Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Clubs That Have Played At The Most Grounds

QPR
QPR Have played at 14+ grounds, Loftus Road being their main home – Phillip Perry / Queens Park Rangers Football Club, Loftus Road entrance

In the ever-evolving world of football, it’s easy to assume that clubs have always had a stable home ground. However, many teams have faced the challenge of finding a permanent residence. Some have been forced to leave their original home, while others have embarked on a journey to find the perfect location. Let’s take a look at the clubs that have played in the highest number of different stadiums while searching for their ideal home.

English Clubs That Have Played In Multiple Stadiums

Plenty of clubs have had the experience of playing in more than one stadium. In fact, it’s rare to find a club that has only ever had one home. Here are some notable examples of British clubs that have moved around multiple times, from well-known names to lesser-known non-league sides.

Sunderland – 7

Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light – Eric Harlow / The Badge of Sunderland A.F.C.

Sunderland, known today as perennial underachievers, have come a long way since their early days as constant wanderers. They began their journey at Blue House Field in Hendon before moving to various locations such as Groves Field in Ashbrooke and Horatio Street in Roker. They spent two seasons at Abbs Field in Fulwell, where they started charging admission to watch their games. In 1886, they moved to Newcastle Road, staying there for twelve years. Finally, in 1898, Roker Park opened its doors, becoming their home for nearly 100 years before moving to their current stadium, the Stadium of Light.

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Charlton Athletic – 7

The Valley
The Valley – Ewan Munro, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Charlton Athletic is another club that has had multiple homes throughout its history. Their first ground was Siemens Meadow, followed by Woolwich Common, Pound Park, and Angerstein Lane. After World War I, they played their games at an area known as The Swamps before settling at The Valley. However, they briefly moved to The Mount Stadium in Catford before returning to The Valley in 1924. They had a ground-sharing scheme with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and a brief stint at Upton Park before finally returning to The Valley in 1992.

Millwall – 7

In 1890, Millwall began playing at The Athletic Grounds, their first purpose-built stadium. However, they were forced to move when the Millwall Dock Company wanted to use the area as a timber yard. They played at North Greenwich before settling at Cold Blow Lane in New Cross. In 1910, they moved to The Den, where they stayed until 1993. Their final move took them to The New Den, now commonly referred to as The Den.

Nottingham Forest – 7

Nottingham Forest The City Ground
The Stadium Guide, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nottingham Forest took some time to find their permanent home. They started at The Forest, a recreation ground outside the city center, before moving to various locations such as The Castle Ground and Trent Bridge. In 1898, they settled at The City Ground, where they still play their matches today.

Sheffield Wednesday – 8

Sheffield Wednesday Hillsborough
Deejayone, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As one of the oldest clubs in world football, Sheffield Wednesday experienced a rather unsettled start. They played at various locations, including Highfield, Myrtle Road, and Hunter’s Bar, before finally settling at Hillsborough Stadium in 1899.

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Kingstonian FC – 8

Kingsmeadow
Kingsmeadow – Ungry Young Man / Flickr.com

Kingstonian, a non-league side, has played at several venues throughout their history. They started at Oil Mill Lane before moving to Dinton Road. After a split and a reunion, they played at Richmond Road before settling at Kingsmeadow Stadium in 1989, where they currently ground-share with AFC Wimbledon.

Oxford United – 8

Kassam Stadium Oxford FC
Richard Rogerson / East stand, Kassam Stadium, Oxford United

Oxford United didn’t have a regular home until 1913. Before that, they played at various locations in Headington, including Quarry Recreation Ground, Wootten’s Field, and Sandy Lane. They finally settled at Kassam Stadium in 2001 after sharing The Manor Ground with Headington Cricket Club and various other venues.

Gloucester City A.F.C. – 12

Gloucester City, a semi-professional non-league side, has called twelve different locations home. They played at places such as Avenue Road Ground, Buddings Road, and The Llanthony Ground. They currently play their matches at Cheltenham’s Whaddon Road.

Fulham – 12

Craven Cottage
Craven Cottage – Adam Stone, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fulham holds the record for playing in the most locations among league clubs, with twelve known grounds. Their first games took place at Hurlingham Park before moving to various grounds such as Star Road, Lillie Rec, and Putney Lower Common. They finally found stability at Craven Cottage, where they have played since 1896.

Queens Park Rangers – 14

Loftus Road QPR

Queens Park Rangers is the club that has played in the highest number of different stadiums. They started playing in various locations, including Welford Fields and London Scottish Ground. They eventually settled at Loftus Road in 1917, but their journey didn’t end there. They moved to White City Stadium and briefly returned to Loftus Road before settling there permanently in 1963. There are plans for a new stadium at Old Oak Common in West London, but for now, Loftus Road remains their home.

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Conclusion

The journey of finding a permanent home has been a challenging one for many football clubs. From small non-league sides to well-established league teams, the search for the perfect stadium has led to numerous relocations. Despite the difficulties, these clubs have persevered and found a place they can proudly call home.

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