|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013)|
|Full name||Select Security Stadium|
Stobart Stadium, Halton (2008–2013)
|Owner||Halton Borough Council|
|Opened||12 October 1895|
|Renovated||2 November 1997|
|Expanded||11 September 2005|
Widnes Football Club
The Select Security Stadium (previously known as Naughton Park) is a rugby league stadium in Widnes, England. The Widnes Vikings play their home games there. During the 2011 Super League Season, St Helens played their home games at the stadium. Since 2013, Everton Ladies and Liverpool Ladies team have used this ground as their home ground. Local club Widnes Football Club of the North West Counties Football League also play their home games at the stadium.
The stadium is all seater and has a total capacity of 13,350.
Widnes Football Club had a number of grounds before settling at Lowerhouse Lane in 1884/85 on a site a few hundred yards north of the current location. That land was leased on behalf of the rugby organisation by Widnes Cricket Club but, to coincide with the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union in 1895, Widnes FC obtained a lease for land on which they laid out a new ground (the Naughton Park/Stobart Stadium site). The first game on the new field was against Liversedge on 12 October 1895.
In the late 1920s it was proposed that the land would be compulsorily purchased to make way for a new council housing scheme. After much lobbying the club were finally given an option to purchase the site for the not inconsiderable sum of £3,250.
Club secretary Tom Naughton was instrumental in raising the necessary funds but before the formal completion of the purchase in 1932 he died in a car crash, leading to the ground being renamed in his honour.
During the 1978 Kangaroo tour Widnes defeated Australia at Naughton Park before a crowd of 12,202.
Naughton Park stadium was owned by Widnes FC (later Widnes RLFC Ltd) but when financial difficulties set in they sold the ground to Halton Borough Council in 1995.
Halton Borough Council in partnership with Widnes Vikings agreed to build a new stadium on the site of Naughton Park. This stadium would provide a multi-purpose complex including a social club, conference facilities, recreational facilities and catering/function facilities.
The stadium was officially opened on 2 November 1997. A new stand was built in 1998 with funding from Halton Borough Council and on 29 January 1999 the club's remaining 40% share in the ground was sold to the council.
The stadium became known as the AutoQuest Stadium in 1999 due to sponsorship.
In 2000, Runcorn FC sold their Canal Street ground and moved to the Halton Stadium. The club renamed itself Runcorn FC Halton to reflect its new location.
AutoQuest's sponsorship ended in 2001 and the stadium became known as the Halton Stadium.
In 2005 the East Stand was completed making the Stobart Stadium Halton a complete four-stand all seater stadium. Runcorn FC's precarious financial state caused them to move out of the Stobart Stadium Halton and into Valerie Park.
In December 2007 a sponsorship agreement was made with Stobart Group Limited and the stadium was renamed Stobart Stadium Halton. In February 2008 the North stand seats were changed to spell out Vikings, West stand seats are sponsored by Stobart and East stand seats are sponsored by Halton Borough Council as part of the stadium sponsorship deal.
The Widnes Rugby League Museum was opened in 2007.
The Widnes Rugby League Museum is situated in the East Stand of the Stobart Stadium Halton. It is home to a collection of memorabilia much of it donated by members of the public, and displays a history of Widnes RLFC.
- "Stobart Group maps out road to success for Vikings". Halton Borough Council. Retrieved 7 December 2007.[dead link]
- "Saints shifting to Widnes". skysports.com. 18 July 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.