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Arsenal - Highbury - Clock End 3 - 1996
Legendary Football Grounds
Arsenal moved to Highbury for the 1913-14 season, the ground had a grandstand on the east side and
terraced banking on the other three sides. The stadium was designed by Archibald Leitch who was one of
the leading engineers in the field. While some grounds designed by Leitch remain partially intact, such
as Villa Park in Birmingham, his original stand at Highbury was replaced in 1936 leaving no trace of his
former work except the banking for the North Bank & Clock End terraces.
Highbury and Arsenal played leading roles in the 1939 film The Arsenal Stadium Mystery.
Under the leadership of Herbert Chapman, manager from 1925-1934, the club had their first success at the
top level and in 1932 opened the West Stand. This Art Deco masterpiece had state of the art facilities
for the time as well as nice touches such as terrazzo floors and exquisite exterior detail. The new
stand made the original East Stand by Leitch appear somewhat of a poor relation and in 1936 the Art Deco
East Stand replaced the 23 year old structure. Sadly, Chapman never lived to see the West Stand
completed as he passed away suddenly in January 1934.
Highbury was a regular neutral ground choice for the FA Cup semi-finals, hosting 12 between 1929 and
1997. The period from 1985 through to 1991 Highbury was banned from hosting FA Cup semi-final matches
because the club refused to put perimeter fencing in place between supporters and the pitch. Such
fencing was standard reaction to hooliganism and while Arsenal had their share of hooligans the club
never took the step to add fencing.
Highbury hosted international football & rugby, preliminary matches for the 1948 London Olympic football
tournament. Highbury played host to the 1966 World Heavyweight Boxing title fight between Muhammad Ali
and Henry Cooper.
Highbury was taken over for use by the Ministry of Defence during the Second World War forcing Arsenal
to play any wartime matches and post-war matches into 1946 at other London venues.
Regulations and community opposition to expansion led Arsenal to seek a new ground and the 2005-2006
season was Highbury’s last. The stadium was a magical place, beautiful outside and in with an award
winning pitch and fantastic atmosphere but the game and business changed and a capacity of
June 5th, 2015
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