the Main Stands side of the ground. This stand has just over 100 seats but does have some supporting pillars and the base of a floodlight pylon directly in front of it, which could impede your view. For these segregated matches then mobile facilities are brought in and for the larger games, these include a bar facility. Hot food and drink on sale includes; Bacon Cheeseburgers (£4.50), Cheeseburgers (£4), Burgers (£3.50), Hot Dogs (£3.50), Sausage & Chips (£4), Cheesy Chips (£2.50) and Chips (£2). Hot Chocolate (£2), Cup a Soup (£1), Tea or Coffee (£1).
However, segregation is normally not in force, meaning that fans can 'swap ends at half time' and visitors can enjoy the clubhouse during the interval too. Kettering have quite a good following which helps for a good atmosphere at times inside the ground. Latimer Park is very close to the Weetabix factory (Did you know that Weetabix is the number one selling breakfast cereal in the UK?) and at times a rather nice baking smell wafts across the ground.
There is a clubhouse at the ground that welcomes visiting supporters. It normally has a couple of real ales on tap from the Elgoods Brewery. Otherwise, there is not much in the way of pubs close to the ground. The centre of Burton Latimer High Street is around a 15 minute walk away, where there are a couple of pubs, including the Olde Victoria on Bakehouse Lane. There is also the CAMRA Good Beer Guide listed Dukes Arms on the High Street, but this doesn't open to 2pm on Saturdays. If arriving by train into Kettering, then there are plenty of pubs to choose from including a Wetherspoons outlet on Silver Street, called the Earl of Dalkeith.
Leave the A14 at Junction 10 and take the A6 towards Bedford. At the next roundabout take the second exit towards Latimer Business Park (the football ground is signposted from here). At the next roundabout take the third exit (signposted Station Road Industry). Follow the road round passing the Morrisons Distribution Centre on the left and then the Weetabix Factory on the right. The entrance to Latimer Park is then a short way further down on the left. There is a large car park at the ground which is free.
Kettering Railway Station is just over three miles away from the ground and is too far to walk for most. The station is served by trains from London St. Pancras and Nottingham. Outside the station is a taxi rank. Otherwise, you can get the Stagecoach Bus No 49 (towards Wellingborough) or No 50 (towards Rushden) which both go past the ground entrance on Polwell Lane and nearby Station Road. They can be caught from the small Bus Interchange on London Road (NN16 0DQ), which is around a ten-minute walk away from the station. You can view timetables on the Stagecoach website.
Over 60's & Students £10
Under 18's £5
Official Matchday Programme £2.50.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds, Corby Town and Northampton Town.
At Rockingham Road
11,526 v Peterborough United
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
1st November 1947
At Latimer Park
2,147 v AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central
1st January 2019
2018-2019: 838 (Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central)
If there is anything that needs to be updated or if you have something to add to the Guide to Latimer Park Kettering Town then please email me at: [email protected].
Kettering Town v Farsley Celtic
National League North
Saturday 4th January 2020, 3pm
Kevin Pullan (Neutral)
Kettering Town v Blyth Spartans
National League North
Saturday 16th November 2019, 3pm
John Hague (Blyth Spartans)
Kettering v Blyth Spartans
National League North
Saturday 16th November 2019, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Latimer Park?
This was the last of the current National League North ground for me to visit. It is also relatively close to my home as National League North grounds go.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I normally try to travel by train as much as possible, but due to the out of town location, and being it is only 92 miles due west on the A14, it made sense to drive. Also there is a large car park at the ground which is easy to access, being just off the A14.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I could have had lunch at home and then drove over, but it was a sunny morning and I wanted to make a day out, so I stopped off in a local village and had a walk in the country. I could tell that there had been some heavy rain overnight in the area due to the large puddles on the road, but I had checked previously that the game was definitely on.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Latimer Park?
Whilst waiting for the turnstiles to open I paid a visit to the clubhouse which is actually located just outside the perimeter of the ground. It looks as though it was built as a row of houses, with some windows blocked up. Having read this guide, I was prepared for what the ground looked like, and I got the impression that it is very ramshackle, with such odd-looking stands. I had intended to sit in the larger of the three, but on finding that it didn't have a proper back to it, I changed my mind and sat in the middle one. This was a good choice as I sat amongst a very friendly group of locals. With even sweets on offer! I learned that the club are having problems with the pitch drainage, and there is probably a broken drain underneath.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Although the pitch looked in a reasonably playable condition before kick off, it soon cut up. In the second half, this prevented the ball from rolling properly on the grass. The worst part of the pitch was on the touchline to the east side where the linesman was running up and down in a deep quagmire of mud! His boots were covered and with splashes of mud up his back. I also chatted with a few of the many supporters who had made the long trip from the north east and like the home fans, they were very friendly. As they were 3-0 up at half time, this probably put them in a good mood! In the first half Kettering hardly had a shot on target and they looked down and out at that stage. However, they staged an impressive rally in the second half, but they were always at least one goal behind until the 90th minute when they equalised to make it 4-4. A very entertaining game for a neutral.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
I got away quickly from the car park and was soon on the eastbound A14 homeward bound for Suffolk.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A good day out, with pleasant sunny weather for the time of the year. Considering the distances that I often travel, this was a later start and earlier home than normal! Just Weymouth left for me to visit in the three National Leagues.
Kettering Town v Kidderminster Harriers
National League North
Saturday 26th August 2019, 3pm
Jeremy Gold (Neutral)
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* This is the football ground address. The correspondence address of Kettering Town FC is: 1 The Stone Yard, Finedon Sidings Industrial Estate, Furnace Lane, Finedon, Northamptonshire, NN9 5NY.