Believe it or not, there isn’t a consensus on how old the game of football is.
Some claim it originated in medieval England, while others may ascribe it to early Asia. In either case, there’s no question that football is hundreds of years old.
Some of the oldest UK football stadiums still bear the mark of that history.
In descending order, we look at the ten oldest football stadiums in the United Kingdom.
10. Anfield Stadium
Location: Anfield Road, Anfield, Liverpool
Year built/opened: 1884
Home team: Liverpool Football Club
Anfield is the 10th oldest football stadium in the UK and home to the historic Liverpool FC. The stadium is also one of the biggest in the UK (53,394 seating capacity) and has hosted many memorable matches.
Liverpool fans have a deep connection with Anfield, and no Liverpool match goes without a full stadium chanting and cheering on their team. Anfield has also been the home of many famous footballers and managers, including Kenny Dalglish, Bill Shankly & Bob Paisley.
For more history on Anfield Stadium click here.
9. Turf Moor Stadium
Home team Turf Moor, 52-56 Harry Potts Way, Burnley
Year built/opened: 1883
Home team: Burnley F.C.
Turf Moor is the 9th oldest football stadium in the UK. It is still regularly used for professional football matches and has a seating capacity of over 20,000. In 1924, the stadium recorded the biggest attendance with over 50,000 fans watching the game.
While Burnley FC. might not be one of the best football clubs in the world, their stadium certainly has some history.
Read about the ups & downs of the stadium here.
8. Ewood Park
Location: Ewood Park, Blackburn, BB2 4JF
Year built/opened: 1882
Home team: Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers is one of the founding members of what we now know as the English Premier League. Ewood Park stadium has a capacity of just over 31,000 and has gone through various renovations and reconstructions over the years.
Sadly is also associated with the 1913 terrorist incident, where an attempt was made to burn the stadium down.
Fortunately, the attack did not leave any lasting effect, and it continues to host games for Blackburn Rovers FC to this day.
For more history and facts on Ewood Park, visit Wikipedia.
7. Rodney Parade
Location: Rodney Road, Newport, NP19 0UU
Year built/opened: 1877
Home team: Newport County AFC
Rodney Parade is not exclusively a football stadium. The stadium has a long history with rugby (the home ground of the Dragons) and is also home to Newport County.
It lacks the grandeur of several other stadiums mentioned in this ten oldest football stadiums list but is nonetheless significant in the history of Welsh football.
What’s remarkable about this stadium is that it is always active, with some form of sport being played there. In 2022 it won an award for the best pitch in the EFL League Two.
6. Stamford Bridge
Location: Fulham Road, London
Year built/opened: 1877
Home team: Chelsea FC
Stamford Bridge is one of the most significant football stadiums in the world, not just in the UK. It is home to the blue army of Chelsea FC, and attending the stadium is on the bucket list of many all “blue” football fans.
Today more than 40,000 fans can witness nail-biting football matches. Chelsea’s success over the years has made it one of the most memorable football stadiums in the world for home and away fans.
Check out the history and crisis that have made Stamford Bridge what it is.
5. Deepdale Stadium
Location: Sir Tom Finney Way, Preston, PR1 6RU
Year built/opened: 1875
Home team: Preston North End
According to some historians, Deepdale stadium is the world’s oldest “continuously” used football stadium, i.e. it has always been used for football matches – without any periods of disuse.
While there are disputes regarding this claim, there is no doubt that Deepdale stadium is one of the oldest in the UK.
Deepdale is the home of Preston North End, but the stadium is also used for other events. It has hosted under-19s and under-21s international fixtures for the UEFA women’s football league.
4. Tannadice Park
Location: Tannadice Street, Dundee, DD3 7JW
Year built/opened: 1870
Home team: Dundee United FC
Tannadice Park in Scotland has none of the bold stand-out features that characterize Anfield or Stamford Bridge. The stadium can only seat just over 14,000 fans.
But back in 1966, more than 28,000 people filled the stadium to watch the match between FC Barcelona and Dundee United.
A little-known fact – before it was named Tannadice Park, it was known as Clepington Park. And before it became synonymous with football, the stadium was used for greyhound racing until 1932.
3. Field Mill Stadium
Location: Quarry Lane, Mansfield, NG18 5DA
Year built/opened: 1861
Home team: Mansfield Town Football Club
Field Mill stadium is now named the One Call stadium due to its sponsors. It is a small stadium with a maximum capacity of just 10,000.
However, the stadium is still very popular among local fans. It has hosted some music concerts in the past, with pop group Westlife playing there in 2010. Since then, there have been no other concerts – make of that what you will!
2. Bramall Lane Stadium
Location: Highfield, Sheffield
Year built/opened: 1855
Home team: Sheffield United
Bramall Lane is one of only three stadiums that have hosted international cricket, football, and rugby games for England. In fact, the stadium originally opened as a cricket ground – not a football stadium as it’s more commonly known today. It wasn’t until 1862 that the first football match was played.
It is the second oldest stadium in the UK, but some sources claim that Bramall lane is the oldest UK stadium.
Bramall Lane is also known as the host of the world’s first football tournament, the Youdan Football Cup. Sheffield United continues to use Bramall Lane as their home ground.
Apart from hosting football matches, the stadium has also been a venue for music concerts.
Discover more gems about Bramhall Lane here.
1. Racecourse Ground
Location: Racecourse Ground, Mold Road, Wrexham, LL11 2AH
Year built/opened: 1801
Home team: Wrexham AFC
The Racecourse Ground is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it was the stadium where Wales played their first international football match back in 1877. Since then, the Football Association of Wales has regularly used the stadium for international matches.
In addition to football games, various rugby tournaments also use the stadium. The Racecourse Ground is the 5th largest stadium in Wales and the largest in Northern Wales.
But the history of the place is more significant than its size. It is not only the UK’s oldest football stadium – it is the world’s oldest stadium!
Read all about the history of the Racecourse Ground on Wikipedia.
The Oldest Football Stadiums
|Stadium||Year Built||Home Team|
|Racecourse Ground||1801||Wrexham FC|
|Bramall Lane||1855||Sheffield United|
|Field Mill||1861||Mansfield Town|
|Tannadice Park||1870||Dundee United|
|Deepdale||1875||Preston North End|
|Rodney Parade||1877||Newport County|
|Ewood Park||1882||Blackburn Rovers|
|Turf Moor||1883||Burnley FC|
Looking back, it’s mind-blowing to think that some of these stadiums are more than 220 years old and are still in use as football grounds.
While some of them may not be as up-to-date as some of the newer stadiums – there will be history and character engrained into them that no modern stadium can achieve.
If you are a football fan or just interested in learning more about their history, we recommend visiting these stadiums to look around.