View Full Version : Archived: Highbury, London October 2010

02-12-2010, 09:43 AM
This doesn't really count as exploring at all. In fact I was just wandering around by some flats to be honest. Still, it was a place that I had wanted to see for a few years and when I popped down a few weeks ago, decided to check it out.
I like football. My old man and my brother are massive football supporters (Sheffield United) and even though I was a season ticket holder at Leeds United for a few seasons, I am a Wolves supporter. My dad has countless football stories - of snowy 4th round replays, the day he saw George Best run rings round West Bromwich Albion, and of sneaking into Bramall Lane just after kick off. He loves the history of the game, and I suppose I do too. This readers, is Highbury, home of Arsenal from 1913 to 2006.

As the East and the West stands are listed buildings, built in a wonderful art deco 1930's style, they were kept and converted into flats when the ground was sold in 2006. How wonderful is this, and how ace to live there if you like football. Or even if you don't.

Arsenal played here from 1913 until 2006 (although they played at nearby White Hart Lane - Tottenham Hotspur's ground during the Second World War. It was also the venue for the 1966 World Heavyweight boxing title bout between Henry Cooper and Muhammad Ali, which Ali won. This is a view from one of the stands that was kept. Both ends were knocked down. I didn't take this picture.

Here is the stand today, converted into flats. I loved it.

Arsenal are the team who have been in the top division the longest. However, the 38,000 ground capacity was pretty rubbish for a team of their standing. The record attendance in this ground was 73,295; Arsenal-Sunderland, on the 9 March 1935. in 2006 Arsenal moved to nearby Ashburton Grove, to the Emirates Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,355, the second biggest club ground in England (behind Old Trafford, home of Manchester United.)

Outside here is a massive team photograph featuring (nearly) all the players who played at Highbury. My photos of it were so rubbish. This was about the best one. The first goalkeeper on the left (backrow) is Bob Wilson. You might have seen him on TV as a sporting pundit.