How it all began

There has been a sports ground on the current site since soon after the end of the second World War.  One of the first football teams to play here were Sale Presbyterians.  They were followed in 1950 by Sale Harriers who rented a piece of grassland from Sale Borough Council.  This was located in and around the area, which is now the children’s play area.

In 1953 permission was given to the Harriers to construct a cinder running track, which was completed in 1955 and the Harriers changing rooms were relocated from Cross Street to the Pumping Station of the old sewage works.  It was not until 1965 that the Club officially took over the tenancy of the Pumping Station.

In the early 1970s another football team, Sale United Services, made Crossford Bridge their home for the next 25 years. They were joined in the Summer of 1977 by Old Altrinchamians.  Initially, the facilities were only sufficient for their two top teams and their four lower teams continued to play in Timperley and Broadheath.  However, Old Alts had been told by Trafford Borough Council that they were soon to build a new sports pavilion, which would provide sufficient changing rooms for all their six teams as well as facilities for Sale Harriers.

In 1979 the wooden pavilion that Sale Harriers were using as their Club House was destroyed by an arsonist.  This increased the urgent need for Trafford’s proposed new sports pavilion, which was eventually opened on 5th December 1981.  This allowed Old Alts to have all their teams playing their home games at one venue, which they continue to do to this day.

Another addition

The following year the Harriers opened discussions with Trafford Council about building a synthetic track at Crossford Bridge but this turned out not to be feasible because the cinder track is built on top of a cotton dump.  So eventually their elite athletes found a new home in Wythenshawe Park but Crossford Bridge continues to be the thriving home of their Junior and Veteran sections.

In 1997 another football club made Crossford Bridge their home.  This time it was Sale United, which at that time was a rapidly developing junior football club with teams ranging from as young as five right through to 18 years of age.  Their success has continued ever since and they are now one of the largest and best run football clubs in Cheshire with 64 teams and 800+ players.

Soon after the start of the new millennium, Trafford B.C. approached the three sports clubs resident at Crossford Bridge to see if they would be prepared to take on the management of the facilities at Crossford Bridge.  This was a significant undertaking but after a number of meetings with the Council, Sale Harriers, Old Alts and Sale United came together to form the Crossford Bridge Management Association.  The formal agreement between the CBMA and Trafford MBC was signed on 22nd August 2002 and since then the site has been managed by volunteers from the three clubs who form the CBMA.

Over the last twenty years, considerable improvements have been made to the buildings and the facilities and during the lock-downs associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the site has proved to be a haven for the local community to get some much-needed exercise and fresh air.