Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In the summer of 1962, £40,000

In the summer of 1962, £40,000 was spent on a roof for the Holte End, the first to provide cover for the ordinary terrace fans at Villa Park since 1922. The old barrel-shaped roof on the Witton Lane Stand, the only remaining feature of the 1897 Villa Park, was removed in the summer of 1963 and replaced with a plain sloping roof in the same style as the Holte End. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF Battery

Villa Park was chosen by FIFA to host three matches for the 1966 World Cup on the condition that the Witton Lane Stand became all-seater. The players' tunnel also required covering with a cage while the pitch was to be widened by 3 yards (2.7 metres).Regular ground developments and innovations began in the summer of 1969 under the direction of the new chairman, Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

Doug Ellis, who set about redeveloping Villa Park for the modern era. Much of the stadium had fallen into various states of disrepair and was in need of modernisation.[26] Ellis updated the infrastructure, installed a new public address system, carried out plumbing work, which included installing new toilets, resurfaced the terraces and built a new ticket office. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery

His tenure also saw executive lounges replace the old offices in the Trinity Road Stand.

Redevelopment of the Witton End stand began in the summer of 1976. The stand had not seen any major work since 1924 and its rear remained a mound of earth. Initial renovations saw the levelling of the earthen mound and new concrete terraces constructed on the lower tier in preparation for the construction of an upper tier. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery

Stage two began in February 1977 and was officially opened in late October that year. The stand's design and fittings were impressive for the time, including novelties such as an 'AV' logo spelled out in coloured seats and a double row of executive boxes.[24] As well as the new Witton End stand, renamed the North Stand, Villa Park went through further renovations throughout the ground. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH Battery

The cost of the work was £1.3 million. As a result and as with the construction of the Trinity Road Stand fifty years earlier, Villa were again burdened with debt. An internal investigation found that £700,000 of the £1.3 million worth of bills were unaccounted for.[24] A later report by accountants Deloitte Haskins & Sells found that the bills were inflated by only 10% but that there were "serious breaches of recommended codes of practice and poor site supervision." Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

In response to the Hillsborough disaster, the Taylor Report of August 1989 mandated that all major stadia be converted to become all-seater as a safety measure. During the summer of 1990, the first changes were made to comply with the report's requirements. The North Stand saw the addition of 2,900 seats to the lower tier of the stand in place of terracing, Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF Battery

the Holte End's roof was extended in preparation for more seats, the Trinity Road Stand had its roof replaced and the Witton Lane Stand had more corporate boxes added. By that time, all four floodlight pylons had been removed to make way for boxes or in preparation for seating and new floodlights were installed on new gantries on the Trinity and Witton stands. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF/B Battery

In February 1992, the club's application to the Council for permission to demolish the Holte Hotel was rejected. After several months of negotiations, Villa gained permission for a new stand to replace the Witton Lane Stand. The new design meant that the club had to realign Witton Lane and, as a condition of the planning permission, Sony VAIO VGN-AW50DB/H Battery

pay £600,000 to compulsory purchase the houses along Witton Lane and upgrade the road from a B to an A road, as well as moving its utilities.[28] The stand was fully operational by January 1994 at a cost of £5 million with 4,686 seats, which brought Villa Park up to a capacity of 46,005.It was announced at the 70th birthday gala of chairman Doug Ellis that the stand was to be renamed the "Doug Ellis Stand",Sony VAIO VGN-AW51JGB Battery

a move that caused some controversy among Villa fans with some still referring to it as the Witton Lane Stand. Nevertheless, during the 1993–94 season, the newly rebuilt Witton Lane Stand became the Doug Ellis Stand. The Holte End was the only remaining stand that did not meet the Taylor Report requirements and a structural survey revealed that putting seats onto the existing terracing would be uneconomical. Sony VAIO VGN-AW52JGB Battery

Instead the decision was taken to build a new stand consisting of two tiers, just four years after construction of the new roof.[29] The demolition of the stand began on the last day of the 1994 season. Its replacement began to open in August 1994 with 3,000 seats in the lower tier occupied for the first seating-only game at Villa Park. Sony VAIO VGN-AW53FB Battery

By December the same year it was fully operational and had a capacity of 13,501 seats, bringing the Villa Park capacity to 40,310. Upon completion, the Holte was the largest single end stand in Britain.[30]

The next development at Villa Park was the Trinity Road Stand in 2000. It had stood since 1922 though it had seen a number of renovations and additions since. Sony VAIO VGN-AW70B/Q Battery

The demolition of the old stand began after the last game of the 1999–2000 season, an event met with an element of sadness from observers such as Simon Inglis who stated that "the landscape of English football will never be the same."[31] The new stand was much larger and more spacious than the old one, taking Villa's capacity from 39,399 to its present 42,788. Sony VAIO VGN-AW71JB Battery

It was officially opened in November 2001 by HRH The Prince of Wales, just as the old stand had been opened by his grandfather George VI, 77 years earlier, when he was still the Duke of York.

Villa Park comprises 42,788 seats split between four stands.[1] These four stands are the Holte End to the South, the Trinity Road Stand to the West, Sony VAIO VGN-AW72JB Battery

the Doug Ellis Stand opposite the Trinity Road Stand, and the North Stand behind the northern goal.[1] All of the stands are composed of two tiers except the Trinity Road Stand, which has three.

The Holte End is a large two-tiered stand at the south end of the stadium. Originally a large terraced banking providing accommodation for more than 20,000 spectators, Sony VAIO VGN-AW73FB Battery

the current incarnation was constructed in 1994–95 and consists of two tiers with no executive boxes. The two tiers are slightly curved in a parabola to provide good sightlines from all seats while inside there are three levels of spacious concourse area as well as the Holte Suite, a large hospitality room for supporters. Sony VAIO VGN-AW80NS Battery

The roof is a variant of the "King Truss" system and the front third slopes slightly forward.[34] Two large staircases, pediments, Dutch gables and a mosaic introduced in the 2007 season in the style of the old Trinity Road Stand make up the facade, itself inspired by Aston Hall.[33] The Holte End is the most renowned stand at Villa Park amongst home and away team supporters.[1] Sony VAIO VGN-AW80S Battery

Traditionally Villa's most vocal and passionate supporters gather here, including some Aston Villa hooligan firms.

Built in 2000, the main Trinity Road Stand is the most recently completed at Villa Park and houses the dressing rooms, club offices and director's boxes. Sony VAIO VGN-AW80US Battery

The stand is composed of three tiers with a row of executive boxes between the second and third tiers. Although much larger than the other stands, the stand has roughly the same roof level as the other three sides. The players' tunnel and the technical area where the managers and substitutes sit during the match are in the middle of the stand at pitch level. Sony VAIO VGN-AW81DS Battery

The press and the directors' VIP area are situated in the centre of the middle tier. The upper tiers of the stand extend over Trinity Road, the street that cuts behind the ground. Cars travelling along Trinity Road have to pass through what is effectively a tunnel formed by the Trinity Road Stand.

The oldest stand at Villa Park is the North Stand, formerly known as the Witton End, completed in 1977.Sony VAIO VGN-AW81JS Battery

It is a two-tiered stand, with a double row of 39 executive boxes running between the two tiers. Upper tier seats are claret with "AV" written in blue while the lower tier consists of sky blue seats. The North Stand was "the first major stand in Britain to use what is now broadly termed the 'goalpost' structure."[37] The facade of the stand is a "textured concrete render" typical of the time. Sony VAIO VGN-AW81YS Battery

Since the segregation of supporters in the 1970s, away fans had been situated in the lower tier of the North Stand. Former manager Martin O'Neill expressed his desire to have Villa fans seated in the North Stand to improve the atmosphere at Villa Park. For the start of the 2007–08 seasonthe club released cut-price season tickets for the lower tier of the stand. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82DS Battery

This meant moving the away fans to the northern end of the Doug Ellis Stand across both tiers.[38] The Doug Ellis Stand, formerly known as the Witton Lane Stand, is a two-tiered stand with a row of executive boxes dividing the tiers. The roof was originally planned to be a goalpost structure, the same as the Holte End and North Stand, but the plans were changed to a simpler cantilever design. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82JS Battery

It saw slight refurbishment prior to the 1996 European Championships to join the corners with the lower tier of the North Stand, improve leg-room and increase the curve of the terracing to improve sightlines.[37] The main television camera viewpoint is situated here, so televised matches at Villa Park take the point of view of a fan who is sitting on the half-way line in the Doug Ellis Stand. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82YS Battery

In the south-west corner, between the Holte End and the Trinity Road Stand, there is a three-storey pavilion-like structure, which is used for corporate hospitality. There is also a large television screen in the same location. On 28 November 2009, a bronze statue of former Villa chairman and founder of theFootball League, William McGregor was unveiled outside the stadium. Sony VAIO VGN-AW83FS Battery

Behind the North Stand is the "Villa Village" made up of club and ticket offices as well as a club shop. The buildings were bought by the club from British Telecom in the 1990s.

Aston Villa have initial planning permission to rebuild the North Stand in the same style as the Trinity Road Stand. Sony VAIO VGN-AW83GS Battery

OwnerRandy Lerner has expressed his support for increased capacity as average attendances increased. When completed, the capacity of Villa Park will increase to around 50,000.[42][43] As of the start of the 2010 season, designs are at a conceptual stage and due to a "multi-year effort to consider business and supporter needs" there is no defined date for construction to start. Sony VAIO VGN-AW83HS Battery

In the meantime, the entrance to the North Stand, "R Block", has been redecorated inside and out. The facelift has seen the curved fascia above the turnstiles replaced with cladding and canopies similar to those in front of the Holte Suite. The "R Block" concourse has also been expanded to create a larger, brighter open space.[45] Sony VAIO VGN-AW90NS Battery

Villa Park was originally listed as one of the six stadiums that will hold Olympic football matches in the 2012 Summer Olympics.[46] On 10 August 2009 it was announced that the organising committee for the games and the football club had decided that uncertainty around expansion plans meant that the club were "unable to commit fully to hosting matches." Sony VAIO VGN-AW90S Battery

Villa Park was the first English ground to stage international football in three different centuries and has hosted matches during several international tournaments. Three World Cup matches were played at the ground during the 1966 World Cup and four matches during Euro '96. The ground has also hosted a number of England internationals at senior level. Sony VAIO VGN-AW90US Battery

The first was in 1899 and the most recent in 2005. Sixteen international matches have been hosted at the stadium in total.[48]

Villa Park has been the venue for several Cup competitions. It is the most often used stadium in FA Cup semi-finals history, having hosted 55 semi-finals. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CDS Battery

The club hosted the League Cup Final in 1980–81 when Liverpool beat West Ham 2–1 in a replay. In 1999, the stadium hosted the last ever final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in which Lazio beat Real Mallorca 2–1.[49] During the construction of the new Wembley Stadium between 2001 and 2005, the FA Trophy Final was held at Villa Park. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CJS Battery

The 2012 Community Shield will be held at Villa Park instead of Wembley due to Olympic Games at the stadium.[5]

Many athletics and cycle events took place at the ground prior to the First World War[51] while boxing has been hosted on several occasions. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CYS Battery

On 28 June 1948,Dick Turpin, brother of Randolph Turpin, became the first non-white boxer to win a British title in a fight against Vince Hawkins in front of 40,000 spectators following the British Boxing Board of Control lifting their ban on non-whites challenging for titles.[52] On 21 June 1972 Danny McAlinden defeated Jack Bodell in a British and Empire Heavyweight title fight. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91DS Battery

The first ever rugby league test series was secured by Great Britain at the ground, when they defeated the touring Australian Kangaroos side 6–5 on 14 February 1909 in front of a crowd of 9,000. A second rugby league game followed three years later on New Year's Day 1912 but only 4,000 people turned up to see Australia beat Great Britain 33–8. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91JS Battery

The stadium has also seen several international rugby union tour matches. On 8 October 1924, a North Midlands XV lost 40–3 to the New Zealand sidetouring Europe and Canada at the time. The second game took place on 30 December 1953 when Midlands Counties played another New Zealand side on their 1953–54 tour of United Kingdom, Ireland, France and North America. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91YS Battery

The Midlands side lost 18–3. On 26 August 1985 Villa Park played host to the first ever American football "Summerbowl," intended to be the English equivalent to the Super Bowl. The game was played between the London Ravens and the Streatham Olympians and the low turn-out of 8,000 spectators meant that the Summerbowl was not repeated in subsequent years.[53] Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CDS Battery

Aside from sporting uses, Villa Park has been a venue for musicians from multiple genres as well as evangelical preachers. The stadium has hosted several rock concerts, including Bruce Springsteen who played two concerts in June 1988 as part of hisTunnel of Love Tour. Duran Duran held a charity concert in 1983 to raise money for MENCAP. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CJS Battery

Other singers who have played at the ground include Belinda Carlisle, Rod Stewart and Robert Palmer. The American evangelist Billy Graham attracted 257,181 people to a series of prayer meetings held at the stadium over the summer of 1984. Archbishop Desmond Tutu held a religious gathering at the stadium in 1989. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CYS Battery

The highest attendance recorded at Villa Park was 76,588, on 2 March 1946 in an FA Cup 6th round tie against Derby County.[21] The highest attendance in the all-seater era was 42,788 on 29 December 2009 in a Premier League game againstLiverpool. The highest average post Second World War attendance at Villa Park was 47,168 in the 1948–49 season,[21] while the lowest average post-war attendance was 15,237 in the 1985–86 season. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92DS Battery

Villa Park is within a short distance of two mainline railway stations. Witton railway station is approximately 500 metres (0.3 miles) from Villa Park, and Aston railway station is approximately 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles). Under current owner Randy Lerner, there have been discussions on changing the name of Witton Station to Villa Park Sony VAIO VGN-AW92JS Battery

as is the case with West Bromwich Albion's local railway station, The Hawthorns. Aston Villa's former CEO, Bruce Langham, has said that the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (Centro) are amenable to the idea as long as it is done at the expense of the club. No action has yet been taken. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92YS Battery

The history of Aston Villa Football Club between 1874 and 1961 covers their time from the club's foundation, through the first two major periods of success (the late 1880s, and the early 1900s) and the club's League Cup success.

Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by four members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel Sony VAIO VGN-AW93FS Battery

(known as early as 1867 as Aston Villa Wesleyan Chapel)[1] in Handsworth. The four founders were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. The first match was against the local Aston Brook St Mary's Rugby team.[2][3] As a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under rugby rules and the second half under football rules. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93GS Battery

The club were soon playing the modern version of football though and the club won its first FA Cup in 1887.[4] Aston Villa were one of the dozen teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the club's directors, William McGregor being the league's founder. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93HS Battery

By the end of Villa's "Golden Age" at the start of the First World War, the club had won the League Championship six times and the FA Cup five times.[4]

Aston Villa won their sixth FA Cup in 1920.[4] For the remainder of the inter-war years though, Villa were on a slow decline that would lead to them being relegated to the Second Division in 1936 for the first time in their history. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZFS Battery

They returned to the top-tier of English football by the outbreak of the Second World War. As with many clubs, the war brought much change to Villa Park and remainder of the 1940s were spent rebuilding the team. By 1957, Villa were a Cup winning side once again with the clubs seventh FA Cup win. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZGS Battery

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