Pink Bank Lane
Pink Bank Lane was initially a step backwards for the renamed Gorton AFC, and it's highly possible that the selection was one of desperation. The club became Gorton AFC in October, and it appears the split with West Gorton Athletic came as the result of a sudden decision. Once that split had occurred a ground – any ground – had to be found. Player Lawrence Furniss was the man who identified the potential of the site and Club secretary Edward Kitchen negotiated a rent of £6 a year.
Clearly, the land was not equipped for football but it was close to the old Kirkmanshulme Cricket ground and it was as good as some of the homes of some of St. Mark's rivals. It was referred to as “The Pink Bank Lane Ground” in a report of the Gorton-Gorton Villa derby match of 14th March 1885 when Gorton won 3-0.
At the end of the season, the Club's first annual report stated that Gorton had played 16 matches; won 7; lost 7; and drawn 2. They had scored 31 goals and conceded 21.
The following season Gorton moved again. This is a strong indication that Pink Bank Lane was a short term solution and that Gorton needed to find a better location if they truly wanted to progress.
Since Gorton's departure, Pink Bank Lane has been re-developed a couple of times. One side of the Lane houses the Belle Vue Athletics Centre which was utilized during the 2002 Commonwealth Games, while the other appropriately houses a football ground.
All history and statistical material has been produced based on the research and writing of Manchester football historian Gary James (www.facebook.com/GaryJames4). It is maintained by Ric Turner & Gary James. All text remains the copyright of the original contributors.
Gary's book, Manchester - the City Years: Tracing the Story of Manchester City from the 1860s to the Modern Day, is available to order on Amazon.