10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums
Stadiums always played a role in our development starting from the medieval era when the grounds were often used as the venue for popular recreation, till the modern day when the exclusive grounds maintained by huge organized are decorated with giant screens and state-of-the-art technology. Football or association football or soccer is the most widely played sport in the world, with over 200 countries playing football on international or national stages. There are also famous clubs who has their heritage attached with their home grounds. Home grounds always played a key role in the success of a football club as the teams practice, play and achieve victory on the home ground. Moreover, the home grounds also hold the record crowd for any club. There are so many new stadiums built, as the old stadiums were not able to handle the vast number of audience. It is certainly sad to see any club neglecting its ground after it moved to the new home, but there are many clubs which also maintain their heritage at the ground. So here is the list of 10 old and defunct football stadiums.
10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums
10. Milton Road Ground – Cambridge City
Milton Road Ground was the home ground of Southern League Premier Division club Cambridge City F.C from 29th April 1922 to 27th April 2013. The stadium was located in Cambridge, England and was one of the largest outside the Football League, and is inducted in the tenth place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The ground was also used for greyhound racing during the late 1960s and attracted more crowd than football match. After a legal dispute with Cambridge city, High Court ordered that the club will stay at the City ground till 2013 and will share in 50% of future profits from development of the site. As the consequence of the City Ground’s failed FA ground inspection in April 2008, the Cambridge City football club was automatically demoted to the Southern League Premier Division from the Conference South.
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9. Manor Ground – Oxford United
Manor Ground was the home ground of Oxford United football club since 1925 until 2001 and was located in Oxford, England. It was built and opened in 1876 Oxford United which was previously known as Headington United, and is inducted in the ninth place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. Oxford United used the Manor Ground stadium until they moved to the Kassam Stadium, which they share with London Welsh Rugby Football Club as the home ground. The stadium in an FA Cup 6th Round match on 29 February 1964 hosted Oxford United’s record crowd of 22,750 against Preston North End. For its poor maintenance, it started to be known as one of the more dilapidated stadiums in Britain according to 1990 Taylor Report. Manor Ground was demolished in 2001 and is now the site of a private hospital.
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8. Roker Park – Sunderland
Roker Park was the home ground of English football club Sunderland A.F.C. from 1897 to 1997 and was located in Roker, Sunderland, and is inducted in the eighth place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. It has the record crowd of 75,118 before the Sunderland club moved to the Stadium of Light. Roker Park was officially opened on 10 September 1898 by Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 6th Marquess of Londonderry, and hosted Liverpool vs Sunderland friendly match as the inaugural football event. The last competitive football match at the Roker Park ground was a 3–0 Sunderland victory over Everton. Roker Park was demolished in 1998 and a housing estate was built on the site of the stadium after the final farewell game between Liverpool and Sunderland football club.
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7. The Dell – Southampton
The Dell was the home ground of Southampton football club from 1898 and 2001 and was located in Milton Road, Southampton, Englan, and is inducted in the seventh place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The site of The Dell was described before the construction of the stadium as “a lovely dell with a gurgling stream and lofty aspens” in Philip Brannon’s Picture of Southampton published in 1850. After the construction of the stadium, several names were suggested such as “the Fitzhugh Dell”, “Milton Park” and “The Archer’s Ground” but later named as The Dell. The stadium’s demolition work started 26 May 2001, and the Southampton football club moved to the new St Mary’s Stadium. A housing estate was built on the site of The Dell while blocks on the new site bear the names of former Southampton players.
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6. Filbert Street – Leicester City
Filbert Street was the home ground of Leicester City football club from 1891 until 2002, and is inducted in the sixth place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The stadium was located in in Leicester, England, and was officially named “The City Business Stadium” in the early 1990s. For higher attendance and to provide better facilities after the success of the club under Martin O’Neill during the late 1990s, an expanded stadium was required by Leicester City and they moved to their new home ground King Power Stadium. Filbert Street stadium was sold for £3.75 million to a development company in March 2002 and the demolition of the stadium begun in March 2003. It is now the part of ‘Filbert Village‘ development as accommodation for students of the University of Leicester and De Montfort University.
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5. Don Valley Stadium – Rotherham United
Don Valley Stadium was the home ground of Rotherham United from 2008 till they moved to the New York Stadium at the start of the 2012–13 football season. The stadium was named after the nearby flowing river the River Don, and is located in in Sheffield, England. The Don Valley Stadium complex was opened in 1990, and first hosted the 1991 World Student Games, and is inducted in the fifth place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. Besides football, the stadium also hosted games by rugby league side Sheffield Eagles, and was also the former home ground of the Parramore Sports football team. Don Valley was the second largest stadium in United Kingdom at the time of its closure with a seated capacity of 25,000. The stadium was demolished since 21 November 2013 till May 2014.
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4. Vetch Field – Swansea City
Vetch Field was the home ground of Swansea City F.C since it was opened in 1912 till the club moved to the newly built Liberty Stadium in 2005, and was located in Swansea, Wales. Vetch Field also hosted many matches for the Wales national football team besides being as the home ground of Swansea City, and is inducted in the fourth place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The last ever football match was held at the Vetch Field was the 2005 FAW Premier Cup final where Swansea defeated Wrexham with 2–1 score. Besides football, the stadium also hosted 8 rugby league matches between 1990 and 1999, and also hosted the music tour of The Who in 1976. Demolition of the Vetch Field stadium was started on 31 January 2011, but the center circle of the stadium will remain.
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3. Maine Road – Manchester City
Maine Road was the home ground of Manchester City F.C from its construction in 1923 till the final match on 11 May 2003, and was located in Moss Side, Manchester. It was nicknamed Wembley of the North because of its high capacity and is inducted in the third place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The stadium hosted many important events such as FA Cup semi-finals, a League Cup final and Charity Shield matches. For the attendance in 1934 FA Cup Sixth Round match between Manchester City and Stoke City, Maine Road holds the record for the highest home attendance in English football. Manchester City’s final goal was scored at the stadium by Marc-Vivien Foé on 21 April 2003 during the 3–0 final victory over Sunderland. The Maine Road Football ground was demolished in 2004.
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2. Bank Street – Manchester United
Bank Street or Bank Lane was the home ground of Manchester United from 1898 to 1910 and located on Bank Street in the Manchester suburb of Clayton, and is inducted in the second place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The club owner John Henry Davies believed he could not sufficiently expand the Bank Street ground, and for that, moved to Old Trafford in 1910. The main stand at Bank Street was blown down in a storm after Manchester moved out from Bank Street. The stadium is now occupied for the car parking of the Manchester Velodrome. Manchester United won their first league title in 1908 and the FA Cup in 1909 on this ground as their home ground of that time. The site of the Bank Street stadium is very close to the Manchester City’s Home ground the Etihad Stadium.
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1. Highbury – Arsenal F.C.
Highbury was the home ground of Arsenal Football Club from 6 September 1913 to 7 May 2006 and called with the name for its location in Highbury, North London. Highbury was nicknamed “The Home of Football” by Arsenal F.C, and is inducted in the top place in our list of 10 Old and Defunct Football Stadiums. The club moved to their new stadium Emirates Stadium in nearly Islington after the 2005-06 EPL season. Highbury was redeveloped as a residential development known as Highbury Square after Arsenal moved from the ground, but parts of the East and West Stands of the Highbury stadium still remain. The stadium hosted 1948 Summer Olympics and FA Cup semi-finals during its time. Besides football, it also hosted international matches of various sports such as boxing, baseball and cricket.
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There are also stadiums like Nevill Ground that was used for football, but is now used for its original purpose of cricket. Trent Bridge is also a stadium which was used by Notts County in 1910, but now used as a cricket stadium. Withdean Stadium was also used by Brighton & Hove Albion F.C as their home ground from 1999 to 2011 but now use as an athletic stadium.