With thanks to Duncan Holley for the photo. It is a curiously-built ground, with the people almost coming down to the touchline. With thanks to Duncan Holley for the photo. Writing in Bee’s Notes On Sport column in the Liverpool Echo ahead of the game, ‘Bee’ described travelling south on the train in ‘a jolly party, a big party, a confident party’. The new St Mary's Stadium was ready for the 2001–02 season. Many people in Eastleigh were also unhappy with having another town's football club in their area.
Saints progressed to the semi-final but lost 2-0 to Sheffield United, who they had lost to twenty-three years earlier in the 1902 final. Since 1896, Southampton had been tenants of Hampshire County Cricket Club at the County Ground, having vacated the Antelope Ground in the summer of 1896. The lot of the Southampton football professional is indeed a happy one!’. The Dell was the home of Southampton Football Club for one-hundred and three years and now St Mary’s has been our home for nineteen. On 19 May 2001, midfielder Matthew Le Tissier (who retired from playing a year later) said goodbye to the stadium that had been host to his entire professional career by scoring a volley in the final minutes of the final league game securing a 3–2 win against Arsenal. Work began on the new West Stand in 1927, enlarging it so that the capacity of the ground would be around 35,000, with 12,000 protected from the rain. After the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, The Dell converted to an all-seater stadium, leaving it with one of the lowest capacities in the league. What Mr. Thomas and his directors have done is almost a miracle.
Torrential downpours had resulted in nationwide flooding, and a brick culvert carrying the stream under the stadium could no longer cope. Despite being clear favourites, they couldn’t break down the ‘sturdy’ Southampton defence and the game ended 0-0. Bill Rawlings scored thirty goals that season, including four in one game in an 8-0 home triumph over Northampton, and three goals in seven days against Portsmouth, netting both in a 2-0 win at Fratton Park, and then the opener in a 1-1 draw at the Dell the following weekend. It’s a lovely ground and, when you look at the fixtures, you know you will have done well to get the points. After all, so many were made at the Dell… An iconic football ground that will live long in the memories of football fans. By the early 1980s, however, the ‘chocolate boxes’ had been replaced by a family stand which was then re-built in the early 1990s, creating the idiosyncratic wedge that was instantly recognisable as belonging to the Dell. The move to St Mary’s Stadium finally came in August 2001. It cost somewhere in the region of £10,000 to complete but by September 1898, the Southern League champions were ready to move into their new home. . Such enterprise ought to bear good fruit.’.
Incidentally, a victory at Leyton Orient in April 2011, thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert and Lee Barnard, saw Saints leapfrog Huddersfield and enter the League One automatic promotion places.
These advantages should secure larger “gates” on wet days than has hitherto been the case. The steps up to them were steep, and one was allocated to children up to the age of fourteen. The playing ground is just a foot over the regulation English Cup tie size, and there is only a small space outside the touch and goal lines, so that the spectators are, so to speak, all “on top of the play”. . I vividly remember standing in the the changing rooms, and I think back now to all those great players who would have known that room so well. Players helped workmen carry out urgent repairs, and thankfully the pitch was restored to a playable condition before the game against Spurs, which Saints won 2-0. Saints were relegated back to the Second Division in 1975 but the following season perhaps gave them their finest moment. between 1898 and 2001. Bristol City 3-4 Southampton and with it the Southern League title.
She was only ten years old at the time and, despite not having much of an interest in football, she remembers the incredible atmosphere. It was not only international football matches that the Dell would play host to but heavyweight boxing bouts, too. Liverpool then won the replay 2-0. The Dell in Milton Road, Southampton, Hampshire, England was the home ground of Southampton F.C. The ruined East Stand in 1929.
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