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Goodison Park is a football stadium in Liverpoolmarker, Englandmarker and home ground of Everton F.C. The ground was built in 1892, though it has been greatly developed since, having an all-seated capacity of 40,158.

Goodison Park is the world's first purpose-built football stadium and has recorded several firsts in stadium development in England. As well as hosting Everton games, the stadium has been the venue for an FA Cup Final and numerous international fixtures, including several in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The stadium's future is currently undecided, as the club have been pursuing the construction of a new stadium in the Kirkbymarker area (known as the Everton Kirkby Projectmarker) on the outskirts of Liverpool, a plan which was rejected by Communities and Local Government Secretary John Denham in November 2009.


Before Goodison Park

Everton originally played on an open pitch in the southeast corner of the newly laid out Stanley Parkmarker. This is the site for the proposed new Liverpool F.C. stadiummarker. The first official match took place in 1879. In 1882, a Mr J. Cruit donated land at Priory Road which became the club's home for two years, with the necessary facilities required for professional clubs. Mr Cruit asked the club to leave his land as the crowds became far too large and noisy.

Everton moved to nearby Anfieldmarker, where proper covered stands were built. Everton played at Anfield from 1884 until 1892.During this time the club turned professional, entering teams in the FA Cup and became founder members of the Football League, winning their first championship at the ground in 1890–91. The ground's capacity reached over 20,000 and the club hosted an England vs. Ireland international match. Everton were the first team to introduce the goalnet to professional football, at Anfield.

At this time, a dispute of how the club was to be owned and run emerged with Anfield's majority owner and Everton's chairman, John Houlding. A dispute between Houlding and the club's committee, initially over the full purchase of the land at Anfield from minor land owner Mr Orrell, snowballed to a principled disagreement of how the club was run. This caused Everton to leave Anfield, Houlding forming Liverpool F.C. to play at the now vacant ground. Ever since those events, a fierce rivalry has existed between Everton and Liverpool, albeit one that is generally perceived as more respectful than many other derbies in English football.

Goodison Park

Dr. James Baxter of the Everton committee donated a £1,000 interest-free loan for the building of Goodison Park. The stadium was the world's first purpose-built football ground, with stands on three sides. Goodison Park was officially opened on the 24th August 1892 by Lord Kinnaird and Frederick Wall of the FA. No football was played. Instead the 12,000 crowd watched a short athletics meeting followed by music and a fireworks display.

The first match at Goodison Park was on 2 September 1892 between Everton and , Everton wearing new club colours of salmon and dark blue stripes. Everton won the game 4–2. The first league game at Goodison Park took place on 3 September, 1892 against Nottingham Forest. The game ended in a 2–2 draw, the stadium's first competitive goal was scored by Forest’s Horace Pike, with the first Everton goal coming from Fred Geary. Everton's first league victory at their new ground came in the next home game with a 6–0 defeat of Newton Heath, the current Manchester United

An improved Bullens Road Stand was built in 1895 with the open Goodison Road side covered, giving cover on all four sides of the ground. Over the following 35 years Everton built in each decade a double decker-stand culminating in the 1930s with four double-decker stands. The first covered dugout in England were constructed at Goodison Park, in 1931, following Everton's visit to Pittodriemarker to play a friendly against Aberdeen, where such dugouts had been constructed at the behest of the Dons' trainer Donald Coleman. On 11 July 1913 it became the first English football ground to be visited by a reigning monarch when King George V and Queen Mary attended.

Goodison Park has staged more top-flight football games than any other ground in the United Kingdom and was the only English club ground to host a semi-final at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. It was also the first English football ground to install undersoil heating.

In the 1931-32 season Goodison Park was the venue of the most goals scored at home in a league season, 84 by Everton.

Goodison Park has recently gained the nickname the The Grand Old Lady. It was the first British sports ground ever to have double-decker stands on all 4 sides and the first to have a 3 tier stand. It was also the first English league ground to install undersoil heating.

The greatest match the stadium has ever held, according to voters at Everton's official website, was a European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich in 1985. Bayern, leading at half time, were defeated by three second half Everton goals from Andy Gray, Graeme Sharp and Trevor Steven.

The ground is situated in a tightly-packed residential district, which has made modern expansion of the ground extremely difficult, if not impossible. One corner of the ground has a church, St Luke the Evangelist, protruding into the site. The tightness of the site entailed that Everton built upwards in double-decked stands. The site has come to a point where any modernisation would require a landtake.

The pitch is one of the largest in the Premiership, or the old Football League, most pitches tending towards a de facto standard of 110 x 70 yards. Goodison Park is considerably wider and slightly longer.


Goodison Park has a total capacity of 40,158 all-seated and comprises four separate stands: the Main Stand, Gwladys Street Stand, Bullens Road, and the Stanley Park End.

Main Stand

In September 1909, Ernest Edwards, the Liverpool Echo journalist who christened the terrace at Anfieldmarker the "Spion Kop" wrote "The building as one looks at it, suggests the side of Mauretania at once". The stand was occasionally referred to as the "Mauretania Stand". At the time RMS Mauretania, then the world's largest ship had recently docked in Liverpool.

The "Athletic News'" published a piece in the summer of 1909:

"Visitors to Goodison Park will be astonished at the immensity of the new double-decker stand".

The current Main Stand was completed in 1971, at a cost of £1 million. Facilities over any other stand in the country at the time included, the 500 and 300 members clubs and an escalator to the top balcony. A small number of corporate boxes were added in 1980. The stand became all seated in 1994 and now has a capacity of 12,664.

The stand is a double-decker stand with the Main Stand section below and the Top Balcony above. The Main Stand section is fronted by another seated section known as the Family Enclosure. The Enclosure was originally terracing prior to the advent of all-seater stadia. The Top Balcony is the highest part of the stadium.

The main stand is also home to the conference and hospitality facilities. On non-match days Goodison Park holds conferences, weddings, meetings and parties on a daily basis.

Bullens Road

Bullens Road is a two-tier steel frame and wooden floor stand also designed by Archibald Leitch and completed in 1926. On the east side of the ground the stand is divided into the Upper Bullens, Lower Bullens and the Paddock. Originally, the stand was upper seating with the lower named The Paddock being terracing. The rear of the Paddock was seated in 1963. Both lower tiers are now seated. An overhanging roof was also added in 1963.

The stand was extensively fireproofed with widened aisles in 1977, which entailed closure of parts of the stand. Because of the closure, Anfield was chosen over first choice Goodison Park for the Wales vs. Scotland world cup qualifying tie.

The rear of the south end of the Bullens Road stand houses away supporters. The north corner of the stand is connected to the Gwladys Street Stand. The current capacity of the stand is 10,784.

Gwladys Street Stand

Constructed in 1938, the stand's completion was delayed as an old man refused to move from his home, which obstructed the site. Gwladys Street, like Bullens Road is a two-tier Archibald Leitch stand and is divided into Upper Gwladys and Lower Gwladys. Behind the goal at the north end of Goodison Park, the Gwladys Street Stand is the "Popular End", holding the most boisterous and vociferous home supporters. It is known as "the street end".If Everton win the toss before kick-off the captain traditionally elects to play towards the Gwladys Street End in the second half. An overhanging roof was added in 1987, meshing into the Bullens Road stand roof. The Lower Gwladys, formerly known as the Gwladys Street Terrace and The Ground, was converted to an all-seater stand in 1992 and now has a capacity of 10,788.

The Park End

At the south end of the ground, behind one goal, the Park Stand backs onto Walton Lane which borders Stanley Parkmarker. The single tiered stand was contentious, as it broke from the multi-tiered tradition of Goodison Park.

The predecessor, formally known as the Goodison Avenue Stand and later the Park End Stand, was built in 1906. It was designed by Liverpool architect Henry Hartley. This historical stand was the country's first double-decker.

Dixie Dean Statue, outside the Park End
club minutes from the time show that Hartley was unhappy with certain aspects of the stand and the poor sightlines meant that the goal line had to be moved 7 metres North (towards Gwladys Street). In January 1908, he complained that that his fees had not been paid and the bill for the stand was near £13,000. There were 2,657 seats on its upper tier with a terrace below.

Nearby Goodison Road was demolished to make way for an expansion to the Park End, the club had previously owned many of the houses on the road and rented them to players. One of the players to live there, Dixie Dean later had a statue erected in his honour at the Park End.

In the 1970s and 1980s this stand accommodated the away fans. In the 1960s the stand was the most vocal of the two goal stands with Everton fans occupying both ends. The lower tier of the old stand was never seated with the rear terracing closed off as the terracing steeps were wood. The front concrete terracing was one of the last standing areas at a Premiership ground.

During the 1960s and 1970s, both ends of the ground featured a large semicircle behind the goals. (Which dates back to the 1966 World Cup).

The Taylor report prompted the Football Trust to allocate grants to improve stadia. Everton applied for a grant, opting for a cheap single-tier, cantilever stand. The stand design and constriction process was in motion when eventual owner Peter Johnson was bidding for the club. He attempted to stop the construction viewing the stand too small and not taking full advantage of ground behind. The Park End has the smallest capacity at Goodison Park. The current layout of the stand was completed in 1994 with a capacity of 5,922.

The future

It is possible to expand landlocked Goodison Park further but officials at the club currently believe that it would not be financially viable to do so as a large landtake would be needed.

The officials at Everton wish to move to a new stadium in neighbouring borough Knowsleymarker as part of a project called 'Destination Kirkby' which would include the United Kingdom's 6th largest Tescomarker supermarket. The plans were 'called in' for a public inquiry and were rejected in late November 2009 following a decision by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Other uses

Goodison Park became the first Football League ground to hold an FA Cup Final, in 1894. beat Bolton Wanderers, watched by crowd of 37,000. An FA Cup final replay was staged in 1910 with beating 2–0.

On 26 December, 1920, Goodison Park hosted a match between; Dick, Kerr's Ladies & St Helens Ladies. An estimated 67,000 attended the match, with 14,000 being locked out, at a time when the average gate at Goodison Park in 1919–20 was 29,050. Dick, Kerr's Ladies won 4-0 & over £3,000 was raised for charity. A year later, Goodison Park played host to Lancashire when they took on the Australia's Northern Union team and lost 29 points to 6.

On May 19, 1938 George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended Goodison Park to present new colours to the 5th Battalion the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) and the Liverpool Scottish (Queens Own Cameron Highlanders) in front of 80,000 spectators.

After the First World War the USmarker baseball teams Chicago White Sox and New York Giants played an exhibition match at Goodison Park. One player managed to hit a ball clear over the large Goodison Road Stand. The Liverpool Trojans and Formby Cardinals were the last two teams to play baseball at Goodison Park. This was in the Lancashire Cup Final in 1948.

Goodison Park was in 1949, the site of England's first ever defeat on English soil by a non-Home Nations country, namely the Republic of Ireland.

The ground hosted five matches including a semi-final for the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In 1895 Goodison Park hosted England vs Scotland and so Everton became the first club to host England internationals on two grounds (the other being Anfield). The city of Liverpool also became the first English city to stage England games at three different venues, the other being Aigburth Cricket Clubmarker.

The last Everton player to play in an international at Goodison Park was Ray Wilson for England versus Poland 5 January, 1966. The game ended 1-1 and England's goal was scored by Bobby Moore. This was his first international goal and the only one on English soil. In 1973 Goodison hosted Northern Irelandmarker's home games against Wales and England.

Over 800 fans' ashes have been buried at Goodison Park.


1966 FIFA World Cup

Goodison Park hosted five games during the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The original schedule of the 1966 World Cup meant that if England won their group and then reached the Semi final, the match would be held at Goodison Park. However, the organising committee were allowed to swap the venues, with England playing Portugal at Wembley Stadiummarker.

Group Stage

Quarter Final

Semi Finals

Portugal's Eusébio won the tournament's Golden Boot scoring nine goals, six of them at Goodison Park. Eusébio later stated that "Goodison Park is for me the best stadium in my life". In Garrincha's 49 caps for Brazil, the only defeat he experienced was in the game versus Portugal at Goodison Park.

FA Cup Final

Two years after construction, Goodison Park was chosen by the Football Association to host the final of the FA Cup.

Year Attendance Winner Runner-up
31 March 1894 37,000 Notts County 4 Bolton Wanderers 1

British Home Championships


Goodison Park has played host to England on eight occasions during the Home Championships. When player Alex Stevenson scored for Northern Ireland in 1935 versus England, he became the first player to score an international away goal on his club's home ground.

Date "Home" Team "Away" Team
6 April 1895 England 3 Scotland 0
16 February 1907 England 1 Ireland 0
1 April 1911 England 1 Scotland 1
22 October 1924 England 3 Northern Ireland 0
22 October 1928 England 2 Northern Ireland 1
6 February 1935 England 2 Northern Ireland 1
5 November 1947 England 2 Northern Ireland 2
11 November 1953 England 3 Northern Ireland 1

Northern Ireland

22 February 1973 the Irish FA announced that Northern Ireland's home matches in the Home International Championship would be moved to Goodison Park due to the civil unrest within Belfastmarker at that time. These are the only home matches that Northern Ireland's football team have played outside of Northern Irelandmarker itself.

Date "Home" Team "Away" Team
12 May 1973 Northern Ireland 1 England 2
19 May 1973 Northern Ireland 1 Wales 0

Both Northern Ireland goalscorers Dave Clements (vs. England) and Bryan Hamilton (vs. Wales) went on to play for Goodison Park's club side Everton later on in their careers.

Other Neutral Matches at Goodison Park

Date Competition "Home" Team "Away" Team
21 April 1894 Inter-League Match Football League 1 Scottish League 1
21 March 1896 FA Cup Semi final Bolton Wanderers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1
11 April 1896 Inter League Match Football League 5 Scottish League 1
21 March 1903 FA Cup Semi final Bury 3 0
13 March 1904 FA Cup Semi final 3 0
28 April 1910 FA Cup Final 2 0
1 April 1914 FA Cup Semi final Replay 1 0
14 March 1925 Inter-League Match Football League 4 Scottish League 3
26 March 1928 FA Cup Semi final Replay 0 0
25 September 1929 Inter-League Match Football League 7 Irish League 2
3 December 1934 FA Cup 1st round, 2nd replay 2 1
11 May 1935 Inter-League Match Football League 10 Wales & Ireland 2
21 October 1936 Inter-League Match Football League 2 Scottish League 0
4 November 1939 Representative Match Football League 3 All British XI 3
19 February 1947 Inter-League Match Football League 4 Irish League 2
24 January 1948 FA Cup 4th round 3 0
2 April 1949 FA Cup Semi final Replay 1 0
21 September 1949 Friendly International England 0 Republic of Ireland 2
14 March 1951 FA Cup Semi final Replay 2 1
19 May 1951 Friendly International England 5 Portugal 2
10 October 1951 Inter-League Match Football League 9 League of Ireland 1
7 December 1955 Inter-League Match Football League 5 League of Ireland 1
15 January 1958 U23 International England u23 3 Scotland u23 1
23 September 1959 U23 International England u23 0 Hungary u23 1
8 February 1961 U23 International England u23 2 Wales u23 0
17 August 1963 FA Charity Shield Everton 4 Manchester United 0
5 January 1966 Friendly International England 1 Poland 1
13 August 1966 FA Charity Shield Everton 0 Liverpool 1
1 May 1968 U23 International England u23 4 Hungary u23 0
30 November 1970 FA Cup 1st round, 2nd replay 0 1
19 April 1972 FA Cup Semi final Replay 2 1
18 March 1974 FA Cup 6th round replay 0 0
21 March 1974 FA Cup 6th round, 2nd replay 0 1
4 April 1979 FA Cup Semi final replay 1 0
17 May 1983 UEFA U18 Championship Finals Group A West Germany u18 3 Bulgaria u18 1
13 April 1985 FA Cup Semi final 2 2
6 April 1989 U18 International England u18 0 Switzerland u18 0
17 Jan 1991 FA Cup 3rd Round (home team) 0 Everton 1
13 November 1993 FA Cup 1st round 1 4
6 June 1995 Umbro Cup Brazil 3 Japan 0
9 September 2003 UEFA U21 Championship Qualifying England u21 1 Portugal u21 1


  • Goodison Park is unique in the sense that a church, St Luke's, protrudes into the site between the Main Stand and the Gwladys Street Stand. Everton do not play early kick-offs on Sundays in order to permit Sunday services at the church.

  • The scoreboard was first introduced on 20 November, 1971. Everton beat Southampton in a snowstorm 8-0 with Joe Royle scoring 4, David Johnson 3 and Alan Ball one.

  • The houses in the streets to the west of the Main Stand were built by Owen's - a Welsh building firm. The full name of the company can be found by taking the first letters of these street names!!

  • The record score by Everton in a competitive game at Goodison Park is 12-1 for a Youth Cup tie between Everton and Wigan Athletic on 14 January 1964.

  • Between 23 April, 1984 and 2 September, 1986 Everton scored in 47 consecutive games at Goodison Park registering 36 wins and 7 draws, scoring 123 goals in the process whilst conceding 38. Graeme Sharp scored 32 of these goals.

  • Between 16 September, 1961 and 23 August, 1963 Everton remained unbeaten at Goodison Park - a run of 43 games - winning 34 and drawing 9 - scoring 121 goals and conceding just 31.

  • Everton regularly entertained Army sides at Goodison Park in the 1950s.

  • Until the expansion of Old Trafford in 1996 Goodison Park held the record Sunday attendance on a Football League ground (53,509 v West Bromwich Albion, FA Cup, 1974)

  • Goodison Park featured in the filming of The Golden Vision, a film made for television. The matches featured in the film were League Division 1 games v Manchester City on 4 November, 1967 (1-1 draw) and 18 November, 1967 v Sheffield United (1-0 win) - the scorer of the winner that day was Alex Young, aka The Golden Vision or Golden Ghost.


  1. The Football Grounds of Britain by Simon Inglis
  2. LFC Story. Liverpool F.C. website. Retrieved on 2009-04-18.
  4. This was one of two matches which trialled having two referees in a single match. The other trial was on 8 May 1935 when the Football League team beat West Bromwich Albion 9-6 at The Hawthorns.
  5. Due to war damage, Old Trafford was closed at the time, and Manchester United were playing their home matches at Maine Road. However, on the same day, Manchester City were at home to Chelsea in another FA Cup tie and as a result this tie was switched to Goodison Park.
  6. This was the first time that England had been beaten at home by a team from outside the Home Nations.
  7. Due to a pitch invasion at the original match (which Newcastle United won 4-3), the F.A. ordered the tie to be replayed at a neutral venue.


  1. The Football Grounds of Britain by Simon Inglis
  2. LFC Story. Liverpool F.C. website. Retrieved on 2009-04-18.
  4. This was one of two matches which trialled having two referees in a single match. The other trial was on 8 May 1935 when the Football League team beat West Bromwich Albion 9-6 at The Hawthorns.
  5. Due to war damage, Old Trafford was closed at the time, and Manchester United were playing their home matches at Maine Road. However, on the same day, Manchester City were at home to Chelsea in another FA Cup tie and as a result this tie was switched to Goodison Park.
  6. This was the first time that England had been beaten at home by a team from outside the Home Nations.
  7. Due to a pitch invasion at the original match (which Newcastle United won 4-3), the F.A. ordered the tie to be replayed at a neutral venue.

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