With the new national lockdown recently being announced (even though thankfully football is able to continue) and fans again being unable to attend games to see the teams they love, everyone is looking back on simpler and seemingly more optimistic times. So I thought why not take a look at the past as well and have a look at the five best now-closed Premier League stadiums.
The Dell (Southampton)
Whilst The Dell might have only had a capacity of just over 15,000, the atmosphere produced on a match day felt like it was closer to 50,000.
Southampton called The Dell their home from 1898 to 2001, meaning the stadium no doubt has some incredible stories scattered throughout it’s illustrious history. Arguably one of the most unreal stories this stadium has was that during the second a World War a German bomb fell on it during the Blitz, creating a 18-foot crater in the Milton Road penalty area. The pitch was eventually restored, but it’s stories like this that capture the magical and defiant spirit of this famous old stadium.
Maine Road (Manchester City)
Whilst Manchester City’s former home might not be quite as old as The Dell, Maine Road captured the spirit of being a good old-fashioned English stadium brilliantly.
This ground saw a lot of quality football until it was sadly demolished in 2004. Maine Road hosted FA Cup Semi-finals, Charity Shield matches and a League Cup Final, to name a few. The stadium, that was famous for it’s haphazard design, also astonishingly once saw an attendance of 84,569 for a game against Stoke City in 1934. If all of these points haven’t already convinced you, Maine Road was clearly a great staple of English football.
White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Now for the most recently closed stadium on this list. The Lane hosted 2,533 competitive Spurs games over it’s 118-year history and whilst the new Tottenham stadium is beyond impressive, I can imagine there are a few Spurs fan’s that secretly wish they could see The Lilywhites take to the White Hart Lane pitch just one last time.
Only time will tell if this stadium will be remembered as one of the true greats of English football, but it being home to one of the countries biggest teams for so many years, indicates it will most definitely be remembered that way.
From one North London club to their fierce local rivals, Highbury holds a special place in the hearts of many Gunners everywhere. Many Arsenal fans would in fact probably prefer to go back to their old stomping ground; Highbury had fans a lot closer to the pitch as opposed to the Emirates where fans feel as they are too far away from the action, and this hindrance to the atmosphere clearly shows as Arsenal have not been crowned Champions of England since moving from their old home.
Boleyn Ground (West Ham)
Arsenal fans were slightly unhappy about moving from their historic home, but I think deep down they understood that the club needed a new stadium. Interestingly, the same can’t be said for the West Ham fans. The Hammers fans still want to return to Upton Park and, honestly, you can ask the question why did they ever move in the first place?
Whilst the Boleyn Ground only had a capacity of 35,016, the stadium had a unique and famous atmosphere. The stadium, that was home to no less than three of England’s 1966 World Cup winners, left a clear impression as you approached with the two iconic pillars greeting you at the entrance, and that historic feel continued across.
More so than any now closed Premier League stadium, Upton Park should arguably still be open today. The Hammers should be playing there every week instead of the ground simply being the setting for subpar Dave Bautista film.
And there we have it. Five of the best now-closed Premier League stadiums. If you think I’ve missed any, let me know in the comments. And as always, for all things football, keep it on FanHub.