100 Years Of Old Trafford

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 In February of next year, Old Trafford celebrates its one hundredth birthday so we look back at its amazing history. With wartime bombing and stadium extensions, the theatre of dreams is a marvellous creation.

In 1902 United were known as Newton Heath and played their games at North Road and Bank Street in Clayton but the two stadiums had wretched conditions with the surface ranging from gravel to march. As a result, newly appointed chairman John Henry Davies pushed for a new stadium to built. As he thought that a stadium such as Bank Street wasn’t good enough for a team who had won both the Fa cup and first division so he donated the funds himself.

The stadium was originally planned to have a capacity of one hundred thousand but due to the cost of the land, the intended capacity would have cost an extra thirty thousand pound so the capacity was reduced to eighty thousand. Before the construction of Wembley Stadium, the Fa Cup Final was hosted at many different grounds including Old Trafford in 1911 and 1920. Later that decade, Old Trafford hosted its first England international when the three lions took on Scotland in 1926.

Upon the break of World War One, Old Trafford was subject to a thirty five thousand pound refurbishment. During this refurbishment, a roof was added to the north and south stand for the first time. Football continued at the stadium throughout the war, until it was halted for three months on the 22nd December 1940 when a German air raid damaged the stadium to the extent that the Boxing Day fixture against south port was switch to their stadium. The stadium was reopened in march of 1941. But just three days later, most of the stadium was destroyed by another German air raid. After Pressure from then chairman James W Gibson, the War Damage Commission granted united four thousand eight hundred pounds to remove the debris and seventeen thousand, four hundred and seven eight pounds to rebuild the stands. During the reconstruction of Old Trafford, United played a Maine Road home to rivals Manchester City for a cost of five thousand pounds a year.

Nearly ten years after the last game played at the stadium, Manchester United’s home was reopened in 1949 and their first game was against Bolton Wanderers on 24th August with over forty thousand spectators watching. Although there wasn’t cover over any of the stands, in 1951 the main stand’s roof was restored and in due course so were the other three. In addition, the club also invested forty thousand pounds for the installation of a proper flood lighting system.

In 1992 the government demanded that all first and second division football stadia would need to be converted to an all-seater. This meant that £3–5 million plans to replace the Stretford End with a brand new an all-standing terrace at the front and a cantilever roof to link with the rest of the ground had to be scrapped. To fully convert Old Trafford to an all seated stadia, it cost the club ten million pound with only two million coming from the Football Trust. Once the theatre of dreams was converted, Old Trafford had an all time low capacity of forty four thousand seats.

The clubs popularity, which increased vastly increased in the nineties, provoked a further extension. In 1995 the construction began with a brand new twenty five thousand capacity north stand costing over eighteen million pounds. In 2000, after further success, United seized the funds for further expansion. The red devils decided to add second tiers to both the east and west stands bringing the capacity to over sixty eight thousand.

The most recent change to Old Trafford was between 2005 and 2006 when the stadia increased by around 8,000 seats with second tiers being added to both the north-west and north-east quadrants of the ground bringing the capacity to well over seventy six thousand seated.

In 2009, the reds unveiled their 2009-10 season home and away kits which both commemorated Old Trafford’s one hundred birthday by having the famous ‘v’ shaped stripe across the centre of the shirt which united worn in 1910.

In its one hundred years of excellence, Old Trafford has came through a lot including almost destruction and having to play at their arch rivals stadium for ten years but Old Trafford still stands and is still one of the best stadiums in the world.

 (c) Oliver McGrath & Blogsfc

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2 Responses to “100 Years Of Old Trafford”

  1. sjo5rjo87 Says:

    Hey Oliver. This is a very detailed and informative piece, so well done. The only thing I would say to make sure you read back through what have written and also be a bit more conscious of where to use commas and full stops. The easiest way to do this is to read you through your work, and where you need to take a breath, add a comma or full stop. Of course this is by no means always right, but its a useful starting point.

  2. oliver Says:

    Hi Thanks for the comment. It was quite late at night a few weeks ago i first wrote this article and i forgot to publish it so i just posted it staight up with out checking it.

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