Fisher’s coming home – bringing football back to Bermondsey

Trip to bandit country to see how Fisher’s new ground is getting on

After a long hard journey fan-owned Fisher FC are finally returning home to where they belong – SE16, close to the river, in the shadow of the old London docks, perched precariously on the top of the Rotherhithe peninsula. There’s history here, you can feel it in the air as you walk round, it’s scarred across the memories of the old inhabitants, the forgotten poor, and despite the best efforts to gentrify the area, the ghosts of the dock workers and their families who had to fight every day for the right to exist, it lingers on filtered through the centuries of dna still present in the local residents, the same fighting spirit that makes the Fisher FC story so enthralling. Real people with heart. Real football from the heart.

Fisher’s brand new ground is being built on a derelict sports ground, as part of a community initiative that has allowed a major housing devloper to build on the site of their old ground, and should be ready to play on by the end of the year according to the site manager, Dave Ellis. We popped down a couple of weeks ago to have a look how far the builders have got and see what it means for fan-owned football south of the river now it’s finally got a place of its own.

Dave showed us around the site and was confident that the ground would be ready for Fisher in time to play out the end of the season. Certainly the lads on site were working at full pelt, mostly brickies putting up the outside walls to the clubhouse. The two main stands are already in place (one ‘safe standing’ behind the goal and the other ‘all seater’ alongside the clubhouse building) as are the two sets of turnstiles and the brand new floodlights, making it struturally at least resemble a football ground, although without the pitch it still very much boys from the blackstuff territory.

Talking of which the pitch itself will be 3G undoubtedly making it easier to maintain on a match to match basis, but just wonder what the players will make of playing on artificial turf?

You can see the looming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf in the background and the river is literally a two minute walk from the ground. It feels like something special is happening. Millwall fans pissed off with rising ticket prices and over zealous stewarding, local kids with nothing much to do on a saturday afternoon, die-hard football fans disillusioned with the modern game, curious onlookers and local residents, the neglected ordinary working class who want to re-engage with a bit of old fashioned community spirit are all going to be welcome down on Salter road as football makes its way back to where it belongs.

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Welcome to south London
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SE16
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Old sign, new ground, Canary Wharf in the background
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Fisher’s new ground in the making
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Stand behind the goal
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Clubhouse under construction behind the cement mixer
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The ‘pitch’
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Main stand
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holds over 140 seated fans
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One of the two pairs of turnstiles
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Turnstile close-up
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Main stand on the left
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New seats
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Nearest station to the ground
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Thames 2 minute walk away

 

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Shard in the background
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Blue sky Bermondsey by the river

 

Fisher is completely supporter owned and run, for the fans by the fans, and all members have a say in all club decisions which is “democratically run for the good of the community”. Fisher have been carrying their history with them, biding their time, homeless, restless, surviving on the promise of once again playing on home turf. Now is the time to get involved in a real football club, if you fancy it get in touch:

 

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