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Looking back at Wimbledon’s former home Plough Lane

Next up in our look at former homes of football clubs, it’s Plough Lane of Wimbledon.

Plough Lane was the home ground of Wimbledon FC, from September 1912 until May 1991, when the club moved their first team home matches to Selhurst Park as part of a groundshare agreement with Crystal Palace.

During the 1930s and 1940s, crowds of between 7,000 and 10,000 were not uncommon at the ground. Wimbledon’s highest attendance at the ground came on 2 March 1935, when 18,080 people were attracted to an FA Amateur Cup tie against HMS Victory.

In 1991, following the publication of the Taylor Report recommending all-seater grounds for top-flight clubs, Wimbledon left Plough Lane to groundshare with nearby Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park — an originally temporary arrangement that ended up lasting over a decade. Wimbledon’s final first team match at Plough Lane came on 4 May 1991 against Crystal Palace which was seen by 10,002 spectators before they swarmed onto the pitch to bid farewell to the ground.

Both Wimbledon and Crystal Palace’s reserve teams used Plough Lane as their home ground until 1998, when the site was sold to Safeway. Whilst site redevelopment plans were negotiated, the stadium remained derelict for several years until it was finally demolished in 2002. The site then became a private housing development known as Reynolds Gate, completed in 2008.

Plans to build a new stadium for AFC Wimbledon on the nearby site of the Wimbledon Greyhound track, approximately 200 yards from the original Plough Lane stadium, were approved by Merton Council in December 2015.

In December 2017, the club received final permission to begin work on the construction of the new stadium. The club aim to have the stadium ready to move in to in 2019. It will have an initial capacity of 11,000, with the option of increasing to a 20,000 capacity at a later date.

 

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 Wimbledon vintage football shirts and matchday programmes.

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