WHEN the demolition men finally move in and the bulldozers rumble across the turf once graced so majestically by Vollenhoven, Karalius, Murphy et al, it won’t just be lumps of concrete and mangled bits girder getting tossed into a skip The home we have collectively grown into and groaned in, too, over many decades will be gone forever.

Looking at the Popular Side in particular, it is sad that this cross section of comedians, choristers and critics will never be assembled together as one solid mass ever again.

Whether you are 22 or 92, Knowsley Road has been a constant in our lives.

We have been taken there by our dads, along with the obligatory milk crate, and in a blink of an eye carried our own kids through the turnstiles.

Apart from being a sporting theatre, for many of us Knowsley Road has been our schoolyard, social club, community centre and church in that time.

The new ground will, in time, generate its own distinctive atmosphere – and fans will find their own comfortable vantage points and get to know their neighbours and build up camaraderie. It has a hard act to follow.

For years to come fans will close their eyes and imagine they are stood on one of the four sides of the old ground and see Roy Mathias hurtling in at the corner, Mal Meninga smashing through, Roy Haggerty scattering opponents and Barrie Ledger weaving in and out of defenders.

Edington End Prior to the relatively recent trend of ‘away ends’, which has seen the Edington colonised by travelling fans, this part of the ground was a popular perch for Saints supporters who wanted to see the full width of the pitch.

To kids walking in for the first time it looked as grand, if not as big as the Anfield Kop. The space on the pitch opens up in front of your eyes from up there, the ball flashing from left to right.

In the late 70s it is where the young lads would sing, to the tune of Chicory Tip’s Son of my Father, ‘Oh! Eddie, Eddie! Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Eddie Cunningham!’ adding percussion by kicking the corrugated sheets at the back of the terrace.

Paddock Any fan entering the paddock for the first time in 1980 would have got the impression of walking into somebody’s front parlour. There was a real homely sense of community spirit in there generated by stalwarts Helen Kennedy, Margaret Whittle and Eric Ainsworth, who would always loudly declare: “Follow Gorley and you’ll get a bagful!”

At that time you would regularly see England rugby union internationals Fran Cotton and Steve Smith standing there on a Sunday afternoon.

Although it was an extra 5p to stand there in return you could stand right next to the concrete dug-outs. In those pre headset days – the coach would bark out his instructions from the bench. Animated ones like Leigh’s Alex Murphy or Bradford’s Peter Fox would get out and shout at the players .

Of course, kids being kids, you could also wind up the away bench, which occasionally came with consequences.

A midweek game against Halifax in 1983 side drew a paltry 2,593. One lad spent 80 minutes mocking Halifax’s veteran 18 stone prop Ian van Bellen every time he carted the ball in. Eventually the Fax trainer had enough of this and used his water bucket Tiswas style to bring a little more respect!

The Popular Side The most heavily populated part of the ground has provided the atmosphere and soundtrack to many a big game.

The liveliest part of the ground became the area on the half way line underneath what was initially temporary scaffolding. The scaff really took off in the 1984-85 season with the arrival of Mal Meninga and the playing of some fantastic, free-flowing rugby under Billy Benyon.

The simultaneous resurgence of Wigan resulted in the sort of 20,000 plus gates that everyone one thought had gone with the game’s halcyon days in the 60s.

The late 80s and early 90s sing-offs between the Wiganers packed up in the Edington and a bank of success-hungry Saints fans on the Popular Side were almost as compelling as the game itself.

One game in particular sticks out. The last ever Lancashire Cup Final held here in October 1992 saw Wigan edge it by the odd point in nine. That day the Popular side collectively flinched left with every Saints attack and swayed right to assist the defence. Had they been able to blow the team over the line that afternoon they would have done so.

The Restaurant end The uncovered Dunriding Lane end of the ground attracts the hardiest breed of supporters - particularly given the weather that usually afflicts most Saints match days.

Plenty of fans first started watching Saints from the boys’ pen section behind the posts which is in front of the oldest part of the ground – the Pavilion, built in 1920.

Pre-Super League it was the end in which the players came out of the tunnel and went back down. Therefore it was the perfect place to let off steam after a poor performance.

The stand Although it should provide the best view in the house, the main stand more than anything sums up why Saints need to move on.

Built in 1958, it cost £33,000 but financial constraints meant only two thirds of the project was completed. The stanchions block considerable parts of the action and the side covering of A stand obliterates a good portion of the pitch at that end of the ground.

And when it is really full – and a match winning play is executed– the stand shakes. One game in particular would have given any local seismologist a treat.

In May 2005 Warrington were on their way to a first win at Knowsley Road since 1994 when a Sean Long penalty levelled it with two minutes to play.

That should have been it – but with barely seconds left Long hit the winning drop goal. The pandemonium that followed saw the stand vibrate.