Victoria Stadium (Northwich)

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Victoria Stadium
The Marston's Arena, Northwich Victoria FC - geograph.org.uk - 996146.jpg
Location Wincham Avenue,
Wincham,
Northwich
England
Coordinates 53°16′17.74″N 2°29′02.07″W / 53.2715944°N 2.4839083°W / 53.2715944; -2.4839083Coordinates: 53°16′17.74″N 2°29′02.07″W / 53.2715944°N 2.4839083°W / 53.2715944; -2.4839083
Capacity 5,045 (1,179 seated)
Field size 102 x 68 m[1]
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground 2003
Opened 2005
Closed Jan 2012
Demolished September 2013
Tenants
Northwich Victoria (2006–2012)
Northwich Villa (2006–2012)
Manchester United F.C. Reserves (2007–2008)

The Victoria Stadium was a football stadium in Wincham, Northwich in the county of Cheshire, England, and was home to Northwich Victoria Football Club until 2012.

The ground was sold to Thor Specialities Ltd in January 2012 and the football club were forced to leave the stadium. Assets from the ground are set to be sold, with Cheshire West and Chester Council benefitting from the sale money.

History[edit]

Fabio da Silva playing for Manchester United Reserves against Chelsea Reserves at the Victoria Stadium in 2008.

Following the sale of the Drill Field, Northwich's former ground in 2003, and a ground-sharing agreement with Witton Albion, Northwich moved into the Victoria Stadium in 2005. The stadium was located on a 9 acres (36,000 m2) site in Wincham Business Park. The Trent and Mersey Canal passes behind the stadium and separates Northwich from their fiercest rivals Witton Albion.[2] On 17 August 2005, Northwich played their first game at the ground, beating Gainsborough Trinity 2–0.[3]

The ground was officially opened on 30 November 2006 by Sir Alex Ferguson, who fielded a Manchester United team in a friendly match.[3] Manchester United Reserves played at the ground for 14 months in 2007–08 and 2008–09 reserve seasons.[4]

In February 2008, the ground was used for filming a new Nike advert, directed by Guy Ritchie and featuring Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. It was one of only three grounds, along with the Camp Nou in Barcelona and the Emirates Stadium in London, to be selected by Nike for filming.[5]

The future of the stadium was cast into doubt in January 2009, when then owner Mike Connett removed safety equipment from the ground; this forced Northwich to temporarily move to rivals Altrincham's Moss Lane and Witton Albion's Wincham Park grounds. It also spelt the end of Manchester United Reserve's tenancy at the stadium, as they moved their permanent home, who also moved to Moss Lane.[6]

A team consisting of actors from Cheshire-based soap Hollyoaks and an All-Star XI consisting of former professional footballers and special guests played at the stadium on 10 October 2009 in a charity match for St. Luke's Hospice in Winsford.[7]

A record attendance of 3,154 was achieved on the penultimate game of the 2005–06 season, when Northwich defeated their nearest rivals Stafford Rangers 3–1 to win the Conference North,[8] however this was bettered in the 2009–10 season on 28 November when Northwich played Lincoln City in the Second Round of the FA Cup, a game which was witnessed by 3,544 spectators.[9]

Stands[edit]

The main stand at the Victoria Stadium

The main Victoria Stand had a seating capacity of 1,180 supporters. It housed the club offices, shop, changing rooms for players and match officials, kit room, medical facilities, treatment room, fitness centre, staff and public toilets. Rare for a non-league ground, there was several executive boxes situated above the outdoor seats. The stand was also home to a bar and two restaurants. The green and yellow seating on this stand spelt out 'NVFC', the acronym for the club.[1]

The terraced Dane Bank Stand had a capacity of 2,988 spectators, and was moved from the club's original Drill Field ground in Northwich Town Centre following the stadium's demolition.[10]

Both of the goal-ends were open, and could accommodate 434 spectators each.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Victoria Stadium Facilities". northwichvics.co.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Victoria Stadium Facilities". Northwich Victoria FC. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Northwich Victoria". Football Supporters' Federation. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Reserves move to Moss Lane". Manchester United Football Club. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  5. ^ "Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez film Nike advert in Northwich". icCheshireOnline. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  6. ^ "Northwich locked out of stadium". BBC. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  7. ^ "Hollyoaks stars take to the football field at Victoria Stadium". Northwich Guardian. Retrieved 2010-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Blue Square Football Ground Guide- Northwich Victoria". Conference Grounds. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  9. ^ "Match stats- Football- guardian.co.uk". London: Conference Grounds. Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-02. 
  10. ^ "Victoria takes shape". This Is Cheshire. Retrieved 2008-04-01.