List of Sunderland A.F.C. grounds

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Sunderland A.F.C. is a professional football club from Sunderland, United Kingdom. Founded in 1879 by Scottish schoolteacher James Allan, Sunderland have had eight different home grounds across Sunderland. [1] The seventh ground, Roker Park was Sunderland's home for 99 years before being replaced by its current home, the Stadium of Light in 1997.

The early grounds in the list were little more than roped-off playing fields which were open to the public, so records regarding ground capacity and attendances are not available. [2] But as public interest in football began to grow in the town in 1880s, the club took the opportunity to begin charging spectators an entrance fee. As such, attendance records begin to appear from Sunderland's fifth home (Abbs Field). Sunderland's sixth home at Newcastle Road could be considered the first 'proper' stadium; with outer walls, grandstands, and capacity for around 15,000 spectators, it was, at the time, regarded as the finest ground in the North East of England. [3]

Three of Sunderland grounds have hosted full England international matches. The first at Newcastle Road in 1891, the most recent at Stadium of Light in 2016.


List of Sunderland A.F.C. grounds

GroundLocationDate of first gameDate of last gameMaximum capacityRecord attendanceNotes
Blue House Field Hendon 18 November 1880

(vs. Ferryhill) [4]

12 November 1881

(vs. Elswick Leather Works) [4]

  • First Sunderland game [2]
  • First Sunderland competitive game [2]
  • First Sunderland victory [2]
The Cedars Ashbrooke unknownunknownunknownunknownArthur Appleton, local Sunderland historian and author, records that after leaving Blue House Field, the club played at least four games in the Cedars area of Ashbrooke. [3] The exact location, and the details of the games are unknown, but Sunderland A.F.C. recognise The Cedars as their second home, [5] and a Blue plaque marks an approximate location. [6] At least one friendly game was played in Whitburn, but the club does not recognise this as an official home. [5]
Groves Field Ashbrooke 4 November 1882 (vs. North Eastern) [4] 10 March 1883

(vs. Bishop Middleham) [4]

  • Location of Sunderland's biggest ever competitive home win, 12 - 1 vs. Stanley Star on 20 January 1883 in the Northumberland and Durham Challenge Cup [7]
Horatio Street Roker 29 September 1883 (vs. Castle Eden) [4] 26 April 1884

(vs. District XI) [4]

Abbs Field Fulwell 27 September 1884 (vs. Birtley Town) [4] 13 March 1886 (vs. Middlesbrough St. Johns) [4] unknown2,000 (approx) vs Port Glasgow Athletic on 1 January 1886
  • First Sunderland home where spectators were charged an entrance fee [8]
  • Home of Sunderland for its all-time biggest victory, a 23 - 0 win over Castletown on 20 December 1884 (in a friendly) [4] [9]
Newcastle Road Monkwearmouth 3 April 1886 (vs. Darlington) [4] 23 April 1898 (vs. Nottingham Forest) [4] 15,00024,000 (approx) vs Sheffield United on 5 March 1898 [4]
Roker Park Roker 10 September 1898 (vs. Liverpool) [4] 13 May 1997 (vs. Liverpool) [4] 60,00075,118 vs Derby County on 8 March 1933 [4]
Stadium of Light Monkwearmouth 30 July 1997 (vs. AFC Ajax) [4] 49,00048,353 vs. Liverpool on 13 April 2002 [4]
  • Home of Sunderland for its highest ever season points total (105 in 1998/99) [11]
  • Home of Sunderland for its most wins in a single season (19 in 1998/99) [11]
  • Home of Sunderland for its longest run of consecutive home defeats (9) [11]

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Roker Park

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Newcastle Road

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Abbs Field was a football ground located in the Fulwell area of Sunderland. It was the home of Sunderland A.F.C. between 1884 and 1886, the fifth ground to host the club. Sunderland played their first game at Abbs Field on 27 September 1884, winning a friendly 2 - 1 against Birtley.

Horatio Street was a football ground in the Roker area of Sunderland. It was the fourth home of Sunderland A.F.C., hosting the club between 1883 and 1884.

Groves Field was a Football ground in the Ashbrooke area of Sunderland, England. It was the third home of Sunderland A.F.C, hosting the club between 1882 and 1883, and was Sunderland's last home South of the River Wear.

Blue House Field was a football ground in the Hendon area of Sunderland, England. It was the original home of Sunderland A.F.C hosting the club between 1880 and 1881. It hosted rivals Sunderland Albion F.C. between 1888 and 1892. While the home of Sunderland Albion, Blue House Field hosted matches in the Football Alliance and the FA Cup.


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  6. "Sunderland Association Football Club blue plaque". Retrieved 13 October 2018.
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  8. "Abbs Field". Sunderland Association Football Club. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  9. "Sunderland AFC - Statistics, History and Records - from TheStatCat". Retrieved 13 October 2018.
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  11. 1 2 3 4 5 "Club stats". Sunderland Association Football Club. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  12. "Newcastle Road". Sunderland Association Football Club. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  13. Days, Paul (2017). Founding Fathers - The Men Who Made Sunderland AFC: Volume II. ISBN   978-0955619984.