Highbury was Arsenal’s home for 93 years.
The last match ever was played on this day, May 7th, 10 years ago. I decided to take a look back at the history of Arsenal’s Stadium, the matches that it hosted and the many wins it witnessed.
Arsenal initiated the move to North London in the 1910s. Then-chairman Henry Norris found the perfect spot in the Highbury area of North London. Arsenal paid a £20,000, 21-year long lease for six acres of land and the stadium was built. It was designed by Archibald Leitch who also designed some other stadiums, like Old Trafford.
The first stand that was built was the East Stand, which then hosted 9,000 spectators, and the first match was played in September 1913, and it was a 2-1 win against Leicester Fosse.
After that first match, both the club and the stadium grew over the years. The stadium saw many changes and additions, with the most famous one being remodeling of East Stand in 1936, which turned it into a state-of-art, art-deco monument.
After the Hillsborough disaster, the English FA requested that all stadiums turn into all-seaters, and that was the last remodel for the old Highbury stadium. A stadium that once hosted over 70,000 people had to drop down to only slightly above 38,000 seats. That was the reason Arsenal simply had to look into other options and eventually build the new stadium. The Emirates.
Highbury is deep in every Gooner’s memory. Arsenal had some amazing nights and days there. Our biggest win came all the way in 1932 when we won 11-1 against Darwen. All in all, Arsenal collected stunning 1196 wins in all competitions, out of 2010 games played. The Gunners also scored double the amount of goals they conceded.
Even though Highbury wasn’t the biggest of stadiums, it also hosted several England matches, mostly friendlies. Besides football, Londoners could also enjoy cricket and baseball matches at Highbury, as well as a one-off boxing match between Henry Cooper and the great Muhammad Ali.
Have a look at the infographic for more information and stats about our iconic stadium.