Northern League Day fixture: Marske United vs Whitehaven
Although they’ve fallen out of the promotion places, second division Marske United still occupy a healthy sixth place in the league at the time of writing, one place above their Northern League Day visitors from Cumbria.
Situated on the North Sea coast between Redcar and Saltburn, Marske-by-the-Sea is one of East Cleveland’s oldest and prettiest villages. Its football team was founded in 1956 and joined the Northern League in time for the 1997-98 season. Hemmed in by back gardens on two sides and a conifer hedge on a third, the shelter at Marske’s GER Stadium comes in the form of a wooden stand and metal lean-to along one touchline. There’s a wonky sign with ‘Marske United F.C.’ written in capitals, a blue and yellow flag flapping around in the wind, and a banner reading ‘Passionate about steel’ tied to one of the scaffolding poles that form a fence around the pitch. The main stand has seating for 167 fans, with the remainder of the 2,500 capacity made up of hard standing on all four sides of the ground. 100 Grounds Club founder Shaun Smith is one of many Northern League visitors with a soft spot for Marske, calling them “a very friendly club”.
Among the second division’s best footballing sides, Marske’s team includes Mark Taylor – twice a Northern League winner during his time at Dunston – and ex-Middlesbrough academy defender Mitchell Morris. In midfield, Anthony Ormerod has professional experience with Middlesbrough, Carlisle, York and Scarborough.
There’s a social club (with Sky Sports) just outside the only turnstile and several pubs – including The Ship Inn towards the beach on High Street – and restaurants in the village itself. The club’s matchday programme (£1) is one of the very best I’ve seen in the Northern League and was recently awarded the title of National Non-League Progamme of the Year.
Entrance is £4 adults (half price for concessions).
Getting there: The GER Stadium in on Mount Pleasant Avenue just a couple of hundred metres away from Marske’s railway station. Car parking is available at the ground. The postcode is TS11 7BW.