The Newcastle Benfield North stand will now be known as
The Jimmy Rowe Stand
in honour of our late Chairman and co founder of Newcastle Benfield.
I trust you’ve all noticed that our north stand is now known as The Jimmy Rowe Stand, in honour of our late Chairman and the co founder of Newcastle Benfield. Over the last few weeks, many people associated with the club have reminisced about events in the history of the club. The structure that you can see above has played a part in some very warm memories of days gone by.
At the end of the 2007/2008 season, Colchester United vacated their old Layer Road ground, perhaps most famous for their astonishing 3-2 over Leeds United in the 1970 FA Cup, and moved to their shiny new Colchester Community Stadium. They made it known that any ambitious grassroots clubs who wanted to improve their grounds were welcome to help themselves to the fixtures and fittings of the old ground, which was scheduled to be torn down for executive housing. Of course The U’s play in blue and white and thus provided the ideal colour scheme for our proposed new stand. Our heroic groundsman Stan Thompson headed for the northern tip of Essex, stripped the required number of seats out the old ground and sat on them in the back of an open wagon, lest they fall out, all the way back to Newcastle. And that’s where the fun really began.
The stand was built during the close season by the willing and enthusiastic committee with the help of friends, rather in the manner that the Romans engaged the help of the Ancient Britons to build a mile a couple of miles south of Sam Smith’s Park. A Martins Windows van was commandeered to transport the bricks around the edge of the pitch, with dear Danny Gates acting as navigator to make sure it kept off the pitch. Similar to Hadrian’s feat of engineering, no scaffolding was used all the construction was done with ropes and one ladder, similar to the 2,000 year old structure at the bottom of the Fossway.
The 5 or 6 happy labourers had no choice but to carry the 6 meter bison beams, weighing a ton. We formed a human chain, like a gang of convicts in the Deep South during the Depression, to pass the breeze blocks over and into place , working every night for 5 weeks in the dark. Fairly obviously, sometimes health and safety regulations were put on the back burner. Suffice to say, Emperor Jimmy was the leader and the rest of us the slaves, but it was worth it to get things done in time for the start of the season.
Danny Gates Jimmy Rowe
The funeral of Jimmy Rowe takes place on Monday 16th September 2019 at 215pm at the West Road Crematorium. Followed by refreshments at Newcastle Benfield ground.
Rest in peace Jimmy.
Gone but will never be forgotten.