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Looking back at Middlesbrough’s former home Ayresome Park

Next up in our look at former homes of football clubs, it’s Ayresome Park of Middlesbrough.

Ayresome Park was the home of Boro between 1903–04 season, until the Riverside Stadium opened in 1995.

It was opened back in 1902 on the 9th of September with a friendly match between Middlesbrough and Celtic.

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The highest attendance at the ground (53,802) was set on 27 December 1949, when Middlesbrough played their North East rivals Newcastle United.

Ayresome Park was one of the playing venues of the 1966 World Cup. It hosted three group matches, including the shock-defeat of the Italians at the hands of North Korea.

Over the next decades the state of the stadium slowly deteriorated. In 1980 two fans got killed when a pillar and gate fell on them as they were leaving the ground.

Middlesbrough had to play their first home game of the 1986–87 season at Hartlepool because they were locked out of their ground by the bailiffs due to huge debts which almost put the club out of business, in the end they were saved by a take-over.

In the early 1990, the demands of the Taylor Report meant that all stadiums in the highest two divisions of English football had to be all-seater by the start of the 1994–95 season. The decision was made to build a stadium at a different location.

Plans for a new 30,000-seater stadium on the banks of the River Tees were given the go-ahead in 1994, and construction work began later that year, with the new stadium being ready for the 1995–96 season. It became the biggest club stadium built in England since Manchester City’s Maine Road.

Middlesbrough played their last match at Ayresome Park on the 30th of April 1995. They hosted and beat Luton Town 2-1 which saw the club’s promotion to the Premier League confirmed.

Their former home was retained as a training ground for a year until a new facility was opened, and it was finally demolished in early 1997. The site of the stadium is now a housing estate.

To commemorate the ground, the gates of Ayresome Park have been erected outside the main entrance to the club’s new ground, the Riverside Stadium.


Take a look at more photos and memories of the ground on the next page.

You can also get your nostalgic football fix by visiting the Fan Banter Store, there is a wide variety of Middlesbrough vintage football shirts and matchday programmes.

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