Our former home - Christie ParkThe first game of football played at Christie Park was on Saturday, August 3, 1921, when the club held its first trial match. Just over 200 people saw the Reds lose 3-1 to the Whites.
The teams were: Reds: Hirst, McGlynn, Holden, Wodhouse, Morris, Hindley, Cope, Mason, Wilkinson, Molloy, McCrae.
Whites: Richards, Cragg, Billington, Bolton, Mercer, Farnworth, Boyes, Moore, Rhodes, Wood, R Morris.
The first league game at the Christie Park was played on August 27, 1921 when Fleetwood beat the Shrimps 4-0. The crowd was a superb 3,500 with the steamship Greyhound of Blackpool bringing 900 spectators form the Fylde coast. It must have been a great sight as the boat linked up with a special electric train to the old Promenade station and charabancs which ferried supporters to the ground.
Morecambe's team for the game was: Sloane, Johnstone, Kirkbright, Peel, Whittaker, Farnworth, Cope, Gornall, Aldred, Gradwell, Morris.
After the club was formed in 1920 its base was at Woodhill Lane, a ground it shared with the town's cricket club. The arrangement was far from perfect however, and the FA told the club it would have to find its own ground for the next season.
After looking at some land behind the horse tram depot on Lancaster Road, now the site of the Netto store, the club finally decided on a spot of rough pasture further down Lancaster Road. With the financial backing of retired businessman Joseph Barnes Christie who was the president of the supporters club, the land was acquired with Mr Christie paying the rent.
The ground was originally designed to be in an oval shape similar to that of Lancaster City's ground at Giant Axe with stands on all four sides and a capacity of between 8-10,000. The plans were altered however, and the ground constructed normally with a wooden stand built to hold 700 that lasted until the main stand was built in 1962.
There was a covered area, known as the 'Scratching Shed' at the Lancaster Road end of the ground and with a number of repairs down the years lasted until 1967. The ground was originally called Rosebery Park presumably after the nearby Rosebery Avenue which sources say was named after Lord Rosebery, the Liberal Prime Minster from 1894 to 1895.
In January 1928 Mr Christie, by now the club president, bought the ground and gave it to the Corporation of Morecambe with a condition that it should be used by Morecambe Football Club. If the club disbanded it should then become a playground for the children of the resort. It was at this time that the ground was named Christie Park in his honour.
The ground changed little in the following years with the next major improvement being the building of a banking on the Lancaster Road side of the pitch after tons of cinders. It was during the late 1950s and early 1960s that the ground saw its next development. The team was doing well and with crowds rising the town end was concreted and a roofed standing area built. This was opened on September 27, 1958.
The club's first major floodlights were erected as well and opened officially on October 27, 1960 when an All Star XI lost 4-3 to a Morecambe side. In a period of great change the new £10,000 Auxiliary Club was opened just a few weeks later - December 7, 1960.
Two years later, January 6, 1962, saw Christie Park draw its biggest ever crowd when officially 9,383 paid to watch Morecambe's FA Cup third round tie against Weymouth and at the end of that season the present main stand was built at a cost of £20,000. In all the club spent more than £35,000 in the space of a few months on ground improvements - a figure that would surely be almost a million in today's prices.
The new stand was officially opened on October 17, 1962 by club chairman Robert Althamafter a commemorative friendly with Leeds United which saw the Yorkshiremen win 7-1.
Six years later came another major step in the shaping of the modern Christie Park when the old 'scratching shed' was demolished and a new £8,000 covered terrace built at the Christie Avenue end of the ground - currently the Away Stand.
It was nearly 20 years before the ground was altered again when new floodlights, costing £40,000, were erected in 1993 and officially opened by the great Sir Tom Finney on August 4 prior to a friendly with Burnley.
This was the start of a major facelift for the ground as the club endeavoured to be ready for Conference football if the chance arose. Grass bankings were replaced by concrete terracing and with a general tidy up the Shrimps were ready to move up the Pyramid when the opportunity arose in 1995.
The work didn't stop there however and the club took the ambitious step of building a new £560,000 stand at the town end of the ground. The stand was first used by supporters on Saturday March 21 in a Conference fixture with Cheltenham Town but officially opened by Sir Bobby Charlton on Wednesday, September 2 prior to a friendly with a full strength Southampton side brought by boss Dave Jones.
Just 12 years later Morecambe FC, following their promotion to the Football League, announced plans to move to a new ground at Westgate. Despite the new home terrace much of Christie Park wasn't fit for purpose and club staff and officials worked out of temporary accommodation.
Work began at Westgate in 2009 and so began the countdown to leaving Morecambe's beloved home. An End of an Era campaign marked the countdown to the club's departure.
The last ever league match was against Aldershot Town on 8th of May 2010, which saw a 1-0 to clinch 4th place, the club's highest ever finish and a place in the playoffs. Garry Hunter scored Morecambe's only goal.
Morecambe's final game at Christie Park was the play-off second leg against Dagenham & Redbridge on Thursday 20 May 2010. A crowd of nearly 5,000 saw Morecambe win 2-1 with an injury time winner from David Artell who claimed his place in the record books as the scorer of the last ever official goal at Christie Park.
The gates of the ground were closed for the last time on the evening of Sunday 23 May by Morecambe Chief Executive Rod Taylor.