The Story Of The Blues: Happy 130th Birthday, Goodison!

Goodison Park — the first major football stadium built in England — was opened on this day 130 years ago.

On 24 August 1892, Lord Kinnaird, then-president of the English Football Association, led the grand opening, which somewhat confusingly featured a "short athletics meeting, selection of music and a fireworks display", in front of a 12,000-strong crowd.

Everton's ground-breaking development at Mere Green was to set the trend for football stadia throughout the country. 

The Blues initially spent up to £3,000 on laying out the ground and building stands on three sides, while Kelly Brothers of Walton built two uncovered stands each for 4,000 people, and a covered stand seating 3,000, at a total cost of £1,460.

Outside, hoardings cost a further £150, gates and sheds cost £132 and 10 shillings whilst 12 turnstiles added another £7 and 15 shillings to the bill.

A report published in 'Out Of Doors', a popular publication at the time, read: "Behold Goodison Park! No single picture could take in the entire scene the ground presents, it is so magnificently large, for it rivals the greater American baseball pitches.

"On three sides of the field of play there are tall covered stands, and on the fourth side the ground has been so well banked up with thousands of loads of cinders that a complete view of the game can be had from any portion.

"It appears to be one of the finest and most complete grounds in the kingdom, and it is hoped that the public will liberally support the promoters."

>>> Click here to learn more about the history of Goodison Park

Goodison Park firsts:
- First purpose-built football stadium in the country
- First stadium to have a four-side stadium with two-tier stands
- First stadium to have a three-tier stand
- First stadium to issue a regular matchday programme    
- First stadium to install dugouts
- First stadium to install floodlights
- First stadium to install undersoil heating
- First British stadium to stage a World Cup semi-final    
- First stadium to stage an FA Cup final (Notts County v Bolton Wanderers in 1894)
- First stadium to have a church attached to it
- First stadium to have scoreboard half-time/full-time facility