Saturday 24th February 2007 ko 14.30
Welsh League Division One
GRANGE HARLEQUINS 1 (Karnouniaris 59)
U.W.I.C. 1 (Makas 56)
There is a parallel to be drawn here. If you go to a game at the newish Cardiff International Athletics Stadium you’ll see the Cardiff City Stadium beyond the stadium and to the left with the Millenium Stadium in the background. So back in 2007 there I was sat in the stand at Leckwith stadium with Cardiff City’s Ninian Park beyond and to the left with the Millenium Stadium in the background. So Leckwith and the new Athletics Stadium are on the same footprint then? No, not quite…..
Leckwith Stadium, for an athletics stadium built with half an eye on the 1994 Commonwealth Games did stage a lot of football. Forever associated in footballing terms with Cardiff City’s non first-XI’s and Cardiff Grange Harlequins, it also was home to Inter Cardiff, who in a sliver of irony eventually merged into UWIC to become Cardiff Metropolitan University FC who were the visitors on my visit.
My visit saw the stadium, and Ninian behind on borrowed time. Both stadia were closed in 2009 and subsequently demolished with the current Cardiff City Stadium‘s footprint overlapping where the old Leckwith Stadium used to stand. The next paragraph you may wish to skirt past unless you are a hopper with a bad case of O.C.D.
That overlap meant some groundhoppers still haven’t visited Cardiff City Stadium, as since they’d seen a game here, so see the new Cardiff City Stadium as a rebuild, and not a new stadium. If you want my opinion it’s this. If you see the this and the Cardiff Stadium and think one adds up to the other than you’re not looking at the same thing as me!
So in 2010 both the new Cardiff International Athletics Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium opened and it didn’t take me long to visit the new athletics stadium. The remarkable but is that when you sit at the top of the stand, there’s the new Cardiff Ground down at to your left with the Millenium Stadium behind- exactly as it was in the old days.
But you’re far from being in the same place, everything’s moved roughly 200 yards south-west. Sadly dear Grange Quins are no longer with us, they folded just after I saw them at the new Leckwith in 2014. Canton Liberal had a season there in 2017 while their home at the adjacent Cardiff Sports Campus was receiving the pitch from the demolished Ninian Park. So yes if you want you can still watch a game on the Ninian Park pitch! It’s funny how things do go full circle.
I can’t say the old Leckwith Stadium will ever be remembered by football fans with any great fondness. It was first and foremost a municipal athletics stadium, and what replaced it was a vast improvement. But it did have a quite a backdrop, and through a real quirk of fate a similar view still exists. I just wish the Grange Quins were still around to play in front of it. Would you believe this draw was the only point I ever saw them win?