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Ayresome Park was a football stadium in the town of Middlesbroughmarker, North East England, and was the home of Middlesbrough F.C. from its construction in time for the 1903–04 season, until the Riverside Stadiummarker opened in 1995.

History

Middlesbrough had previously played at Linthorpe Road West cricket groundmarker, but election to the Football League meant that an improved stadium was required. Ayresome Park was built at Paradise Field, adjacent to the old stadium of Middlesbrough Ironopolis, who had played in the Football League in the 1893–94 season.

The highest attendance at the ground (53,802) was set on 27 December 1949, when Middlesbrough played local rivals Newcastle United. Ayresome Park was also one of the venues for the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Three games were played at the ground, involving the Soviet Union, North Korea, Italy and Chile. North Korea famously beat Italy 1–0 at the ground, to knock out of the World Cup one of the most powerful footballing nations, and advancing the Koreans to the quarter-finals in the process. However, the attendances at Ayresome Park were the lowest in the entire tournament, with just 15,887 fans at the game for North Korea versus Chile.

By the early 1990s, the stadium showing its age and clearly in need of major work to bring it up to date, and the demands of the Taylor Report meant that all Premier League and Division One stadiums had to be all-seater by the start of the 1994–95 season.

Plans for a new 30,000-seat stadiummarker on the banks of the River Teesmarker were unveiled in the spring of 1994, and construction work began that autumn.

The final competitive game at Ayresome Park was played against Luton Town on 30 April 1995 in a match which Boro won 2–1 to secure the Division One title and promotion to the Premier League.

Ayresome Park briefly retained as a training ground until a new facility was opened, and it was finally demolished in early 1997. The site of the stadium is now a housing estate.

The last game at the ground was a sell-out testimonial match for Stephen Pears, who scored the ground's final goal, scoring from the penalty spot in a 3–1 win for Peter Beardsley's select XI against the Middlesbrough promotion winning side. The select XI's other goals were scored by Beardsley and Bernie Slaven; Paul Wilkinson scoring the Boro's only goal. Boro collected the First Division Championship Trophy following the game.

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

World Cup 1966 Matches at Ayresome Park

  • North Korea 0 Soviet Union 3
  • North Korea 1 Chile 1
  • Italy 0 North Korea 1


External links



References




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