Meadow Lane

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Meadow Lane
ViewFromKop.jpg
Full name Meadow Lane Stadium
Location Nottingham, England
Coordinates 52°56′33″N 1°8′14″W / 52.94250°N 1.13722°W / 52.94250; -1.13722Coordinates: 52°56′33″N 1°8′14″W / 52.94250°N 1.13722°W / 52.94250; -1.13722
Capacity 20,211[1]
Field size 114 x 76 yards (104 x 69 metres)
Tenants
Notts County F.C. (1910–present)
Nottingham R.F.C. (2006–present)
Notts County Ladies F.C.(2014)
Construction
Built 1910
Opened 1910

Not to be confused with The Meadow, home of Southern Football League Premier Division football team Chesham United

The Meadow Lane Stadium (usually known simply as Meadow Lane)[2] is a football stadium in Nottingham, England. It is the home ground of Notts County, who have played there since 1910. The stadium has also been home to Nottingham R.F.C. since 2006.[3]

It currently has an all-seated capacity of 19,841 for football and 20,211 for rugby. The record attendance is 47,310, who watched Notts lose 1–0 to York City in the FA Cup Sixth Round on 12 March 1955. [4]

Meadow Lane lies just three hundred yards (275 metres) away from the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest. The two grounds are the closest in England and the second closest in the United Kingdom after the grounds of Dundee and Dundee United. The Trent End of the City Ground is visible from parts of the Jimmy Sirrel stand and the Spion Kop.

The stadium also hosts the men's and women's football and rugby events in the Varsity Series – a sporting series contested by Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham.

History[edit]

The Kop

Prior to 1910, Notts County played their home games across the River Trent at Trent Bridge as a tenant of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. Cricket took priority on the ground and the football club were often forced to play early and late season games at other venues as their fixtures would often clash with the fixtures of the cricket club.[5]

The Football League eventually deemed that this practice was inappropriate and demanded that Notts either seek more favourable terms for the use of Trent Bridge or relocate to a new ground on which they could fulfil all of their fixtures.

In 1910, a plot of land near the cattle market on the opposite side of the River Trent was leased from the city council and a new stadium hastily erected. Part of the new stadium was a temporary stand from Trent Bridge which was literally floated across the river.

On 3 September 1910, County moved to Meadow Lane, the first game was a 1–1 draw with old rivals Nottingham Forest, played in front of 27,000 fans paying receipts of £775.[6]

In 1920 the landlord, Nottingham Corporation, which leased the land to the club, came very close to removing the club from its premises to make way for an abattoir.[7]

The stadium remained largely the same until 1923 when the Sneinton Side was replaced with a new stand, named the County Road Stand after the newly constructed road behind it.

Meadow Lane was bombed during World War II forcing the club to suspend all fixtures during the 1942 season. The northern side of the Main Stand was badly damaged and the pitch left in an unplayable condition.[8]

The Jimmy Sirrel Stand
The Derek Pavis Stand
Aerial image showing the proximity of Meadow Lane (top) to the City Ground

The stadium has played host to Forest games on a number of occasions. After the war, when flooding from the River Trent left the City Ground in an unplayable condition and again in 1968 when the Main Stand at the City Ground was destroyed by fire in a game against Leeds United.

A new stadium[edit]

During the 1970s and 80s the stadium became increasingly dilapidated. The Meadow Lane End was demolished in 1978[9]and replaced by a building which housed new dressing rooms, a social club and a variety of other facilities designed to generate more income. There was no stand at this end for several years and Meadow Lane was reduced to a three sided ground. Eventually a small terrace was installed on this side. The Bradford City stadium fire and Hillsborough disaster brought the safety of football stadia into the public gaze and eventually the Taylor Report required that football clubs modernise their grounds. Meadow Lane was subsequently redeveloped during the early 1990s, although the work was planned before the report was issued. The Meadow Lane End, County Road Stand and Spion Kop were all demolished in the 1992 close season and replaced with the Family Stand, the Jimmy Sirrel Stand and the Spion Kop Stand respectively. The Main Stand was replaced during the close season of 1994 by the Derek Pavis Stand.

In June 2002, as part of a sponsorship deal, the ground was briefly renamed the "Aaron Scargill Stadium". However, the ground reverted to its original name when the deal later fell through.[2][10]

Meadow Lane today[edit]

The Derek Pavis Stand contains a number of conference and function facilities to complement the Meadow Lane Sports Club behind the Family Stand. These host numerous functions throughout the year, ranging from social evenings organised by Notts County's supporter organisations, to wedding receptions and meetings of evangelical Christian churches.[11]

Away supporters are restricted to the Jimmy Sirrel stand, at the County Road side. This features a triangular gable (a replica of that on the old County Road stand) with the name of the club and its year of formation.

The Family Stand was renamed The Haydn Green Family Stand in 2007, after the man who saved Notts County from liquidation in 2003, by buying the lease on the ground and investing several million pounds, Haydn Green died suddenly in 2007 leaving an estate which still controls the lease on the ground.

Rugby Union[edit]

In 2006, it was announced that Nottingham RUFC would play a number of home games at the stadium. It was further announced in May 2006 that Notts County and Nottingham RFC were negotiating making the agreement permanent. In October 2006 it was announced that an agreement had been reached with Notts County, allowing Nottingham RFC to play the remainder of their 2006/07 home fixtures at Meadow Lane. In 2010 it was announced that the rugby club had signed an agreement to play at Meadow Lane for a further 7 years.

Stands[edit]

For the 2013-14 season, the capacity set by the local authority is:[12]

Stand Previously Fans Section Capacity Stand Capacity Stadium Capacity
Derek Pavis Stand Main Stand Home 6,330 (Seats)

385 (VIPs/Press)

6,715
Haydn Green

Family Stand

Meadow Lane End Home 2,137 (Seats)

144 (Boxes)

2,281
Jimmy Sirrel Stand County Road End Home/Away

or Away only

2,040 (Home) 3365 (Away)

5,405 (Away only) 370 (Rugby only)

5,405 (Football only)

5,775 (Rugby only)

Kop Iremonger Road End Home 2,024 (Upper Tier)

3,416 (Lower Tier)

5,440
Total 19,841 (Football)

20,211 (Rugby)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 22 July 2013 General Safety Certificate
  2. ^ a b "Notts County | Club | Meadow Lane | Meadow Lane — The Home Of Notts County FC". Nottscountyfc.premiumtv.co.uk. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Nottingham RFC ground share
  4. ^ "Club Records". Notts County official website. Retrieved 2014-04-21
  5. ^ The Official History Notts County Tony Brown ISBN 1-874427-61-5
  6. ^ The Magpies Keith Warsop page 52 ISBN 0-86023-214-X
  7. ^ nearly an abattoir
  8. ^ Meadow Lane bombed
  9. ^ Wain, Paul (2004). Notts County: a pictorial history. Harefield, U.K.: Yore Publications. p. 70. ISBN 0-9547830-3-4. 
  10. ^ "UK | England | Magpies sponsor deal collapses". BBC News. 7 August 2002. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Grace Church Nottingham". Grace Church Nottingham. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  12. ^ General Safety Certificate 22 July 2013

References[edit]

External links[edit]