Luton Town F.C. stadiums (1885–1905)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Dallow Lane
Full name Dallow Lane
Location Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Coordinates 51°52′54.35″N 0°25′36.07″W / 51.8817639°N 0.4266861°W / 51.8817639; -0.4266861
Owner Excelsior F.C. (1880–85)
Luton Town F.C. (1885–97)
Operator Excelsior F.C. (1880–85)
Luton Town F.C. (1885–97)
Capacity ca. 7,000
Surface Grass
Built 1880
Opened 1880
Closed 1897
Demolished ca. 1950
Excelsior F.C. (1880–85)
Luton Town F.C. (1885–97)

Luton Town Football Club was formed in 1885 as an amalgamation of two local clubs, Excelsior and Luton Town Wanderers. On its formation, the merged team adopted Excelsior's Dallow Lane stadium as its home ground. The club moved to Dunstable Road in 1897, and relocated again eight years later – settling at the newly constructed Kenilworth Road ground before the 1905–06 season.

Dallow Lane[edit]


The first organised match of association football in Luton took place at Dallow Lane on 23 October 1880 – a fifteen-a-side match between Excelsior and Luton Rovers.[1] Excelsior, a local works team, emerged as 2–0 victors and remained at the ground until the merger with Luton Town Wanderers in 1885 to become Luton Town Football Club.[1][2] The new club decided to base itself at Excelsior's Dallow Lane.[2]

Dallow Lane, also known as the Excelsior Ground,[2] had a capacity of about 7,000[3] – most spectators would simply stand behind a rope close to the pitch,[4] and there was a seated grandstand constructed in 1894. The stand was "120 feet long, 18 feet high, 13 feet deep and [had] five tiers of seats".[5] Due to Dallow Lane's close proximity to the Luton to Dunstable railway line, players claimed to have trouble playing due to smoke from the engines.[4] The club made a damaging financial loss during 1896–97 and was forced to sell the ground to stay afloat.[6] Luton Town left Dallow Lane in April to play at Dunstable Road.[7] The Dallow Lane grandstand remained on the site until the mid-20th century, used as a store shed.[4]

Dunstable Road[edit]

Dunstable Road
Dunstable Road, pictured in 1905
Full name Dunstable Road
Location Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Coordinates 51°53′0.74″N 0°25′36.38″W / 51.8835389°N 0.4267722°W / 51.8835389; -0.4267722
Operator Luton Town F.C. (1897–1905)
Capacity ca. 10,000
Surface Grass
Built 1897
Opened 1897
Demolished 1905
Luton Town F.C. (1897–1905)


Dunstable Road was opened on 3 April 1897,[7] as Luton Town beat Loughborough 3–0 in the United League.[7] The ground was opened by the Duke of Bedford, who also donated £50 towards the £800 building costs.[8] After hosting matches in the Football League from 1897 to 1900 and the Southern League from 1900, the site was sold in 1905 to become housing.[9] The club was therefore forced to move again – this time to Kenilworth Road, where the team played its first match on 4 September 1905.[9]


  1. ^ a b Bailey (1997). p. 7.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Collings (1985). pp. 1–2.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Bailey (1997). p. 90.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Collings (1985). pp. 3–4.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Collings (1985). p. 8.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Collings (1985). p. 11.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ a b c Collings (1985). p. 12.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Collings (1985). pp. 12–13.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b Collings (1985). pp. 18–19.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Bailey, Steve (December 1997). The Definitive Luton Town F.C. Soccerdata. ISBN 1-899468-10-2. 
  • Collings, Timothy (1985). The Luton Town Story 1885–1985. Luton Town F.C. ISBN 0-951067-90-7.