Ground Opened: 1884 - Although it is believed that football was played on the site from 1870.
Ground Closed: 2010
Number of years at ground: 126
Last Competitive Game Played: Chesterfield 2 AFC Bournemouth 1, League Two, 8th May 2010.
Record Attendance: 30,986 v Newcastle United, Division Two, April 7th, 1949.
Floodlights first used: 18th October 1967 v Sheffield Wednesday (Friendly)*
Club moved to Proact Stadium (originally called the B2net Stadium)
Distance from the Recreation Ground to the new stadium: 1.6 miles
* Chesterfield were the last League Club to have floodlights installed.
The Main Stand was opened in 1936. It was comprised of two tiers, with a lower terraced tier and seating above. The raised seating area was accessed via a number of stairwells located to the front. As can be seen looking at the roof in the photo below, the stand had a slightly curved kink at the halfway point.
For a number of years the Main Stand looked somewhat rundown with lots of peeling paint and rust showing etc... However, in 2009 the stand got a makeover (albeit mostly in a green colour) when it was chosen to be used as a location in the film 'Damned United'
Wooden Seating & Benches
The Compton Street Terrace or also more well known as the Popular Side, was originally a terrace which was made all seated in 2002. The middle covered portion of the stand dated back to the 1920's. It was extended along the full length of the pitch in the early 1950's.
As The Original Terrace
If you look closely at the bottom right hand corner of the photo above, you will see some green cloured crush barriers. These were believed to be at the time the last surviving examples of crush barriers that were first patented by famous Football Ground Architect Archibald Leitch in 1906, following the Ibrox Disaster four years earlier. One of these barriers is now owned by the National Football Museum in Manchester and the other by the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park Glasgow.
The Kop was originally an open terrace. It had a roof erected over it in 1961. Like a number of other grounds including Anfield in Liverpool, the end was called the Spion Kop in memory of the battle of Spion Kop in the South Africa Boer War.
One of the impressive looking floodlights
And the 'Stairway to Heaven'
This open terrace got its name from the street that runs behind it. It was in its later years used to house away fans, who were also given a portion of seating in the Main Stand.
Looking Across The Terrace Towards The Main Stand
The Recreation Ground was demolished in 2012 and was redeveloped for residential housing. On the housing development, called Spire Heights, there is a memorial stone and railings commemorating Saltergate as well as some artistic blocks with various depictions that have been placed in parts of the paving.
View From Saltergate Road
View From The Baptist Church In Cross Street (Both present and past)
Memorial Stone and Railings
The last to be played at the Recreation Ground took place on Saturday May 8th 2010. A League Two match saw Chesterfield beat AFC Bournemouth 2-1, with the winner coming in the last seconds of the game. This winning goal was scored by Derek Niven making him the last player to score a goal at Saltergate. The attendance was 4,998. Watch the YouTube video below of the last minutes of that game and the final whistle.
The 'Last Minutes Of Football At Saltergate' video above
was produced by Ian Scott and was made publicly available via YouTube.
The ground was officially called the Recreation Ground, but became better known as Saltergate. Saltergate is the name of the main road that ran behind the Spion Kop. It is believed that at one time many years back that salt was transported into the town along this road.
Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the photos the Spire Heights housing area which now stands on the site of the Recreation Ground. And thanks also to Han van Eijden for providing his photos of the Compton Street Terrace (aka Popular Side).
If you possess photos of the old Recreation Ground Saltergate, which you would be happy to share with others via this website, or if you have any general feedback about this page, then please e-mail me at: [email protected].