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Meadow Lane
Meadow Lane
ViewFromKop.jpg
Full name Meadow Lane Stadium
Location Nottingham, England
Coordinates 52°56′33″N 1°8′14″W / 52.9425°N 1.13722°W / 52.9425; -1.13722Coordinates: 52°56′33″N 1°8′14″W / 52.9425°N 1.13722°W / 52.9425; -1.13722
Built 1910
Opened 1910
Capacity 19,588 capacity is as safety certificate
Field dimensions 114 x 76 yards
Tenants
Notts County F.C. (1910-present)
Nottingham R.F.C. (2006-

The Meadow Lane Stadium (usually known simply as Meadow Lane)[1 ] is a football stadium in Nottingham, England. It is the home ground of Notts County, holding a capacity of 20,300, present capacity is 19,588 due to safety requirements as per safety certificate.

Meadow Lane lies just three hundred yards away from the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest. The two grounds are the closest in England and the second closest in the United Kingdom after the grounds of Dundee and Dundee United. The Trent End of the City Ground is visible from parts of the Jimmy Sirrel stand and the Spion Kop.

History

The Kop

Prior to 1910, Notts County played their home games across the River Trent at Trent Bridge as a tenant of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. Cricket took priority on the ground and the football club were often forced to play early and late season games at other venues as their fixtures would often clash with the fixtures of the cricket club.[2]

The Football League eventually deemed that this practise was inappropriate and demanded that Notts either seek more favourable terms for the use of Trent Bridge or relocate to a new ground on which they could fulfil all of their fixtures.

In 1910, a plot of land near the cattle market on the opposite side of the River Trent was leased from the city council and a new stadium hastily erected. Part of the new stadium was a temporary stand from Trent Bridge which was literally floated across the river.

On 3 September 1910, County moved to Meadow Lane, the first game was a 1–1 draw with old rivals Nottingham Forest, played in front of 27,000 fans paying receipts of £775.[3]

The stadium remained largely the same until 1923 when the Sneinton Side was replaced with a new stand, named the County Road Stand after the newly constructed road behind it.

Meadow Lane was bombed during World War II forcing the club to suspend all fixtures during the 1942 season. The northern side of the Main Stand was badly damaged and the pitch left in an unplayable condition.

The Jimmy Sirrel Stand
The Derek Pavis Stand

The stadium has played host to Forest games on a number of occasions. After the war, when flooding from the River Trent left the City Ground in an unplayable condition and again in 1968 when the Main Stand at the City Ground was destroyed by fire in a game against Leeds United.

The Meadow Lane End was demolished in the late 1970s and replaced by a building which housed new dressing rooms, a social club and a variety of other facilities designed to generate more income. There was no stand at this end for quite some time and Meadow Lane was reduced to a three sided stadium. Eventually a small terrace was installed.

During the 1980s the stadium became increasingly dilapidated. The Bradford City fire and Hillsborough disaster brought the safety of football stadia into the public gaze and eventually the Taylor Report required that football clubs modernise their grounds. Meadow Lane was subsequently redeveloped during the early 1990s. The Meadow Lane End, County Road Stand and Spion Kop were all demolished in the 1992 close season and replaced with the Family Stand, the Jimmy Sirrel Stand and the Spion Kop Stand respectively. The Main Stand was replaced during the close season of 1994 by the Derek Pavis Stand.

The Derek Pavis Stand contains a number of conference and function facilities to complement the Meadow Club behind the Family Stand. These host numerous functions throughout the year, ranging from social evenings organised by Notts County's supporter organisations, to wedding receptions and meetings of evangelical Christian churches.[4]

In 2006, it was announced that Nottingham RUFC would play a number of home games at the stadium. It was further announced in May 2006 that Notts County and Nottingham RFC were negotiating making the agreement permanent. In October 2006 it was announced that an agreement had been reached with Notts County, allowing Nottingham RFC to play the remainder of their 2006/07 home fixtures at Meadow Lane.

In June 2002, as part of a sponsorship deal, the ground was briefly renamed the "Aaron Scargill Stadium". However, the ground reverted to its original name when the deal later fell through.[1 ][5]

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Notts County | Club | Meadow Lane | Meadow Lane — The Home Of Notts County FC". Nottscountyfc.premiumtv.co.uk. http://www.nottscountyfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/MeadowLane/0,,10426,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  2. ^ The Official History Notts County Tony Brown ISBN 1874427615
  3. ^ The Magpies Keith Warsop page 52 ISBN 086023214X
  4. ^ "Grace Church Nottingham". Grace Church Nottingham. http://www.gracechurchnottingham.org. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  
  5. ^ "UK | England | Magpies sponsor deal collapses". BBC News. 2002-08-07. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2179121.stm. Retrieved 2009-07-28.  

References

  • The Magpies, Keith Warsop ISBN 9780860232148
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