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Gloucester City To Return Home After 12 Years?

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Meadow Park in 2012 - five years after floods destroyed Gloucester City's home

"It's like moving house 21 times a season," says joint chairman Alex Petheram. "We arrive for home games at someone else's ground in a different county, set up, play, pack up and go."

Welcome to Gloucester City, a non-league club with 136 years of history - the last 12 of which have been spent on the move since floods destroyed their Meadow Park ground.

Without a permanent home and with nowhere to store anything, Gloucester's kit man Mike Nash puts balls, bibs and cones used for training in his garden shed, while Chloe Lees, the physio, transports the treatment table for the dressing room to games in the back of her Nissan Micra.

Since 2007, the National League North club - nicknamed the Tigers - have entered into ground share arrangements with four different clubs, their current 'home' 25 miles away from Gloucester in the Worcestershire market town of Evesham.

"You've got to be pretty committed to supporting a team which involves a 50-mile round trip for home games," says Dave Jones, a Gloucester fan for almost 40 years.

"Playing at another ground has made life very difficult. You lose all the supporters who might go now and again. Eventually, some of your hard-core support start to drift away and find something else to do."

This weekend, a dedicated group of Gloucester fans will make the 480-mile round trip to North Yorkshire for their team's FA Cup third-qualifying-round tie against Whitby Town.

With £11,250 on offer to the winners, it's a huge match for a club losing about £200,000 a year and being propped up by co-chairmen Petheram and Eamonn McGurk.

After years of talk about a potential return home, work has now begun to revive their old ground, so is there finally light at the end of the tunnel for a club that last played a league match in Gloucester 4,541 days ago?


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