Some of the most iconic football stadiums ever built are now gone forever, some are now apartment buildings, housing estates or car parks.
Football has changed a lot in recent years, and so have football stadiums. Football fans used to stand shoulder to shoulder on windswept terraces, but they now enjoy the beautiful game in glittering all-seated arenas with mega stores, luxury boxes and gourmet restaurants.
Some clubs have updated their old stadiums by rebuilding stands and improving amenities, but many others have chosen to demolish their old homes.
In this article, FootballOrbit remembers nine iconic football stadiums that have been lost to the sands of time.
1. Old Wembley
Wembley Stadium was the home of English football for 78 years. Wembley was the principal stadium when London hosted the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, but it is best known for football.
This is where Geoff Hurst scored a hattrick to win England its only World Cup in 1966, and it was the venue for 71 FA Cup finals.
Hundreds of legendary players have climbed Wembley’s famous 39 steps to hoist trophies or receive medals, but few are as fondly remembered as Bert Troutman.
The Manchester City goalkeeper secured his place in the annals of football history in the 1956 FA Cup final when he remained on the pitch after a violent collision with a Birmingham City striker knocked him unconscious…..
Troutman refused to leave the field, and he played the last 17 minutes of the match with a broken neck. Due to his heroics, the game is often referred to as “the Trautmann final”.
Moreover, the New Wembley Stadium (opened in 2007) is located on the same site of the original Wembley Stadium — which was demolished from 2002 to 2003.
Arsenal’s home for more than 90 years is now a luxury apartment complex.
The Gunners won 13 league titles while playing at Highbury before moving to the brand-new Emirates Stadium, and they were awarded a gold Premier League trophy after becoming the only team in the modern era to go an entire season without losing a game.
Highbury’s fate was sealed when the local community said no to any further expansion, and Arsenal played its last game at the historic stadium against Wigan in May 2006.
3. Estadio Vicente Calderón
Between 1966 and 2017, the Vicente Calderón Stadium was the place Atlético Madrid called home.
This venerable facility was once the largest all-seated stadium in Europe, but the land it sat on is now the site of a housing estate and shopping centre.
Moreso, Atlético won five La Liga titles and seven Copa del Reys while playing at the Vicente Calderón Stadium, and the arena also hosted matches during the 1982 World Cup tournament.
The stadium that replaced it (Estadio Metropolitano) is more luxurious and packed with amenities, but it does not have a dual carriageway beneath one of its main stands.
4. Maine Road
Manchester City have become one of Premier League’s most successful clubs, but they have not always played at the Etihad.
More than 85,000 fans passed through the Maine Road turnstiles to watch the Citizens take on Stoke City in a 1934 FA Cup match, which set a record for home attendance in England that still stands.
Tickets were changing hands for £250 when City took to the Maine Road pitch for the last time in May 2003, and the fans in attendance were so filled with nostalgia that they celebrated even after their team was beaten 1-0 by Southampton.
5. Upton Park
Upton Park, which was also known as the Boleyn Ground, was West Ham’s home for 112 years.
During that time, Hammers fans saw legendary players like Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Trevor Brooking take to the field in claret and blue.
Additionally, Upton Park was also the stadium where England legend Wayne Rooney made his international debut in 2003.
West Ham now play in the London Olympic Stadium, and the Upton Gardens apartment complex has been built on ground where an iconic stadium once stood.
6. Estádio das Antas
Opened in May 1952 and originally called the Estádio do Futebol do Clube do Porto, the Estádio das Antas was the venue for FC Porto home games until 2004.
FC Porto won 17 Primeira Liga titles while playing at the Estádio das Antas, but Dragons fans remember the 2003/04 campaign most fondly…
That was the season when an FC Porto team featuring Deco, Ferreira and Carvalho and managed by Jose Mourinho lifted the Champions League trophy.
Ultimately, the Estádio das Antas was torn down in 2004, but a solitary floodlight survived the wrecking ball.
7. The Baseball Ground
The Baseball Ground was so named because it was originally built for the Derby Baseball Club, but it is remembered today as the former home of Derby County Football Club.
Derby are not one of England’s most successful teams, but the Rams enjoyed a golden era in the late 1960s and early 1970s when Brian Clough managed the team.
The greatest game to be played at the Baseball Ground was the last fixture of the 1971/72 season. Derby took to the field against Bill Shankly’s Liverpool, and they prevailed 1-0 to win their only First Division title.
8. Camp de Les Corts
Most football fans immediately think of Camp Nou when FC Barcelona home games are mentioned, but the Catalan giants used to play at Camp de Les Corts.
The stadium’s capacity was a mere 20,000 when it opened in 1922, which is a far cry from Camp Nou’s more than 99,000 seats.
After growing into a La Liga powerhouse in the 1940s, FC Barcelona expanded the stadium’s capacity to 60,000. Even that proved not to be enough, so the plans for Camp Nou were drawn up.
Barca fans can still sit and reminisce about the old days at Camp de Les Corts because the ground where the stadium once stood is now a beautiful public park.
Camp Nou is now known as Spotify Camp Nou for sponsorship reasons, it is one of the major football stadiums in the world named after their sponsors.
9. White Hart Lane
London has lost several iconic stadiums in recent years. Arsenal moved out of Highbury, West Ham left Upton Park and Tottenham Hotspur said goodbye to White Hart Lane.
Tottenham’s new home is one of the most impressive stadiums in Europe, but it does not hold many memories.
White Hart Lane was opened in 1899, and more than 2,500 Spurs games were played on its turf.
Furthermore, Tottenham won two league titles at White Hart Lane, and so did their bitter local rivals Arsenal.
The last game Spurs played at White Hart Lane was a 2-1 victory over Manchester United on the 14th of May 2017 .
If you follow Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United or any other Premier League team, you can enjoy all of their games live on streaming devices.
The Future is Inevitable
Some of the most iconic football stadiums ever built are now gone forever. Places where World Cups were won and legends were born are now apartment buildings, housing estates or car parks.
The future is inevitable, but we should not forget the past.
As fans enjoy the beautiful game in new state-of-the-art stadiums or catch the action online, they should remember what has been lost.
The list of historic football stadiums that are no more will soon grow longer as the San Siro, Goodison Park and the Estadio de Mestalla are all scheduled to fall victim to the wrecking ball in the near future.