Victoria GroundEdit profile
For Hartlepool United F.C.'s ground, see Victoria Park, Hartlepool The Victoria Ground was the home ground of Stoke City F.C. from 1878. The club played there for an unbroken period of 119 years until it moved to its new ground at the Britannia Stadium in 1997. At the time of its demolition it was thought to be the oldest operational football league ground in the world. The club moved to the Victoria Ground in 1878 after playing at the Victoria Cricket Ground (1868”“1875) and Sweeting's Field (1875”“1878). The first game at the ground, a friendly, was played on 27 March 1878. Opponents Talke Rangers were beaten 1-0. With its good road connections and sizeable car parks, the Victoria Ground appeared to be at little risk of being a victim of relocation as clubs in England's top two divisions were faced with having to have all-seater stadiums due to the Taylor Report of 1990, but by 1996 work was in progress on Stoke's new Britannia Stadium. The last game at the ground was played on 4 May 1997, a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion in Division One, watched by a crowd of 22,500. Demolition took place late in 1997 and 13 years later the site remains undeveloped. Several turnstiles recovered from the site are still in operation at Whyteleafe F.C. in Surrey. The official record attendance was 51,380 for a match against Arsenal on 29 March 1937.