Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Oldest Football Stadiums

Racecourse Ground, Wrexham

Most of the oldest football stadiums in the world are in the UK. This is due to a sense of nostalgia among the British and the modernization of foreign stadiums. One such stadium is the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, which opened in 1807. While it may not be the oldest stadium, it holds the title of the world’s oldest stadium to host international matches, with Wales playing there since 1877.

Bramall Lane in Sheffield, however, takes the mantle as the oldest football stadium in the world. Initially a cricket ground, it eventually became the home of Sheffield United Football Club. It has a rich history, having played host to cricket and football matches. Bramall Lane is known as one of the two stadiums to have hosted both an England football international and an England cricket international, the other being the Oval in London.

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Cricket at Bramall Lane

Let’s take a journey through Bramall Lane over the years. The stadium began as a cricket ground, accommodating various local cricket clubs, including the Wednesday Cricket Club, which later became Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. It has witnessed significant moments in both cricket and football history.

In 1862, Bramall Lane witnessed its first football match between Sheffield Football Club and Hallam Football Club. This paved the way for important football games in the area, including the inaugural Youdan Cup in 1867 and the Cromwell Cup in 1868. The Wednesday, Sheffield Wednesday’s predecessor, won the Cromwell Cup. Bramall Lane became their home until they moved to Olive Grove.

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Bramall Lane played a crucial role in bringing football associations together. In 1871, it hosted the first inter-association football match between the London Football Association and the Sheffield Football Association. Sheffield’s FA regularly organized matches against various Football Associations, with Glasgow being a common opponent.

Sheffield United FC

1901 Sheffield United Team

In 1889, Bramall Lane attracted a crowd of 22,688 spectators for an FA Cup semi-final match between Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion. This prompted the owners to form Sheffield United Football Club. The club was named after the cricket team that still called Bramall Lane home.

Bramall Lane has always been a multi-purpose venue, accommodating not only cricket and football but also cycling. Over the years, the facilities have evolved, with changes to the pitch and structures. However, what remains unchanged is the spirit of the games played there. Bramall Lane stands as a testament to the history and glory of football, with the echoes of past generations heard within its walls.


  • What is the oldest football stadium in the world?
  • How long has Bramall Lane been in existence?
  • Has Bramall Lane always been a football stadium?
  • Which famous events have taken place at Bramall Lane?
  • What is the significance of Bramall Lane in football history?


Bramall Lane and the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham are two remarkable examples of the rich football history in the UK. They have witnessed the evolution of the game over the years, hosting unforgettable moments and becoming iconic venues. As football enthusiasts, we can appreciate the heritage and stories that these stadiums carry, reminding us of the beautiful game’s lasting impact.

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