Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, 7 miles south-east of Manchester city centre, where the River Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey, the largest in the metropolitan borough of the same name. Most of the town was in Cheshire, but the area to the north of the Mersey was in Lancashire. Stockport in the 16th century was a small town on the south bank of the Mersey, known for the cultivation of hemp and manufacture of rope. In the 18th century the town had one of the first mechanised silk factories in the British Isles. However, Stockport's predominant industries of the 19th century were the cotton and allied industries. Stockport was at the centre of the country's hatting industry, which by 1884 was exporting more than six million hats a year. Dominating the western approaches to the town is the Stockport Viaduct. Built in 1840, the viaduct's 27 brick arches carry the mainline railways from Manchester to Birmingham and London over the River Mersey; this structure featured as the background in many paintings by L. S. Lowry.
Stockport was recorded as "Stokeport" in 1170. The accepted etymology is Old English port, a market place, with stoc, a hamlet. Older derivations include stock, a stockaded place or castle, with port, a wood, hence a castle in a wood; the castle refers to Stockport Castle, a 12th-century motte-and-bailey first mentioned in 1173. Other derivations are based on early variants such as Stockford. There is evidence. Stopford retains a use in the adjectival form, for Stockport-related items, pupils of Stockport Grammar School style themselves Stopfordians. By contrast, former pupils of Stockport School are known as Old Stoconians. Stopfordian is used as the general term, or demonym used for people from Stockport, much as someone from London would be a Londoner. Stockport has never been a river port as the Mersey is not navigable here; the earliest evidence of human occupation in the wider area are microliths from the hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic period and weapons and stone tools from the Neolithic period.
Early Bronze Age remains include stone hammers, flint knives and funerary urns. There is a gap in the age of finds between about 1200 BC and the start of the Roman period in about 70 AD, which may indicate depopulation due to a poorer climate. Despite a strong local tradition, there is little evidence of a Roman military station at Stockport, it is assumed that roads from Cheadle to Ardotalia and Manchester to Buxton crossed close to the town centre. The preferred site is at a ford over the Mersey, known to be paved in the 18th century, but it has never been proved that this or any roads in the area are Roman. Hegginbotham reported the discovery of Roman mosaics at Castle Hill in the late 18th century, during the construction of a mill, but noted it was "founded on tradition only". However, Roman coins and pottery were found there during the 18th century. A cache of coins dating from 375–378 AD may have come from the banks of the Mersey at Daw Bank. Six coins from the reigns of the Anglo-Saxon English Kings Edmund and Eadred were found during ploughing at Reddish Green in 1789.
There are contrasting views about the significance of this. The small cache is the only Anglo-Saxon. However, the etymology Stoc-port suggests inhabitation during this period. No part of Stockport appears in the Domesday Book of 1086; the area north of the Mersey was part of the hundred of Salford, poorly surveyed. The area south of the Mersey was part of the Hamestan hundred. Cheadle, Bramhall and Romiley are mentioned, but these all lay just outside the town limits; the survey includes valuations of the Salford hundred as a whole and Cheadle for the times of Edward the Confessor, just before the Norman invasion of 1066, the time of the survey. The reduction in value is taken as evidence of destruction by William the Conqueror's men in the campaigns known as the Harrying of the North; the omission of Stockport was once taken as evidence that destruction was so complete that a survey was not needed. Arrowsmith argues from the etymology that Stockport may have still been a market place associated with a larger estate, so would not be surveyed separately.
The Anglo-Saxon landholders in the area were dispossessed and the land divided amongst the new Norman rulers. The first borough charter was granted in about 1220 and was the only basis for local government for six hundred years. A castle held by Geoffrey de Costentin is recorded as a rebel stronghold against Henry II in 1173–1174 when his sons revolted. There is an incorrect local tradition that Geoffrey was the king's son, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, one of the rebels. Dent gives the size of the castle as about 31 by 60 m, suggests it was similar in pattern to those at Pontefract and Launceston; the castle was ruinous by the middle
Lincoln City F.C.
Lincoln City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Lincoln, England. The team compete in the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the "Imps" after the legend of the Lincoln Imp, they have played at the 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank since their move from John O'Gaunts in 1895. Traditionally they play in red and white striped shirts with red and white socks, they hold rivalries with other Lincolnshire clubs Football League sides Scunthorpe United and Grimsby Town. Founded in 1884, Lincoln won the Midland League in 1889–90, their first full season playing league football, they moved on from the Football Alliance to become founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, remaining there until they failed re-election in 1908. They won immediate re-election after winning the next year's Midland League, would repeat this feat after failing re-election again in 1911 and 1920. Founder members of the Football League Third Division North in 1921, they won promotion as champions in 1931–32, but were relegated two seasons later.
Crowned Third Division North champions again in 1947–48, they were relegated the next year, but would remain in the second tier for nine seasons after again winning the Third Division North title in 1951–52. Two successive relegations left them in the Fourth Division by 1962, where they would remain until Graham Taylor's title winning campaign of 1975–76. Relegated in 1978–79, they secured promotion again two years but suffered a double relegation to find themselves in the Conference by 1987. Lincoln made an immediate recovery however, regaining their Football League status with the Conference title in 1987–88, they were relegated the next season. They reached the play-offs in five consecutive seasons, from 2002 to 2007, losing in the final twice and the semi-finals three times, a competition record; however they exited the division at the other end when they were returned to the Conference after relegation at the end of the 2010–11 campaign. A six season stay in non-league was ended when Cowley brothers Nicky and Danny led the club to the National League title in 2016–17, as well as a run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup – this made them the first non-league side to reach that stage in 103 years.
Though they lost in the League Two play-offs the next year, they did win the 2018 EFL Trophy Final. Football in the city of Lincoln had been prominent since the 1860s although not connected to the modern day club. After the disbanding of Lincoln Rovers in 1884, Lincoln City FC was formed as an amateur association, turning professional in the 1891–92 season, they played at the John O'Gaunts ground before moving in 1895 to their current ground, Sincil Bank. Current Lincoln City managers Danny Cowley and Nicky Cowley have brought a new sense of pride within the city for their main football club; the first game Lincoln played as an amateur team was an emphatic 9–1 victory over local rivals Sleaford, on 4 October 1884. George Hallam set two records for the club that day: he scored the first goal for the club, the first hat-trick, their first competitive game at home ended in an emphatic manner, beating Boston Excelsior 11–0, with Edwin Teesdale scoring four goals. At this time, before the club gained entry into the Football League and professional status, the County Cup was their main priority.
C. after the initial match had finished 2–2. Lincoln soon helped to form what was the Second Division in 1892–93 season, as an increasing number of clubs wished to join the Football League, their first game in the Football League was a 4–2 away defeat to Sheffield United on 3 September 1892. Their first home game was against Sheffield United, this time, Lincoln won 1–0; the first game at Sincil Bank in 1895, after moving from the John O'Gaunts Ground due to Dawber's death, was a 0–0 friendly draw with local rivals, Gainsborough Trinity. The first competitive fixture at the ground was against Arsenal, the game ended 1–1. In January 1907 The Imps knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup after a replay. Managed by David Calderhead, two late goals salvaged a home draw in the first leg. In the replay in London, an injury time goal by Norrie Fairgray took Lincoln through. Chelsea returned at the end of the season to poach Calderhead to become their manager. Up until the 1920s Lincoln spent most of their time swinging between the Second Division and the more localised leagues, the Midland and the Central league.
After however, in the 1921–22 season, along with several other clubs from the Central and Midland leagues, founded the Third Division. The newly founded league and the Second Division would take turns in becoming Lincoln's home up until the early 1960s where they would drop a further division to the Fourth Division in the 1962–63 season, their championship honours include three Division 3 championships in 1931–32, 1947–48 and 1951–52, a Division 4 championship in 1975–76. It was the 1975–76 season where the club broke the record for most points for a whole season when 2 instead of 3 points were awarded for a win with 74 points in total. City become the first club in nearly a decade to score over 100 league goals, they won 21 out of 23
Bury Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. The first-team compete in EFL League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system, having been relegated from EFL League One in May 2018. Founded in 1885, the club has been a member of the English Football League since 1894; the team, known as "The Shakers", play in white shirts and navy blue shorts. Gigg Lane, one of the world's oldest football grounds, has been the club's home venue since 1885; the club's location leads to local derby games with numerous clubs, with fiercer rivalries being held with Lancashire clubs Bolton Wanderers, Oldham Athletic and Rochdale. Having helped to found the Lancashire League in 1889, they were crowned champions in the 1890–91 and 1891–92 seasons, before being elected to the Football League in 1894, they won the Second Division title in 1894–95 and won their test match to secure promotion into the First Division. They remained in the top-flight for 17 seasons, winning the FA Cup in 1900 with a 4–0 victory over Southampton and again in 1903 with a 6–0 win over Derby County – this remains a record winning margin in an FA Cup final.
They were relegated at the end of the 1911–12 season, before securing promotion again in 1923–24. Relegated out of the top-flight again in 1928–29, they dropped into the third tier in 1956–57, before winning promotion as champions of the Third Division under the stewardship of Dave Russell in 1960–61. From 1967 to 1971 they were promoted once and relegated three times to find themselves in the Fourth Division for the first time. Bury won promotion at the end of the 1973–74 campaign, though they were relegated in 1979–80, they secured promotion again five seasons later. Relegated into the fourth tier in 1991–92, manager Stan Ternent led the club back to the second tier for the first time in 28 years after securing two consecutive promotions in 1995–96 and 1996–97 – winning promotion as champions in the latter campaign, they remained there for just two seasons and were relegated twice in four seasons, before securing promotion out of League Two in 2010–11. Since they have switched between League Two and League One, being promoted in 2014–15 and suffering relegations in 2012–13 and 2017–18.
Bury Football Club was founded on 24 April 1885 by Aiden Arrowsmith, who had brokered two meetings between church teams called the Bury Wesleyans and Bury Unitarians at the Waggon & Horses Hotel and the White Horse Hotel. It was agreed from the outset; the FA had legitimised professionalism but it was still a controversial topic. Ahead of the 1885–86 season, the club leased a plot of land on Gigg Lane from the Earl of Derby's estate. On 12 September 1885, the first match played there was a friendly against a team from Wigan and Bury won 4–3. Bury first entered the FA Cup in 1887–88. Drawn to play Blackburn Rovers away from home, they withdrew and Blackburn were awarded a walkover to the next round. Bury were founder members of the Lancashire League in 1889, finishing as runners-up in the inaugural 1889–90 competition, they won the championship in both of the next two seasons. In 1891–92, Bury were Lancashire Cup winners for the first time, they have won this competition a total of eleven times, most in 2017–18.
The club's nickname is "The Shakers". According to the club website, the nickname was first used at the 1892 Lancashire Cup final against Everton. Before the match, J. T. Ingham, the club's chairman-cum-manager inspired the players by saying: "We shall shake'em! In fact, we are the Shakers", his words were popularised by the media and the club subsequently adopted "The Shakers" as their official nickname. Bury first contested the FA Cup in 1891–92 when they defeated two Blackburn-based teams and Heywood Central, before losing to Blackpool after a replay in the third qualifying round. Bury were elected to the Football League in 1894. In their first season, 1894–95, they won the Second Division title by a nine-point margin and beat Liverpool, the First Division's bottom club, in the test match to gain promotion. Bury retained their top-flight status for seventeen seasons until they were relegated to the Second Division after the 1911–12 season. In 1900 and 1903, Bury won the FA Cup. In the 1900 final, they beat Southern League team Southampton by four goals to nil.
Bury's run to the final was remarkable in that they were drawn away from home in every round but won through with victories over Burnley, Notts County, cup holders Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest. The semi-final against Forest was ended 1 -- 1 after Bury missed a penalty. A replay was held at Bramall Lane in Sheffield and Bury began disastrously by conceding two goals in the first two minutes. Charlie Sagar pulled one back after 55 minutes and Jasper McLuckie equalised with only five minutes to go. Extra time was played and Sagar scored the winner after 110 minutes of play; the final at the old Crystal Palace ground was played in a heatwave and Bury, captained by Jack Pray, dominated from the start. The goals in a one-sided match were scored by Willie Wood and John Plant; the players were on a win bonus of £10 each in the final, ten times more than their usual £1 per match bonus. Three years Bury did not concede a goal in any round and defeated Derby County by the cup final record score of 6–0, the widest winning margin in an FA Cup final.
The ball used in the final is on display at the National Football Museum. En route to the final, Bury defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffi
New Mills A.F.C.
New Mills Association Football Club are an English football club based in New Mills, Derbyshire. They play in the North West Counties League Division One South. Formed in 1886 New Mills progressed through the local leagues in its early days and had a spell in the Manchester League. However, the club disbanded and a new team was formed, New Mills St Georges, which in a period up to World War I, won a number of titles, including the Derbyshire Minor Cup. In 1919 the club dropped the St Georges from its name, it joined the Manchester League once again and finished top in 1924 and, after finishing as runner-up the following season, lifted the championship once again in 1926. As well as winning the league, New Mills won the Derbyshire Cup three seasons out of four; the club was well supported and had regular gates of around 3000. This was a successful few seasons for the club, at least half a dozen players moved on to clubs in the Football League; the club was once again disbanded due to World War II but reformed again afterwards, this time entering the Manchester Amateur League before progressing once again to the Manchester League, taking the title in 1956.
In 1959, Joe Martin took charge as manager, which started a run of success for the club, winning the league seven times before he retired in 1972. The club moved up to the Cheshire County League and the North West Counties League; the club began to suffer financially, in the summer of 1983 ceased playing in that competition. Birch Vale and Thornsett F. C. became tenants at Church Lane. They took over running of the club and became New Mills Football Club; the club rejoined the Manchester League and in 1977, thanks to a fund-raising appeal along with a grant from the Lottery Association, redeveloped its Church Lane ground to what it is today. In 2002–03 they became semi professional when their application to the North West Counties League was approved. New Mills won the North West Counties League Division Two title in the 2007–08 season under the leadership of former Stockport County player Tony Hancock, who had joined as manager in 2005. New Mills followed up its Division Two title with a record-breaking 2008–09 season during which it set a new league and club record by winning 21 consecutive games, missing out on the Division One title only on goal difference to A.
F. C. Fylde, which beat the Millers 5–0 on the last day of the league season in front of a crowd of over 1,400. Two days after the disappointment on the Fylde coast, the Millers lifted the League Cup for the first time by beating Runcorn Linnets 2–0 at the Tameside Stadium, the home of Curzon Ashton. Goals from Garry Kharas and Scott McGowan ensured; the star player during this era was Carlos Meakin who scored 150 goals in only 200 games, predominantly whilst playing in midfield. During the close season of 2009–10, in which New Mills finished as runner-up for the second year in a row, manager Tony Hancock resigned but had a change of heart and returned to lead the Millers until he again resigned in March 2010 when the player budget was cut. For the remainder of the season Ally Pickering was named caretaker manager and he took the role full time in 2010–11. Pickering had great success in his first full season as manager and led the Millers to the league title and promotion to the Northern Premier League.
A league and cup double was denied though. During the 2011 pre-season to mark the club's 125th anniversary Alex Ferguson sent a Manchester United XI to Church Lane. United won 7–0, with their team including future England internationals Michael Keane and Jesse Lingard. In the 2011–12 season Pickering led the Millers to a 9th place after a poor winter saw the team slip out of the play-off places. New Mills were placed in the Southern League but after one season were switched to the Northern Premier League. Pickering remained in charge until October 2012, when he and the club parted company by mutual consent. Former FC United of Manchester coach Roy Soule became caretaker manager on Pickering's departure and led the team to another promotion – they lost 2–0 to Trafford in the play-offs. Soule resigned at the end of the 2014–15 season after a disappointing season, the club finishing 2nd from bottom and in the relegation places, further significant budget cuts; the club accepted a reprieve from the FA to stay in the EvoStik league and Soule was replaced by former Stalybridge Celtic manager Keith Briggs.
Briggs resigned just 23 days after accepting a full time coaching role at Sheffield United and was succeeded by his assistant Andy Fearn, who appointed former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater as his assistant. Fearn and Goater resigned after nine matches, all of which were lost, former Wythenshawe Town staffer Garry Brown took over, supported by ex-Stockport County winger Paul Williams; the club attracted national attention with their unenviable season record of 26 defeats from the opening 26 league and cup games. The Millers kicked off the 2016–17 league season with a 4–3 win over Cammell Laird under manager Garry Brown; this was the Millers' first win in 18 months. However, Brown resigned in September 2016 after a poor run of results, assistant Paul Williams taking over. In December 2016, with the team lying in the relegation zone of the NWCFL Premier Division, Williams was sacked and replaced by Calum Sy
National League North
The National League North Conference North, is a division of the National League in England, taking its place below the top division National League. Along with the National League South, it is at Step 2 of the National League System and the sixth overall tier of the English football league system, it consists of teams located in Northern England, the English Midlands, North Wales. Since the start of the 2015–16 season, the league has been known as the National League North; as part of a sponsorship deal with Vanarama, the National League North was renamed the Vanarama National League North. The Conference North was introduced in 2004 as part of a major restructuring of English non-League football; the champions are automatically promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs involving the teams finishing in second to seventh place; the three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues. Teams from this division, as well as from the National League South, enter the FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round.
For sponsorship reasons, the division was known as the Nationwide North from its formation in 2004 until 2007, when it was renamed the Blue Square North. In 2010 it was renamed the Blue Square Bet North; when the Blue Square sponsorship ended in 2013, it was renamed the Skrill North until the 2014–15 season, when it was renamed the Vanarama North. A further name change followed in 2015, when the division was renamed the Vanarama National League North; the member clubs for the 2018–19 season are as follows: The winners of the league title and the winners of the play-off final since the league's formation in 2004 are as follows: The stadia of all the teams in the league for the 2018–19 season are listed below: The National League official site
Fivemiletown is a village and townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. It is 16 miles east of Enniskillen and 26 miles west-south-west of Dungannon, on the A4 Enniskillen-to-Dungannon road, its population as of 2008 is estimated to be 1,356. The village is most famous for its creamery, begun as a cooperative in 1898 by Hugh de Fellonburg Montgomery. Fivemiletown Creamery made butter and milk, but now makes cheeses for the British and Irish market, for export across Europe and North America. Fivemiletown's name comes from its location five Irish miles from its nearest neighbours: Clogher and Tempo; the original Irish name of the townland of Fivemiletown was Baile na Lorgan - ‘townland of the long ridge’ - anglicised as Ballynalurgan. Previous names for the town of Fivemiletown were Mount Stewart, from Sir William Stewart who founded it in 1619 and Blessingbourn from the name of the nearby residence of Colonel Montgomery, the proprietor of the area in the early 19th century; the Clogher Valley Railway ran from Tynan, County Armagh, to Maguiresbridge, County Fermanagh, with Fivemiletown being one of its main stations.
The old station house is still one of the landmarks in the village. The trains stopped at the Buttermarket on Main Street and the creamery to be loaded or unloaded with goods. After the Second World War, the growth of road transport made railways redundant and when the Northern Ireland Government learned that the Clogher Valley Railway had operated as a loss for 27 years because of growing road transport, it recommended the shutting of the line; the last train ran on the last day of 1941, bringing to an end one of Fivemiletown's most characteristic features. Incidents in Fivemiletown during the Troubles resulting in two or more deaths: 1993 12 December 1993 – Andrew Beacom and Ernest Smith, both Protestant members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, were shot dead by the Provisional Irish Republican Army while travelling in their civilian-type car along Main Street. Halfway between Fivemiletown and Fintona 9 miles northwest, lies Murley Mountain; this mountain rises to a peak of 312 metres above sea level and marks the western edge of the Clogher Valley.
On the summit is the Lendrums Bridge wind farm, one of the biggest in Northern Ireland, with 20 wind turbines. Another ten are planned for the neighbouring Hunter's Hill. Murley Mountain's location is lonely and exposed to prevailing southwesterly winds; this makes it a prime site for wind-generated power. The River Blackwater runs through counties Armagh, as well as County Monaghan; the source of the Blackwater is to the north of Fivemiletown. There are several small lakes around the village which draw many anglers; the narrow gauge Clogher Valley Railway ran through the village from 1887 until 1942. The train had a top speed of 10 miles per hour. Fivemiletown railway station opened on 2 May 1887 and was shut on 1 January 1942; the A4 is the main route into Fermanagh from the Belfast direction. Running from the end of the M1 at Dungannon, the section through the Clogher Valley is the lowest standard on the whole route. While towns and villages along the A4 in Fermanagh were bypassed years ago, the A4 runs straight through the middle of three Tyrone villages: Augher and Fivemiletown.
These are now the only non-bypassed settlements on the road. The largest of these, will be bypassed; the village has a one-way system to cope with the heavy traffic on the narrow main street, but this stalls long-distance traffic and is a big inconvenience to residents of the village. The new road will be built to 2+1 standard, meaning that there will be one lane in one direction, with two in the opposite direction to permit overtaking. On longer routes, such as this one, the overtaking lane alternates giving an overtaking opportunity to traffic in each direction; the scheme will compliment a 2+1 scheme completed on the A4 outside Fivemiletown in 2004. Clogher Valley Golf Club Clogher Valley Rugby Football Club Fivemiletown United Football Club Cavanaleck Pipe Band Fivemiletown Accordion Band Fivemiletown Pipe Band Murley Silver BandPride Of Fivemiletown Flute Band Fivemiletown Boyne Defenders Fivemiletown Nursery School Fivemiletown College St. Mary's Primary School Fivemiletown Primary School Kids R Us Cross Community Playgroup Aghintaine Roman Catholic Church Aughintaine Presbyterian Church Bell Methodist Church Cavanaleck Presbyterian Church Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church Fivemiletown Independent Methodist Church Fivemiletown Methodist Church Kiltermon Church of Ireland St John's Church of Ireland St Mary's Roman Catholic Church Fivemiletown is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency.
On Census day there were 1,108 people living in Fivemiletown. Of these: 19.9% were aged under 16 and 20.6% were aged 60 and over 48.4% of the population were male and 51.6% were female 25.1% were from a Catholic background and 74.0% were from a Protestant background 5.6% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed. Fivemiletown Creamery Fivemiletown United F. C. Dungannon and South Tyrone District Council
The Millennium Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales. Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has held Wales national football team games. Built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup, it has gone on to host many other large-scale events, such as the Tsunami Relief Cardiff concert, the Super Special Stage of Wales Rally Great Britain, the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain and various music concerts, it hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped. The stadium is owned by a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union; the architects were Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. The structural engineers were WS Atkins and the building contractor was Laing; the total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million. The Millennium Stadium opened in June 1999 and its first major event was an international rugby union match on 26 June 1999, when Wales beat South Africa in a test match by 29–19 before a crowd of 29,000.
With a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, which took place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the stadium renamed as the "Principality Stadium" from early 2016; until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their home matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. As a result of an agreement between Cardiff Athletic Club and the WRU, the National Stadium project established that a new stadium for international matches and events was required, with Cardiff RFC moving to a new purpose built stadium on the original cricket ground at the site of the former Cardiff Arms Park stadium.
By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was opened. However, in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. In 1995, the National Stadium, designed in 1962, only had a capacity of 53,000. France was about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup; the original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000, but this had been reduced to 53,000, due to the Taylor Report. 11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. In addition to the problems of capacity, the National Stadium was very well hidden by the neighbouring buildings to the south in Park Street, Wood Street and to the east in Westgate Street, by Cardiff Rugby Ground in the north, it was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east, shared by both vehicles and spectators alike.
The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, or moving to a new site. This last option was discounted because it would have required a vast car parking facility, that would have put severe short-term pressures on the local transport infrastructure, creating traffic jams and pollution; the committee chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south; this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site, it was decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football. The only other sliding roofs in Europe at the time were at two Dutch stadia – the Amsterdam Arena, completed in 1996 with a capacity of 50,000. To remain on the Arms Park site, additional space had to be found to allow safe access and to provide room for the increased capacity and improved facilities.
This was achieved by the purchase of adjacent buildings to the south and east and by the construction of a new £6 million River Walk by the River Taff on the western side of the stadium. By 1999, the Millennium Stadium had replaced the National Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, as the national stadium of Wales for rugby union and association football international matches. Cardiff RFC continued as before to play at Cardiff Arms Park rugby ground, which had replaced the cricket ground in 1969; the stadium was designed by a team led by Bob Sheard at Lobb Sport Architecture, who merged with HOK Sport to become Populous. The building contractor was Laing and the structural engineers were WS Atkins. Mike Otlet of WS Atkins designed the stadium's retractable roof. Cimolai S.p. A. from Italy fabricated and erected the 72 steel plane frames for the stands and all the 4,500 components of the roof. Construction involved the demolition of a number of buildings the existing National Stadium, Wales Empire Pool in Wood Stre