Grounds for Improvement

ARGYLE’S Harper’s Park training ground is being given a summer makeover... the Pilgrims leave no stone unturned in their preparations for next season.

The club is spending a substantial amount of money on the area adjoining Home Park that contains two full-size pitches, which will result in a major improvement of the playing surface. 

Drainage is high priority on the list of planned renovations as the pitches have suffered in recent years from the heavy winter rainfall and were in particularly poor condition last season.

The significant investment will also see security at Harper’s considerably improved. Part of the reason for the deterioration of the facility has been caused by trespassing local youngsters using the pitches.

The renovation work will address a chronic lack of investment in the training facilities over the years since former manager Tony Waiters piloted its development. In order to raise money for, and awareness of, the project, Waiters took part in the 1976 Plymouth Marathon and was sponsored to the tune of £4,000.

Harper’s Park is named after former Argyle goalkeeper who was 34 and a Scottish international and League Championship-winning goalkeeper with Arsenal when he arrived at Home Park from the Gunners in December 1931.

He made his first-team debut against Bury on Boxing Day 1931, having already played for the reserves on Christmas morning – a match in which he saved two penalties. After 85 games in six seasons, Bill turned to coaching, played his last match in April 1939 aged 42, and later worked for the club as a trainer, groundsman and kit manager, and generally helping out. In October 1972, Arsenal visited Home Park for his testimonial.