BULL’S HEAD HOTEL, REDDISH LANE 1885-87
This venue was totally out of character to the Club’s earlier venues as it is by far the furthest distance away from their St. Mark’s birthplace the side had ever been based at. Right on the edge of Gorton – in fact it was right on the border of Gorton, Reddish and Denton – the Bull’s Head Hotel is roughly two miles from Clowes Street.
Despite the distance the Bull’s Head, or Reddish Lane ground as it was often called, offered the Club potential. The landlord charged Gorton £6 per year rent to use the ground and to change in the public house, and he also gained from improved beer sales on match days.
The first game to be staged at the new ground was a 1-1 draw with Earlestown on 3rd October 1885. The man who scored the Gorton equaliser was Lawrence Furniss, who four years later would become the Club’s manager/secretary, and in the 1920s the Chairman responsible for the move to Maine Road.
Gorton stayed at this ground for two seasons, with the last known game being against Pendleton Olympic on 30th April 1887. Sadly, no report for this match exists. The reason for moving on appears to be financial. According to early Club histories the landlord asked for a rent increase. Perhaps he wasn’t making as much out of beer sales as he had anticipated or, more likely, he realised Gorton’s attendances were increasing and felt he deserved a share.
The present day Bull’s Head was built on the site of the earlier public house approximately 19 years after Gorton moved on, and nowadays the area is clearly seen as Reddish rather than Gorton.