White Horse Bridge

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Wembley Stadium station with White Horse Bridge built across it

The White Horse Bridge is the name of the footbridge that crosses the tracks at Wembley Stadium railway station leading up to Wembley Stadium in Wembley Park, England. It was designed by Steve Chilton for architects Marks Barfield and engineered by Halcrow.[1] It replaced an old concrete footbridge which was probably built for the British Empire Exhibition. The project also included the construction of a public square.

The bridge's name was chosen in May 2005, after a BBC Five Live poll. It is named after a grey (though appearing white in old black and white photographs and films) Metropolitan Police horse, named 'Billy', that was used to restore order after the huge numbers of spectators (estimated at 200,000) who turned up to witness the 1923 FA Cup Final spilled onto the pitch before kick off.

That game, the first to be held at the old Wembley Stadium, was won by Bolton Wanderers, beating West Ham United 2–0.[2]

Unlike the old footbridge, the new structure was designed to cope with up to 12,000 people an hour, the estimated number of users during match days.[1] The bridge and square opened in 2008. They now give easy access from the Chiltern Line to London Designer Outlet.

The White Horse Bridge at night


In May 2005, the naming decision took place in the form of an online poll hosted by BBC Five Live, in conjunction with the London Development Agency (who were building the bridge and who had conceived the idea of a public poll), and won from a shortlist of Live Aid bridge (in memory of the 1985 concert held at the stadium), Sir Alf Ramsey (being England's World Cup winning manager), Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst (two of Sir Alf's team).

The LDA received over 670,000 nominations from all over the world. The name with the most nominations, however, mainly coming from Germany, was Dietmar Hamann, who scored the last goal at the old Wembley Stadium. This was an October 2000 qualification game for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, with a German 1–0 win against England (2000 England vs Germany football match). The LDA decided to name the bridge White Horse Bridge instead.[3]

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  1. ^ a b "Marks Barfield Architects". Marks Barfield. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  2. ^ "Wembley bridge named White Horse". BBC. 2005-05-24. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  3. ^ Honigsbaum, Mark (25 May 2005). "Horse beats Hurst in Wembley bridge contest". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 

Coordinates: 51°33′15″N 0°17′08″W / 51.554282°N 0.285577°W / 51.554282; -0.285577