Victoria Football Ground
Main Stand (photo)
What Was The Ground Like?
Stoke End & Butler Street Stand (photo)
What Is Left Now?
Butler Street Stand (photo)
Did You Know?
Boothen End On Matchday (photo)
Video Of Victoria Park In 1979
|Before moving to the
new Britannia Stadium in 1997, Stoke City had
previously played for 119 years at the Victoria
Ground. The Club which was formed as Stoke Ramblers
in 1868 (although it is widely believed that the
Club may have been in existence five years earlier)
played their first match at the Victoria Cricket
Club Ground (nothing to do with the subsequent
Victoria Ground). They continued to play at this
ground until 1875, when they then moved to Sweetings
Field, opposite to the Athletic Club ground, which
was to become the Victoria Ground. The Club first
played at the oval shaped Victoria Ground in 1878
when it was still known as the Athletic Club Ground.
It later got it's name from the Victoria Hotel, that
was built on the nearby Sweetings Field. In 1888,
Stoke became one of the founder members of what was
then the 'new Football League'.
A new Main Stand was built, at an otherwise open ground in 1919. This was re-built during the 1920's and a small wooden stand was also erected opposite. In 1930 the Boothen End terrace was constructed, complete with a roof. In 1935 a new Butler Street Stand was constructed, opposite the Main Stand. This covered stand had 5,000 seats to it's rear and a terraced paddock at the front. The stand was unusual in the respect that each swept around the corners of the ground towards the terraces. The Main Stand was again rebuilt in 1963 and in the early 1970's the Butler Street Stand was partly re-built following a gale. The last major development took place in the late 1970's when the new two tiered Stoke End was opened, which replaced the former huge open terrace.
May 4th 1997, saw the last ever league match to be played at the Victoria Ground. This saw a 2-1 victory for the Potters, against West Bromwich Albion (attendance 22,500).
|What Was The Ground Like|
|The ground before the Club's move to the Britannia, was of a good size and although showing it's age, it was not a bad one to visit. At one end was the impressive Boothen End Terrace. This large terrace was partly covered (to the rear) and had a number of supporting pillars running across it's middle. Unusually, the floodlights at this end were erected behind the stand, rather than in the normal position of each corner. At the other end was the Stoke End, which was a covered stand, that had seating to the rear and terracing to the front. On one side was the Sentinel (Butler Street) Stand, which was an unusual looking stand, having a small area of terracing to it's very front, seating above this and then a row of executive boxes across the back. This stand extended around one corner towards the Stoke End, whilst the other corner beside the stand, was unused and filled with advertising hoardings, although you could see that it had previously used as terracing. On the other side was the Main Stand, which was a two tiered covered stand, again with terracing to the front and seating to the rear. Overall the ground was well balanced as all of the stands were roughly of the same height.|
|The ground was completely demolished and the land after all these years still lies derelict, which is surprising. However there are moves afoot to redevelop the land for housing.|
|51,380 v Arsenal
Division One, March 29th, 1937.
|Did You Know?|
|In common with a
number of other Clubs, floodlights were first
installed in the 1950's. To celebrate a couple
of floodlit friendlies against foreign
opposition took place. So in the 1956-57
season, Radnicki of Yugoslavia and Essen of
West Germany, played at the newly lit Victoria
Ground. Stoke ran out winners on both games
(3-0 & 5-0).
Stoke playing legend, Stanley Matthews, played for the Club in separate spells, before and after the Second World War. He had reached 50 years of age when he made his last appearance. His ashes are interned below the present pitch at the Britannia Stadium.
Thanks to David Forsyth and Dave Couseins for providing a number of photos for this page.
|Video Of Victoria Park In 1979|
|Below is a video
from YouTube showing the ground in 1979 Thanks
to W Gibson for sharing this with us: