Stamford Bridge has been the iconic home of Chelsea FC since 1905.
The stadium was first opened in April 1877 as a sporting arena primarily used for athletics meetings by the London Athletic Club. The Mears brothers obtained the deeds to the ground in 1904 aiming to bring the new sport of football to London after following its success in the North of England. Stamford Bridge is currently the ninth largest stadium in the Premier League with a 40,834-spectator capacity. If you’re a Stamford Bridge season ticket holder, then you’ll love our Chelsea T Shirt collection!
5 Facts About Stamford Bridge
1. The new arena was commissioned by the Mears Brothers and designed by architect Archibald Leitch. Scottish-born Leitch designed Ibrox, Celtic Park and Hampden. Throughout his career Leith was commissioned to design part or all of more than 20 stadiums in the UK and Ireland between 1899 and 1939. Much of the esteemed architect's work has been redeveloped or demolished largely due to the move to all-seater stadiums in the wake of the Taylor Report.
2. Initially Stamford Bridge was offered to neighbouring football club Fulham FC who turned it down due to financial reasons. Chelsea FC was founded in March 1905 and moved into Stamford Bridge a few months later. It was a successful move for Chelsea as they attracted a crowd of more than 60,000 in their first year of being in the stadium.
3. Stamford Bridge was originally served by a small railway station in its early days – the Chelsea and Fulham Railway Station. It was closed in 1940 having sustained damage during the Blitz in World War II. The station was finally demolished in the 1950s and is now the site of a block of flats although there have been requests to reopen the facility in some capacity.
4. The famous Shed End of Stamford Bridge was originally created for the Greyhound Racing Association by architect Archibald Leitch.
The Greyhound Racing Association held dog races on the track that enclosed the pitch for many years. They commissioned the asymmetrical roofing design to cover bookmakers and betting customers.
5. Chelsea legend Peter Osgood had his ashes laid to rest under the Shed End penalty spot in 2006. Osgood played for Chelsea between 1964-74 and again from 1978-79 making a total of 289 appearances. At the time there was a memorial service, and a statue was erected to commemorate him at the West Stand in 2010.
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