Edgeley Park
Edgeley Park is an association football and rugby union stadium in Stockport, England. The stadium was initially built for Stockport Rugby League Club in 1901, but by 1902, the club was defunct and in the same year, Stockport County Football Club, who were looking for a bigger stadium, moved into Edgeley Park and converted it into a football stadium. Edgeley Park is an all-seater stadium, holding upwards of 10,500 spectators. Despite being home to Stockport County for 108 years, the stadium is now shared with Sale Sharks, a rugby union club. The stadium is built on Hardcastle Road, in the Edgeley area of Stockport.

History
The stadium was built in 1901 for Stockport Rugby Club, a rugby league side, before Stockport County moved there in 1902, after needing to find a bigger stadium to play in following their entrance into the Football League two years earlier. Stockport County have undertaken an entire re - development of the ground since moving into the ground, most notably the building of the Cheadle End, which opened in 1995. The Main Stand of the ground, which, at the time, was made of wood, famously burned down in a fire in 1934, destroying all of Stockport County's previous records; therefore, apart from having to rebuild a significant section of the ground, had to undertake a massive task to piece together information about previous results, playing squads, etc. Following the Bradford City stadium fire in 1985, work began to remove all terraces from the stadium, which drastically reduced capacity, but increased safety and ensured that the ground complies to Football League regulations. This work was eventually completed by 2001. The stadium's name is often simply abbreviated to 'EP' by fans.

Main Stand
The first major development at Edgeley Park was the construction of the Main Stand on the Hardcastle Road side of Edgeley Park, initially holding 500 seats. This was a timber structure, and was destroyed by a fire in 1935. It was replaced by a new stand one year later, constructed of brick, which still stands today, seating just over 2,000 and containing players' changing rooms and some club offices, as well as toilets, boardroom, and several bars for half - time refreshments. The stand is seen by many as a traditional, old - fashioned stand, typical of Association Football stadia in Northern England. Due to the way that the stand was built, it is typical of older stands still in use today; nowadays, many stadia are built with cantilever roofs; however, the roof of the Main Stand at Edgeley Park is supported at intervals along the pitch by steel columns, blocking the view of supporters from certain seats. This stand is unconventional in design. Rather than running the length of the pitch, as would normally be expected in Association Football stadia nowadays, the Main Stand straddles the half way line, with an obvious gap towards the corner flags. This is typical of certain grounds redeveloped at the time. The team dugouts are situated at the front of the Main Stand.

Cheadle End
The Cheadle End, or the Cheadle Stand as it is sometimes referred to, is by far the largest and most modern stand in the stadium; it is perpendicular to the Main Stand, behind one of the goal-lines. It is also one of the largest "Kop" stands outside the Premier League The first Cheadle End, built in 1923, was a small covered timber stand with room for just 3,000 people until it was made all-seater in 1967. It was demolished in 1985 after the Bradford City stadium fire and replaced by a shallow concrete terrace, which held only a small number of supporters, which stood for 10 years. Netting was controversially placed in front of this stand in the early 1990s, following the disaster at Hillsbrough Stadium in 1989, which was, after a short time, removed. However, this stand, for the 10 years that it was in place, was extremely popular with County fans due to its traditional feel. In 1995, Stockport chairman Brendan Elwood built a brand-new, state-of-the-art stand to replace the small, temporary stand that was in place. The new Cheadle End is a two-tiered stand, holding 5,200 supporters, making it as large in terms of capacity as the other 3 stands collectively. The stand is all-seater, as is the rest of the stadium nowadays, and was opened in 1995 with a friendly game against Manchester City. The letters "SCFC" are visible in the seating, where white seats are used instead of blue, to symbolise "Stockport County Football Club". The stand holds the "Insider Suite", a conference and banqueting facility, as well as the ticket office, toilets, refreshments facilities and the club shops; the club shop is relatively large, and was used by Stockport County until 2005. However, when Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy sold County they were forced to vacate the club shop, and the County club shop is now located in a small, impractical former broom cupboard, hidden around the corner.

Pop Stand
On the opposite side of the ground to the Main Stand is the Pop Stand. The first structure on this side of the ground was a small, covered enclosure with a capacity of 1,400. This was replaced with a larger stand in 1927, and in one FA Cup match against Liverpool held 16,000 people. In 1978 the rear of the stand was dismantled and capacity halved, and in late 1993 the Pop Side was made all-seater. It currently holds 2,200 and is occasionally given to larger away support if necessary and seats are not taken by home supporters. There are toilets in the back of this stand, which backs onto a reservoir. As with the Main Stand, the roof is supported by columns at intervals along the length of the stand, though the stand itself does run along the entire length of the pitch. The stand is also often referred to as the "Pop Side" or the "Vernon Stand", due to the former sponsorship of the stand by the Vernon Building Society.

Railway End
The Railway End, formerly an uncovered terrace that at one time could hold up to 6,000, was the last part of Edgeley Park to be converted to seating in 2001, making the ground all-seater. It is now used for Away Supporters. This stand is owned by "The Bungalow", a Labour Party club situated behind the stadium. This stand is the smallest of all in the stadium, and to this day it is uncovered. The scoreboard, which is notorious for never having functioned properly since it was installed in the 1960s, is situated above the Railway End. In the late 1990s, along with the development of the Cheadle End, County chairman Brendan Elwood announced plans to rebuild the Railway End, and purchase "The Bungalow" behind it, on which a hotel would be built by Britannia Building Society, which would overlook the ground, similar to the hotel at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge. However, these plans never materialised.


Information
The record attendance is 27,833, when Liverpool visited Edgeley Park to play Stockport County in the 5th round of the FA Cup in 1950. The floodlight system was first used with an opening friendly match against Fortuna '54 Geleen of Holland on 16 October 1956, whose side included four members of the Dutch national team that had defeated Belgium the previous week. The ground once held two matches by the England international football team on the same day. On the 14 January 1958 the England squad were due to play training matches at nearby Maine Road, home of Manchester City FC but the pitch was frozen. Edgeley Park's pitch was deemed playable so it was decided to hold the matches in Stockport instead. The first game saw England draw 2-2 with a Manchester City XI, and the second saw the England senior side defeat the England U23 side 1-0. Edgeley Park was the venue for the final of the 1978 World Lacrosse Championship. Chester City played a home Rumbelows Cup tie against Manchester City at Edgeley Park on 8 October 1991, owing to safety concerns regarding their temporary Moss Rose home. Edgeley Park is the closest league football ground to the River Mersey, often wrongly thought to be Liverpool's Anfield, Everton's Goodison Park or Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park.