The old Roker Park stadium was home to Sunderland AFC for 99 years before they moved to the new ‘Stadium of Light’ purpose built all seater stadium in 1997. Built in 1898, the ground underwent major development in the 20’s and 30’s which nearly bankrupt the Black Cats at the time but the investment would enable Sunderland to host crowds in excess of 60,000 plus. The record attendance was in 1933 when Sunderland played Derby County in a FA Cup 6th round replay.
The stadium was targeted during WW2 by the German Luftwaffe but it survived the bombardment with only the pitch being directly hit. Roker Park also hosted FIFA World Cup games in 1966 and FA Cup semi-finals during it’s history. Following the Taylor report in response to the Hillsborough disaster the capacity was reduced to 22,500 in the 90’s.
The final competitive game at Roker Park was a Premier League 3-0 win against Everton and the final ever match was a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a friendly match. After that game the centre circle was dug up and moved to the new Stadium of Light. The famous ‘Roker Roar’ generated by the Fulwell and Roker Ends will be fondly remembered by Sunderland supporters forever.
Ha’way the lads.
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