Goodison Park

Goodison Park

stadium_name = Goodison Park
nickname = The Grand Old Lady

location = Goodison Road, Liverpool
opened = August 24, 1892
owner = Everton F.C.
coordinates = coord|53|26|19.81|N|2|57|58.71|W|type:landmark|display=inline,title
operator = Everton F.C.
surface = Grass ( 112 x 78 yards, 102.4 x 71.3 metres)
construction_cost = £3000 [The original cost of the ground. Further costly developments have occurred since]
capacity = 40,157
architect = Kelly Brothers
former_names = Mere Green
tenants = Everton F.C. (1892-present)
seating_capacity = 40,569

Goodison Park is the home ground of Everton F.C. in Liverpool. It was built in 1892, and now has a total capacity of 40,157 all-seated.


In 1891 John Houlding, the leaseholder of Anfield stadium, purchased the ground outright and proposed increasing the rent from £100 to £250 per year. Everton, who had played at Anfield for seven years, refused to meet his demands and moved to Goodison Park. [cite web| url= |title=LFC Story | publisher=Liverpool F.C. | accessdate=2007-03-17]

Built in 1892, on what was Mere Green field, it is one of the oldest and most historic football grounds in the world and was the first purpose built football stadium in England. Mere Green field cost £8,090, with an interest free loan of £1,000 from the Catholic Dr Baxter, helping to secure the purchase. It was officially opened on 24 August 1892.

The first league game at Goodison Park took place on 3 September 1892 with Nottingham Forest supplying the opposition. The game ended in a 2-2 draw with the honour of scoring the first competitive goal at Goodison going to Forest’s Horace Pike, with the first Everton goal coming from Fred Geary. The team’s first league victory at their new ground came in the next home game when they crushed Newton Heath 6-0.

The mortgage was cleared during season 1904/05. Kelly Brothers of Walton, erected two uncovered stands, each to accommodate 4.000 & a covered stand to accommodate 3,000, at a cost of £1,640. Twelve turnstiles cost a total of £93. It is also nicknamed the "Grand Old Lady". It was the first British sports ground ever to have double-decker stands on all 4 sides and the first to have a 3 tier stand. It was also the first English league ground to have undersoil heating. In 1913 it became the first English football ground to be visited by a reigning monarch, King George V.

The first covered dugouts in England were constructed at Goodison, in 1931, following Everton's visit to Pittodrie to play a friendly against Aberdeen, where such dugouts had been constructed at the behest of the Dons' trainer Donald Coleman.

The ground staged 5 matches including a semi-final for the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the final for the 1894 FA Cup and the FA Cup Final replay in 1910. On 6 April 1895 Goodison hosted England v Scotland and so Everton became the first club to host England internationals on two grounds. Liverpool also became the first English city to stage England games at three different venues. Goodison was also, in 1949, the site of England's first ever home defeat by a non-Home Nations country, namely the Republic of Ireland. The last Everton player to play in an international at Goodison was Ray Wilson for England v Poland 5 January 1966. The game ended 1-1 and England's goal was scored by Bobby Moore. This was his first international goal and the only one on English soil. In 1973 Goodison hosted Northern Ireland's home games against Wales & England.

The greatest match the stadium has ever held, according to voters at Everton's official website, was a European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich in 1985. Munich, leading at half time, were defeated by three second half Everton goals from Andy Gray, Graeme Sharp and Trevor Steven.

On 26 December 1920, Goodison hosted a match between; Dick, Kerr's Ladies & St Helens Ladies. An estimated 67,000 turned up for the match, 14,000 of which were locked out. The average gate at Goodison in 1919/1920 was 29,050. Dick, Kerr's Ladies won 4-0 & over £3,000 was raised for charity.

In seasons 1962/63 & 1963/64 attendances for league matches were in excess of 1,000,000.

The ground is situated in a tightly-packed residential district, which has made expansion of the ground extremely difficult, if not impossible. One corner of the ground is actually formed by a church, St Luke the Evangelist's.

The pitch is one of the largest in the Premiership (or the old Football League), most pitches tending towards a de facto standard of 110 x 70 yards. Goodison Park is considerably wider, and slightly longer.


The ground is made up of 4 stands:

The Park End - capacity 6,000. A single-tier, cantilever stand completed in 1994. At the South end of the ground, behind one goal, the Park Stand backs onto Walton Lane which borders Stanley Park. It was re-constructed in 1995. During the 1960s and 1970s, both ends featured a large semi-circle behind the goals, slightly reminiscent of the old Wembley Stadium. Its double decker predecessor, built in 1906, formerly accommodated the away fans. The lower tier of the old stand was never seated and was used for major games only in the last years of the stand's life, becoming one of the last standing areas at a premiership ground.

Bullens Road - capacity 8,067. A two-tier stand designed by the renowned football ground architect Archibald Leitch and completed in 1926. On the East side of the ground the stand is divided into the Upper Bullens, Lower Bullens and the Paddock. Originally, the stand was a double decker with an upper seated stand and lower terrace (the Paddock). The rear of the Paddock was seated in 1963, creating three tiers. All three tiers are now seated. The rear of The South end of the Bullens Road stand houses away supporters. The North corner of the stand is connected to the Gwladys Street Stand.

Gwladys Street End - capacity 10,155. Another two-tier Archibald Leitch stand, divided into Upper Gwladys and Lower Gwladys. Behind the goal at the North end of Goodison Park, the Lower Gwladys can be said to hold the most boisterous and vociferous Evertonians. If Everton win the toss before kick-off they always elect to play towards the Gwladys Street End in the second half. The Lower Gwladys (formerly known as the "Gwladys Street Terrace" and "the Ground") was seated in 1992.

Main Stand - capacity 16,347 (upper tiers). A three-tier stand, incorporating the Main Stand, Family Enclosure and Top Balcony, as well as what, for such a large ground, is a relatively small number of corporate boxes. The current Main Stand was completed in 1971, at a cost of £1m, following the demolition of the previous 1909 incarnation (another Archibald Leitch design). The Main Stand houses the teams' changing rooms, and the players enter the pitch from a surprisingly discreet tunnel at the halfway line in the Main Stand. Unusually (particularly considering the date of construction) the Top Balcony is accessed by escalator. []

This gives a total capacity of 40,569 all-seated, however due to seating at the Park End of the Main Stand not being in use for line of sight reasons, the official capacity for the 2008/2009 season is 40,157 [] .

The future

Goodison Park became all-seater in 1994 with the construction of the Park end, taking the capacity to just over 40,000. It is theoretically possible to expand the ground, but the club considers that it would not be financially viable to do so, and therefore wishes to move.

In 1996, chairman Peter Johnson announced the club's intention to leave Goodison Park. Although the move was met with opposition from some supporters groups, most notably Goodison Forever-ton (GFE), the club undertook the first of two supporter ballots at the last game of the 1996/97 season to guauge reaction to a proposed move to a site on the Kirkby Golf Course. Although it was much disputed at the time, particularly with the GFE's calls to the club chairman to hold the ballot under the rules of the Electoral Reform Society, the reported 82% vote in favour of leaving Goodison was generally accepted as being a true barometer of voting supporter sentiments at the time. However, within just six days of the vote, the club chairman stunned most fans by suggesting that Kirkby Golf Course may not be the preferred location of Everton's new ground and that sites as far afield as Cronton and Burtonwood were not being ruled out.

After 18 months of trying, the GFE finally released an architectural study which they disproved the club's official line, that Goodison Park could not be redeveloped to a capacity in excess of 45,000. Given Everton's precarious standing, though, there was very little appetite for discussions about the ground issue. Indeed, by the time the true picture of Everton's dire financial crisis emerged in November 1998, following the controversial sale of Duncan Ferguson to Newcastle United, which prompted Peter Johnson to sell his stake in the club, it was obvious to all, especially the new owner, Bill Kenwright, that any talk of a ground move would have to be shelved for some considerable time. Nevertheless, the question over Goodison Park's future still lurked in the background and by early 2000 - four years after the question of moving was first aired - the debate was back in full swing as Everton sought to secure land and planning permission at King's Dock. On 18 November 2000, the club initiated the second ballot of supporters. Again the GFE was the only serious opposition, citing that it would eventually be proved that the club would not be able to afford a stake in the project and calling for Everton to finally bite-the-bullet and start a redevelopment of Goodison which would be completed by 2005 (noting that had such an ambition been undertaken at the first time of asking in 1996 that it would be nearly completed). Again, though, the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of leaving Goodison Park, this time with some 85% of voting fans declaring their willingness to move. Although Everton were eventually granted preferred bidder status, over twelve other applicants, the deal fell through in 2003 after Everton failed to secure their necessary £30m investment and an alternative bidder was chosen.

In late 2004, representatives from the club met with representatives of their local rivals Liverpool and the Sports Minister to discuss plans to build a joint stadium, Stanley Park. However, this proposal was rejected by both clubs. This leaves Everton with the decision to either build a new stadium on their own, or try and rebuild Goodison Park. As of June 2006, Everton have received at least three offers from Knowsley and Sefton to relocate a few miles outside Liverpool. They are currently in talks with the supermarket Tesco to make a joint bid to build a stadium complex in Knowsley.



Record Attendance: 78,299 v Liverpool, September 18, 1948 (Old Division One)

Average attendances

*1892-93: 13,230 (1)
*1893-94: 13,520 (1)
*1894-95: 17,420 (1)
*1895-96: 16,080 (1)
*1896-97: 15,840 (1)
*1897-98: 17,390 (1)
*1898-99: 15,190 (3)
*1899-00: 13,875 (4)
*1900-01: 16,855 (3)
*1901-02: 16,030 (3)
*1902-03: 15,430 (5)
*1903-04: 17,845 (3)
*1904-05: 19,155 (3)
*1905-06: 15,920 (7)
*1906-07: 19,340 (5)
*1907-08: 17,630 (6)
*1908-09: 23,025 (3)
*1909-10: 19,110 (7)
*1910-11: 18,860 (7)
*1911-12: 18,870 (9)
*1912-13: 19,945 (9)
*1913-14: 25,250 (6)
*1914-15: 18,530 (3)
*1919-20: 29,050 (7)
*1920-21: 37,215 (3)
*1921-22: 31,175 (7)
*1922-23: 30,905 (3)
*1923-24: 29,185 (3)
*1924-25: 26,030 (8)
*1925-26: 26,876 (8)
*1926-27: 31,416 (2)
*1927-28: 37,461 (2)
*1928-29: 29,513 (4)
*1929-30: 32,989 (3)
*1930-31: 26,039 (8)
*1931-32: 35,451 (2)
*1932-33: 26,412 (6)
*1933-34: 27,165 (7)
*1934-35: 26,232 (6)
*1935-36: 29,118 (7)
*1936-37: 30,292 (7)
*1937-38: 30,324 (6)
*1938-39: 35,040 (3)
*1946-47: 40,854 (7)
*1947-48: 44,205 (6)
*1948-49: 45,138 (8)
*1949-50: 43,932 (7)
*1950-51: 42,924 (4)
*1951-52: 37,391 (11)
*1952-53: 32,629 (12)
*1953-54: 44,493 (4)
*1954-55: 46,394 (2)
*1955-56: 42,768 (1)
*1956-57: 35,076 (7)
*1957-58: 39,157 (5)
*1958-59: 39,171 (6)
*1959-60: 40,788 (3)
*1960-61: 43,448 (2)
*1961-62: 41,432 (2)
*1962-63: 51,603 (1)
*1963-64: 49,401 (1)
*1964-65: 42,062 (2)
*1965-66: 38,498 (3)
*1966-67: 42,606 (3)
*1967-68: 46,983 (2)
*1968-69: 45,958 (3)
*1969-70: 49,531 (2)
*1970-71: 41,090 (4)
*1971-72: 37,242 (7)
*1972-73: 34,471 (6)
*1973-74: 35,351 (4)
*1974-75: 40,021 (3)
*1975-76: 27,115 (12)
*1976-77: 30,046 (11)
*1977-78: 39,513 (4)
*1978-79: 35,456 (5)
*1979-80: 28,711 (7)
*1980-81: 26,105 (9)
*1981-82: 24,674 (8)
*1982-83: 20,277 (9)
*1983-84: 19,343 (11)
*1984-85: 31,984 (3)
*1985-86: 32,227 (3)
*1986-87: 32,935 (3)
*1987-88: 27,771 (4)
*1988-89: 27,765 (4)
*1989-90: 26,820 (7)
*1990-91: 25,028 (9)
*1991-92: 23,148 (10)
*1992-93: 19,504 (10)
*1993-94: 22,876 (11)
*1994-95: 31,291 (6)
*1995-96: 35,294 (6)
*1996-97: 36,186 (5)
*1997-98: 35,355 (6)
*1998-99: 36,203 (5)
*1999-00: 34,828 (8)
*2000-01: 33,945 (10)
*2001-02: 34,004 (10)
*2002-03: 38,820 (7)
*2003-04: 38,943 (5)
*2004-05: 36,834 (8)
*2005-06: 36,704 (7)
*2006-07: 36,739 (7)
*2007-08: 37,955 (9)

1 Northern Ireland's goal was scored by Everton player Alex Stevenson, which meant that he became the first player to score an international away goal on his club's home ground.
2 This was one of two matches which trialled having two referees in a single match. The other trial was on 8 May 1935 when the Football League team beat West Bromwich Albion 9-6 at The Hawthorns.
3 Due to war damage, Old Trafford was closed at the time, and Manchester United were playing their home matches at Maine Road. However, on the same day, Manchester City were at home to Chelsea in another FA Cup tie and as a result this tie was switched to Goodison Park.
4 This was the first time that England had been beaten at home by a team from outside the Home Nations.
5 The original schedule of the 1966 World Cup meant that if England won their group and then reached the Semi final, the match would be held at Goodison Park. However, the organising committee were allowed to swap the venues, with England playing Portugal at Wembley Stadium.
6 On 22 February 1973 the Irish FA announced that Northern Ireland's home matches in the Home International Championship would be moved to Goodison Park due to the civil unrest within Belfast at that time. These are the only home matches that Northern Ireland have played outside of Northern Ireland itself.
7 This is the only time that England have played as the away side in a match at an English ground.
8 Due to a pitch invasion at the original match (which Newcastle United won 4-3), the F.A. ordered the tie to be replayed at a neutral venue.


* Portuguese international Eusebio won the golden boot in 1966 for scoring 9 goals in the World Cup competition, 6 of them were scored at Goodison Park.

* Brazilian international Garrincha played 49 times for Brazil, the only game he lost with Brazil national team was at Goodison Park against Portugal.

* Both William Ralph 'Dixie' Dean and former manager Harry Catterick died at Goodison Park.

* Goodison Park was named after a local land owner of that name. The Spellow Pub (also outside the ground) also denotes a famous local landowner.

* Goodison is unique in the sense that it has a church (St Lukes) in the corner of the main stand. Everton do not play early KOs on Sundays in order to permit Sunday Services at the Church.

* The scoreboard was first introduced on November 20, 1971. Everton beat Southampton in a snowstorm 8-0 with Joe Royle scoring 4, David Johnson 3 and Alan Ball one.

* The houses in the streets to the West of the Main Stand were built by Owen's - a Welsh building firm. The full name of the company can be found by taking the first letters of these street names!!

* The record score by Everton in a competitive game at Goodison is 12-1 for a Youth Cup tie between Everton and Wigan in 1964-5.

* Everton have entertained non-English opposition on 73 occasions in the post-war period at Goodison (up to end 2008 season). Shamrock Rovers, Kilmarnock, Glasgow Rangers, Dundee United, Borussia MG, Feyenoord, Bayern Munich, Athletic Bilbao and PSV have all appeared more than once.

* Between April 23, 1984 and September 2, 1986 Everton scored in 47 consecutive games at Goodison registering 36 wins and 7 draws, scoring 123 goals in the process whilst conceding 38. Graeme Sharp scored 32 of these goals.

* Between September 16, 1961 and August 23, 1963 Everton remained unbeaten at Goodison Park - a run of 43 games - winning 34 and drawing 9 - scoring 121 goals and conceding just 31.

* Everton regularly entertained Army sides at Goodison in the 1950s.

* Goodison Park featured in the filming of The Golden Vision, a film made for television. The matches featured in the film were League Division 1 games v Manchester City on November 4, 1967 (1-1 draw) and November 18, 1967 v Sheffield United (1-0 win) - the scorer of the winner that day was Alex Young, aka The Golden Vision or Golden Ghost.

Famous Quotes

*"I am the sort of person who can walk into a room and immediately sense vibes about a place - and when I first walked into Goodison Park in November 1960 I could feel something spiritual"- Alex 'Golden Vision' Young


External links

* [ Toffeeweb History of Goodison Park]


*Roberts, John (1978). Everton: The Official Centenary History. Grenada Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-583-12832-7.
*Jacobs, Barbara (2004). The Dick, Kerr's Ladies. Constable & Robinson Ltd. ISBN 1-84119-828-5.

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