For many fans, Arsenal Stadium will always live long in the memory. The ground, which was widely known as Highbury, was the Club’s home from 1913 to 2006.
Arsenal’s first match at the stadium came on September 6th 1913, a 2-1 victory over Leicester Fosse, even though it was not completed at the time. Sir Henry Norris, the Club’s director, managed to secure the ground outright for a further £64,000 in 1925.
The stadium went through a number of changes and developments over the years. During the 60s under floor heating was installed and additional seating built in the West Stand. The famous Clock End Stand was redeveloped to make way for executive boxes and office space.
As the decades past, transformations took shape and the stadium played host to many amazing memories. Players such as Cliff Bastin, Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira and of course, Thierry Henry, all etched their name into the history of the ground.
Memorable moments included, victory over Sheffield United in the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger graciously offered to replay the match after controversy surrounded Marc Overmars’ winning goal. In 1998 Arsenal were crowned champions beating Everton 4-0 at Highbury. After only 87 games in charge, Arsene Wenger had delivered the Club’s first Premier League title.
On May 7th 2006 Arsenal played their final game at Highbury. It was a momentous occasion as the 4-2 win over Wigan secured fourth place and Champions League football for the North London Club. What made the victory even sweeter was stealing fourth spot away from local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal needed to establish themselves as a dynamic force, both domestically and in Europe. In order to accomplish their goal they had to move to a new stadium. In 2006 The Emirates opened at a cost of £390 million. With a 60,000 capacity it became the third largest stadium in England, after Wembley and Old Trafford.
Arsenal’s former home is now an upmarket residential development called Highbury Square. It houses one, two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses. The shape still resembles the old stadium with apartments constructed around the four sides of the pitch.
The famous turf has been turned into a stunning garden giving residents the chance to sit back and reminisce about many of the famous goals scored by the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright. It’s the perfect way to preserve the memory of one of the most famous grounds in domestic football.