Soccer

FourFourTwo’s 100 best British football stadiums

The third “best” list I’ve blogged in the last few days (see The Ringer’s favourite sporting moments of 2021 and ESPN’s best sporting images of 2021 and this one is from FourFourTwo. 8 of their staff ranked 100 of the best football stadiums in Britain and while I’ve only visited 3 on the list (Old Trafford [x2], Kenilworth Road [used to work there], and the City Ground [visited for a health food event]), so I can’t argue with the rankings here, you can read the excerpts for those stadiums below:

51. Kenilworth Road

Luton Town

Capacity 10,356 

Opened 1905

That row of ground-level executive boxes along one touchline has always been a weird anomaly among stadiums, but there are few more flavoursome places to watch a midweek Championship game than in this tight, distinctly old-school stadium. 

BEST FEATURE The decidedly quirky entrance to the Oak Stand, which takes away fans up and over neighbouring back gardens. 

23. The City Ground

Nottingham Forest

Capacity 30,445

Opened 1898

Notts County’s Meadow Lane is closer to the city centre, but Forest’s Trentside home was the centre of Europe for two seasons. Brian Clough’s success built the expensive stand that (after remodelling) bears his name, and history hangs heavy around a ground awaiting a comparable hero that may never come. 

BEST FEATURE The Bridgford End’s bent roof, which keeps nearby houses in sunlight. 

5. Old Trafford

Manchester United

Capacity 74,140

Opened 1910

Bobby Charlton wasn’t wrong in coining the phrase the Theatre of Dreams. England’s first holistically planned stadium was reborn in the cantilever era and again for the post-Taylor Report epoch.

WEIRDEST MOMENT Technically, Old Trafford holds the record for the lowest-ever Football League attendance: just 13, for Stockport vs Leicester in 1921 – although in truth, many more stayed behind after United’s preceding match against Derby.

If you expected Old Trafford to be higher than #5, sorry for the spoiler. You might be surprised by 4 stadiums that finished above it, though.

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