Blazing Away

All you need to know about Argyle’s first pre-season match against St Blazey on Saturday...

ST BLAZEY AFC play in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division, Step 6 in the National League System, the tenth tier of the English pyramid. Last season, they finished 17th in the 20-team division.

HOME for St Blazey is Blaise Park, Station Road, St Blazey, Cornwall PL24 2ND. The ground’s capacity is capacity 3,500, of which 200 is seated.

SATURDAY’S match kicks off at 3pm. It will be exactly 40 days since the Pilgrims’ last match – against AFC Wimbledon at Wembley.

ADMISSION is £10 for adults £10 and £5 for children.

ST BLAZEY’S nickname is the Green and Blacks. Coincidentally, they play in green and black, which means that Argyle will wear their new 2016-17 PUMA away kit on Saturday.

BLAISE Park was built on land reclaimed from the nearby estuary in the town. During the first world war, the pitch was dug up and the underlying sand was used to fill sandbags.

THE distance from Home Park to Blaise Park is 33.8 miles and the journey by car should take 53 minutes. The nearest train station to the ground is Par, approximately a 14-minute walk away.
ST BLAZEY’S most famous ex-player is goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, who has a Bristol Rovers tea lady to thank for a career which saw him become Britain’s first £1m goalkeeper and win 23 England caps while playing for Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Everton. Ian Holloway was at Rovers and remembers the tea lady’s part in the transfer. He said: “She went on holiday to Cornwall, saw him play for St Blazey, and said: ‘You're a bit good – why don't you come up to Bristol Rovers for a trial?’ He said: ‘All right, then’. He walked in and [manager] Gerry Francis said to the coach: ‘Chuck him over there with the reserves’. A few minutes later, the coach comes running back and says: ‘You’ve gotta see this bloke, Gerry’ and within a week he was in our first-team.”

THE club was formed in 1896 by Dr ESS Davis, a member of the Cornwall County Football Association. 

SATURDAY’S match will be preceded by a minute’s silence for Brian Brokenshire, a St Blazey club stalwart and long-time treasurer of the club. Argyle have sent condolences on behalf of everyone at Home Park to Brian’s family, friends and members of the club.

ST BLAZEY were a founder member of the South Western League in 1951. They won the league 13 times, including the 2001–02 season when, while Argyle were winning the Nationwide League Third Division title, they went through the entire season unbeaten. 

ARGYLE last played St Blazey on August 6, 2007, whene they won 10-0. Ashley Barnes scored four times, with Reuben Reid, Ryan Dickson, Scott Laird, Shane Duggan, Cherno Samba and an Anthony Tonkin own goal also contributing to the scoreline.

ST BLAZEY were the first Cornish club to transfer a professional player to a Football League club when Bob Swiggs joined Argyle for £600. Shaun Taylor, the current Argyle Academy Professional Development Coach also progressed from Blaise Park to League Football.

ST BLAZEY and Wadebridge share the record of being the only Cornish teams to have played in the FA Cup, FA Trophy, FA Vase and the old Amateur Cup.