Sat nav sends couple to wrong St James’ Park

The St. James' Park sign at Alnwick Town Football Club.
The St. James' Park sign at Alnwick Town Football Club.

A pair of overseas rugby fans had a trying time with their sat nav, after it took them to the wrong St James’ Park ground.

The South African couple had travelled up from London to watch the Springboks take on Scotland in the World Cup at the iconic home of Newcastle United, which holds just over 52,000 fans.

South Africa v Scotland at St James' Park in Newcastle.

South Africa v Scotland at St James' Park in Newcastle.

So imagine their shock when they arrived in Alnwick instead, to find themselves at the namesake ground of the town’s grass-roots football club, which can seat around 100 people.

The gaffe came after they put their faith in their trusted sat nav – which then proceeded to send them more than 30 miles further north.

Thankfully, it happened last Friday, so they had plenty of time to find the right ground, ahead of the crucial Pool B match, played the following day.

Gavin Turnbull, groundsman at neighbouring Alnwick Cricket Club, said: “It happened at around 12.30pm when a car pulled up in the cricket club car park and I went across to them.

“The couple had arrived at Alnwick Town’s St James’ Park ground, but the gates were shut so they pulled into the cricket club. The woman was looking at her sat nav and said ‘I think we are at the wrong St James’ Park’.

“They had flown from South Africa, landed at Heathrow and travelled up north.”

Alnwick’s links with Newcastle

In 2012, Alnwick Town tried, but failed, in a bid to acquire the famous St James’ Park lettering from Newcastle United. The club had hoped to use the letters when they were removed from the stadium in the February of that year. But all was not lost, after two lads provided Alnwick Town with its very own St James’ Park sign.

Newcastle United’s St James’ Park ground is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 52,405 and is being used as a venue for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Alnwick Town’s St James’ Park ground can seat around 100 people and has hardstanding around the pitch.