Old Football Stadiums

Over the years, many of the UK’s biggest football clubs have upgraded their stadiums to fit in with today’s modern aesthetic.

However, there are still many historic stadiums that are still in action where time-honoured traditions meet the modern game.

From founding pitches to iconic arenas, explore the legacy and charm of Britain’s oldest football grounds, echoing decades of cheers and passion.

In this article we will explore these iconic grounds and provide you with everything you need to know about each stadium.

The Racecourse Ground – Wrexham 1807

As you may be able to tell by the name, this ground was originally a venue for horse racing and didn’t start to host football games until 1864.

The Racecourse Ground still stands as one of the oldest stadiums/ sporting venues in the whole of Europe that is still in use today.

Over its 200 + year span, the ground has held local matches and even international matches and is now considered to be the oldest stadium in the world that is still able to host an international match.

The Racecourse Ground has been home to Wrexham FC since 1872, however, in the early years of the 21st century there were plans to sell the ground for property development due to the clubs financial struggles.

Luckily in 2011 a University in Wales acquired the stadium and Wrexham FC’s training ground to provide new opportunities as well as facilities for their students.

As of May 2024 Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney own the club and have brought new light and attention to the ground.

Anfield – Liverpool 1884

Anfield is easily one of the most iconic venues in English football, the stadium was built in 1884 over 140 years ago.

In that time the stadium has housed some of the most legendary games and some of the most renowned players in Football history.

Anfield stadium was originally home to Everton until 1891 when they moved to Goodison Park after a dispute with the club president.

This lead to the formation of the team you know today as Liverpool F.C and they have been housed at Anfield ever since.

Over the years Anfield has had many renovations, but the stadium still remains as one of the oldest and most iconic stadiums in the world of Football.

Stamford Bridge – Chelsea 1877

Stamford Bridge stadium has undergone a significant transformation throughout it’s history, the stadium was initially designed with an Oval shape to accommodate football and athletics.

The arrival of Chelsea FC in 1905 marked the beginning of the stadiums expansion, with the clubs rising prominence.

As the club emerged as a significant force in English football the capacity of Stamford Bridge increased from 5,000 to over 40,000.

There has been talks of expanding the stadiums capacity by an extra 20 thousand by the end of the 2020’s.

Stamford Bridge is poised to preserve its rich heritage for many years to come.

St James’ Park – Newcastle 1880

St James’ Park stands as one of the largest stadiums in England with a capacity of 52,000.

It has been home to Newcastle United since 1892 but has been used for football since 1880.

The ground itself has held numerous iconic matches and housed the most iconic players. As well as being regularly featured on the very popular football game FIFA.

St. James’ Park’s status as one of the world’s premier football stadiums has been upheld, thanks to ongoing modernisation efforts around the ground.

Bramall Lane – Sheffield 1855

Originally designed as a cricket and athletics stadium, Bramall Lane, opened in 1855, is considered by many to be the world’s most historic football stadium. Throughout its history, it has accommodated over 16 different sports within its confines.

The first ever game of football played in the stadium, took place on 29th December 1862, as a fundraiser for The Lancashire Mills Distress Fund charity campaign.

This game of football was contested between Sheffield FC, the world’s oldest football club, and Hallam FC, the second oldest.

During the December Blitz of 1940, German bombing inflicted severe damage on Bramall Lane, destroying half of the John Street Stand and the roof of the Shoreham Street Kop, as well as causing significant damage to large sections of the pitch.

Now boasting a current capacity of just over 30,000, the stadium was converted to an all-standing venue in the summer of 1992.

Field Mill – Mansfield 1861

The home of Mansfield Town has remained the same for 104 years, although it now bears a new name because of sponsorship reasons. Originally, Field Mill was occupied by cricket and football players.

However, as the 20th century progressed there was a gradual move towards using the ground exclusively for football.

Despite the occasional rugby games and greyhound racing events the stadiums primary role has remained unchanged.

Between 1999 and 2001, the stadium underwent a complete transformation.

The most notable addition was a double-tiered stand on the west side, complimented by two new stands constructed behind the goals.

More Information

2010 World Cup Stadiums

Aldershot Town – Recreation Ground

Barnet – Underhill

Brighton – Withdean Stadium

Cardiff City – Ninian Park

Chesterfield – Recreation Ground (Saltergate)

Darlington – Darlington Arena

Grimsby Town – Blundell Park

Hereford United – Edgar Street

Macclesfield Town – Moss Rose

Millennium Stadium

Morecambe – Christie Park

Wembley Stadium

Lincoln City – Sincil Bank

Stockport County – Edgeley Park

Rotherham United – Don Valley Stadium