Ship Lane is a home-from-home for Grays

Isthmian League North Division outfit Grays Athletic have confirmed that they have taken ownership of the Ship Lane football ground, the former home of Thurrock FC.

The club have been granted full planning permission for the redevelopment of the West Thurrock venue. Grays have lived something of a nomadic existence following the loss of tenure at the Recreation Ground some fourteen years ago, their home for more than a century.

Speaking to, Chairman, Lee Vehit said: “This is a fantastic day for sport in Thurrock, as well as one that secures the future of Grays Athletic. Our club is first and foremost a community club and it is our clear ambition to make Ship Lane the most welcoming of venues for all local people – men and women, boys and girls, young and old, including representatives of all sections of our local area. We have great plans to open up Ship Lane to the widest possible range of community use – and we would love to hear from local groups about how we can do even more.

“But first we have a huge job to do, to get Ship Lane safe and operational. The ground has laid dormant for the past six years since Thurrock FC folded. And we know there is much work to do. But our army of Blues volunteers can’t wait to get started. This is a club with a great history and now with the brightest of futures.”

Brian Jeeves