Ground Opened: 1910
Ground Closed: 2009
Number of years at Ninian Park: 99
First Game Played:
Cardiff City 1 Aston Villa 2, Friendly Match, 1st September 1910, Attendance 7,000
Last Competitive Game Played:
Cardiff City 0 Ipswich Town 3, Championship League, 25th April, 2009, Attendance 19,129
62,634 Wales 1 England 1, 17th October 1959
Record Attendance For A Cardiff Match:
60,855 Cardiff City 1 Swansea Town 0, Division Two, 27 August 1949.
Floodlights first used:
Cardiff City 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1, Division One, August 24th 1960.
League game Club moved to: Cardiff City Stadium
Distance from Ninian Park to the new Cardiff City Stadium: 250m
The Grandstand was opened just before the outbreak of the Second World War and replaced an older wooden Main Stand that was destroyed by fire. When built it was originally around a third of the size from that seen below and sat astride the halfway line. It was extended along the full length of the pitch in the 1950's.
The Grandstand in the late 1980's - Notice the terraced paddock at the front
The Grandstand on matchday
With the Paddock now all seated and roof extended forward
The Popular Bank was originally a large terrace that ran down one side of the pitch.
It was nicknamed the 'Bob Bank' as at one time it cost a shilling (a bob) to stand there.
Noted for the large painted adverts on its roof
It had seating installed to the rear in the early 1990's.
The Grangetown End or more commonly called the Grange End, took its name from a local Cardiff District. The open terrace as pictured below was smaller than the original terrace that stood there, which also had a roof. A new roof was added in 2001. Away fans were also housed on one side of this terrace (towards the Main Stand).
The Grange End Open Terrace
Looking acoss the once more covered Grange End
(note the seating installed at the front of the away section)
The Canton Stand was also named after a local district.
Originally a terrace, it was later made all-seated.
Like the Bob Bank it was noted for the large colourful adverts painted on its roof.
Canton Terraced Stand
As Viewed From the Away Fans Section In The Grange End
The All Seated Canton Stand
Ninian Park was demolished 2009.
The land was used for a housing development, aptly named Ninian Park!
Ninian Park Housing Estate Entrance
The Close Proximity Of The New Stadium To The Ninian Park Site
The Club had some difficulty in obtaining a lease on the land that was to become Ninian Park, as the Club needed to provide some financial guarantees, which proved troublesome. The new ground which was to be called Sloper Park, was finally secured when Lord Ninian Chrichton-Stuart stepped in to offer the Club the financial guarantees that were needed. As a thank you the ground was named Ninian Park, to reflect his great contribution that the Lord had in making it happen. Ninian Park was only one of a handful of football grounds in Britain that were actually named after a person.
Interesting Lord Ninian Chrichton-Stuart became an MP for the local area, before being called up to serve in the army in the First World War. Reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel he was killed in action in October 1915 during the Battle of Loos whilst leading the 6th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment.
Ninian Park was regularly used to stage Wales International matches. At total of 84 internationals were played there, the first in 1911, which was a match against Scotland,which ended in a 2-2 draw. It saw its last international match in 1998. I believe that one the reasons that a number of improvements were made to Ninian Park such as terracing being converted to seating, were to meet international standards for hosting matches.
On a poignant note, Jock Stein the then manager of Scotland who were playing a World Cup Qualifier against Wales at Ninian Park in 1985, suffered a heart attack at the end of the game and passed away at the ground. There is a memorial stone to him, outside the new Cardiff City Stadium
Wales v England, played at Ninian Park on October 18th 1947. A then record crowd of 55,000 saw England run out three nil winners, courtesy of goals from; Tom Finney, Stan Mortensen and Tommy Lawton.
The above film was produced by British Pathé and made publicly available via YouTube.
If you possess photos of the old Ninian Park ground, which you would be happy to share with others via this website, or if you have any general feedback about this page, then please e-mail me at: [email protected].
Special thanks to Dave Couseins, Owen Pavey and Han van Eijden for providing the Ninian Park Cardiff photos for this page.