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Windsor Park, in Belfastmarker, is the home ground of the Northern Irishmarker football club, Linfield. It is also the home of the Northern Ireland national football team and Irish Cup and Irish League Cup finals.

Windsor Park was first opened in 1905, with a match between Linfield and Glentoran. Most of the stadium, however, was designed and built in the 1930s, to a design made by the Scottish architect Archibald Leitch (who also worked on Stamford Bridge, Goodison Parkmarker, Celtic Parkmarker, Ibrox Parkmarker and Hampden Parkmarker). It had one main seated stand (the Grandstand, now known as the South Stand), with "reserved" terracing in front, and a large open terrace behind the goal to the west called the Spion Kop. To the north, there was a long covered terrace (the "unreserved" terracing) and behind the eastern goal at the Railway End another covered terrace. Windsor Park's peak capacity in this format was 60,000. In the early 1960s the Railway End terrace had seats put in (the Railway Stand), while in the early 1970s a social club/viewing lounge was constructed in the corner between the Railway Stand and the Grandstand. In the 1980s, the 'unreserved terrace' was demolished and replaced by a two tier, ,7000 seat North stand. In the late 1990s, the Kop terrace was demolished and replaced with a sleek 5000-seater West Stand, but still referred to in common parlance as the Kop Stand.

The current capacity of the ground is 20,332, of which 14,000 is seated. For most Linfield home games only the South Stand and Kop stand are opened. The North Stand is usually given to away supporters. The venue usually sees its biggest crowds for Northern Ireland internationals, from which Linfield receive 15% of the gate receipts.

The North stand will get a new roof for the 2010/11 season [141283].

Notes

  • There is a popularly held, but incorrect belief that Windsor Park was named after the British Royal Family House of Windsor. Windsor Park was opened twelve years prior to the Royal Family taking the Windsor name in 1917. The ground is in fact named after a long-standing area of south Belfast.
  • The Kop Stand/West Stand was known as the Alex Russell Stand from 2004-2008 in honour of Linfield's former goalkeeper and coach and one-time Northern Ireland international. It has since reverted to being called the "Kop Stand" with title sponsorship held by Value Cabs.
  • All Northern Ireland national teams games will continue to be played at Windsor Park, despite reports in the press, as the ground, although barely, does meet international standards, as required by FIFA and UEFA.


References

  1. News Letter
  2. Official Linfield Website


External links




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