|Location||Clarence Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8BZ|
|Owner||Hartlepool Borough Council|
| Hartlepool United F.C. (1908–present)|
West Hartlepool R.F.C. (1886–1908, 1998–1999)
Victoria Park is a football ground in Hartlepool, County Durham, England, which is the home of League Two club Hartlepool United.
The four sides of the ground are known as the Town End Terrace (official capacity 1,775), the Niramax Stand (official capacity 1,617 seated and 1,832 terraced standing), the Cyril Knowles Stand (official capacity 1,599) and the Rink End (official capacity 1,033). The Town End Terrace is a standing area behind the south goal, and usually the most vocal area of the ground. The Neale Cooper Stand (formerly the Niramax Stand is an all seating stand with a terraced paddock at the west side of the ground. The Cyril Knowles Stand is a modern all-seater stand to the east of the ground. The Rink End is also an all-seater stand containing 1,033 seats, some with an obscured view of the pitch due to supporting pillars. The Rink End is at the north end of the ground and houses only away fans.
The stadium was previously known as the Northern Gas and Power Stadium between August 2016 and June 2017.Additionally, the ground was called The Super 6 Stadium during the 2018–19 season for sponsorship reasons.
The land on which Victoria Park stands was originally a limestone quarry owned by the North-Eastern Railway Company. In 1886, the land was bought by West Hartlepool Rugby Football Club for the development of a new rugby ground. The ground was then named the Victoria Ground in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In 1908, West Hartlepool R.F.C. went bust, leaving The Victoria Ground vacant. Shortly afterwards, the ground was registered under the name of "The Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company Limited", a football team representing both the town of West Hartlepool and the original settlement of Old Hartlepool. This football team developed into Hartlepool United. From 1908 to 1910, Hartlepools United shared their ground with the amateurs of West Hartlepool until the club broke up leaving Hartlepools United as the sole occupiers of the ground.
In 1916, the ground was bombed by a German Zeppelin, destroying the main stand on Clarence Road. A small, wooden stand was built as a temporary measure with the intent to replace it with a larger, more permanent structure once funds allowed. After the war, Hartlepool tried to claim compensation from the German government in order to fund the new stand. However these attempts failed and the temporary stand was eventually demolished in the late 1980s due to fire regulations being tightened as a result of the Bradford City fire. A number of portable cabins were put on the site of the Clarence Road stand containing dressing rooms, offices and a small number of seats until the Cyril Knowles Stand was built in 1995.
When Chesterfield F.C. installed their floodlights in 1967, it left Hartlepool United as the only Football League club not to have floodlights.
The Cyril Knowles Stand was named after the former Tottenham Hotspur defender who managed Hartlepool from January 1990 until June 1991. He had built side that won promotion from the Fourth Division in the 1990–91 season, but had to hand over managerial duties to coach Alan Murray in February 1991 due to brain cancer. Knowles retired in June 1991 after his declining health meant that he was no longer well enough to manage the club and died two months later at the age of 47.
In 1986, Middlesbrough faced with liquidation were locked out of their ground, Ayresome Park, and the authorities had granted Middlesbrough continued League status on the proviso that they could fulfil their first fixture of the season.On the day of their first game, two games were played at the ground with Hartlepool playing their game at an earlier kick-off. 3,690 Middlesbrough supporters made the short journey to Hartlepool to see them draw 2–2 against Port Vale.
In 1998, West Hartlepool R.F.C. were allowed to once again share the ground, signing an agreement that was to run until 2001, and brought a number of executive boxes with them from their previous ground, Brierton Lane. These boxes were added to the rear of the Cyril Knowles stand. West Hartlepool R.F.C. moved out in 1999. In 1996, the ground was renamed Victoria Park to reflect the large number of improvements that had been made to the infrastructure and facilities. Among the improvements were two new stands (the Cyril Knowles Stand and the Town End), new dressing rooms and offices in the old Clock Garages building to the northeast of the ground and major work on the condition of the pitch. Since 2003, groundsman Dave Brown has received an annual nomination for Groundsman of the Year awards due to the excellent state of the pitch.In 2006, Hartlepool made a bid to buy the lease of the land that the ground is on. However, Hartlepool Borough Council rejected this proposal claiming that accepting the offer would be premature in light of recent development in the area around Victoria Park.
The ground has been relatively free from crowd trouble. However, when matches were played against local rivals Darlington, there was some. One of the most notorious incidents of crowd trouble came in 2000 during Hartlepool's play-off match against Darlington. Darlington manager Dave Hodgson was struck with a coin and Marco Gabbiadini was reportedly punched by a fan after the match.There have also been some Health and Safety issues regarding fans refusing to sit in the seating areas. This has forced the club to employ strict ground regulations.
In 1957, the ground attracted its record attendance of 17,264 for a 3rd Round FA Cup Game against a Manchester United team managed by Matt Busby, which Hartlepool narrowly lost 4–3.This was regarded by Busby in his biography as being one of the most exciting matches he had ever witnessed. Manchester United later returned later to Victoria Park for a heavily attended friendly, only to lose 6–2. Hartlepool played three Premier League sides in cup competitions at Victoria Park in 2008–09, two of whom, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City, were beaten by Hartlepool. Their fourth-round tie against West Ham United was televised live on ITV and attracted over 500 million viewers worldwide, Hartlepool losing 2–0 in front of a crowd of 6,849.
After a successful season ticket campaign at the start of the 2011–12 season, which saw the club sell over 5,000 season tickets,Hartlepool had the highest percentage of their ground full in their division.
In the latter half of the 2012–13 season, Gateshead played home games at Victoria Park after drainage problems at Gateshead International Stadium.
Middlesbrough U21s began to play their home games at Victoria Park in the 2013–14 season.
Following the tragic death of former Hartlepool United manager Neale Cooper in 2018, the Club decided to rename from the Cameron's Brewery Stand to the Neale Cooper Stand.
The ground is on Clarence Road, close to the town centre. This allows visitors access to a large range of pubs. The most popular pub for visiting fans is the Corner Flag, between the Cameron's Brewery Stand and the Rink End. The Victoria Suite is also at the ground but is for members only. The ground's location also makes parking easier as it is near several large car parks such as the Jackson's Landing and other retail parks. The ground is ½ mile from Hartlepool railway station.
Victoria Park is located next door to Morrisons and is 0.7 miles from the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. The ground is also located near the Hartlepool Marina which has an array of pubs and restaurants.
There is some street parking available near the ground, as well as some paid car parks.
In December 2004, local player David Wheater scored the winning goal in England under-18s' 1–0 friendly win over Scotland under-18s, played before 4,959 fans at Victoria Park.England under-18s lost 2–0 to their French counterparts at Victoria Park in September 2006, after two goals from David N'Gog. Danny Welbeck and Danny Drinkwater scored in England under-18s' 2–0 win over Austria in April 2008, before 2,306 supporters at Victoria Park.
The England women's national football team beat Sweden 4–0 in an August 2014 friendly at Victoria Park. It was the female England team's first game in the North East since a 1–1 draw with Italy at Roker Park, Sunderland in November 1995.Several of the English players came from the North East, including Jordan Nobbs whose father Keith had played 327 times for Hartlepool United. Fara Williams broke the national record by winning her 130th cap in the match.
Victoria Park is one of the town's most popular conferencing venues, offering a range of facilities to suit a variety of needs,with three different suites (The Centenary Suite, CK Suite and the Maidens Suite).
Victoria Park has also been used for employability training to help improve the town's unemployment figures and has an after-school programme which teaches children literacy and numeracy skills.
The ground was the home of Pitch Invasion Festival in May 2012. It saw around 5,000 people attend the two-day event which had live music across two stages and a small funfair.James Arthur played the festival with his band a few months before he won talent show The X Factor .
Hillsborough Stadium, is a 39,732-capacity association football stadium located in Owlerton, a north-western suburb of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. It has been the home of Sheffield Wednesday since its opening in 1899.
Arsenal Stadium was a football stadium in Highbury, London, which was the home of Arsenal Football Club between 6 September 1913 and 7 May 2006. It was popularly known as "Highbury" due to its location and was given the affectionate nickname of the "Home of Football" by the club.
The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England and the eighth and current home to Sunderland A.F.C. With space for 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light is the ninth largest stadium in England. The stadium primarily hosts Sunderland A.F.C. home matches. The stadium was named by chairman Bob Murray to reflect the coal mining heritage of the North East and the former Monkwearmouth Colliery site on which it stands. A Davy lamp monument stands at the entrance to reflect the coal mining industry that brought prosperity to the town.
The Victoria Ground was the home ground of Stoke City from 1878 until 1997, when the club relocated to the Britannia Stadium after 119 years. At the time of its demolition it was the oldest operational football league ground in the Football League.
Hartlepool United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Hartlepool, County Durham, England. The team competes in League Two, the fourth division of English football. They were founded in 1908 as Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company. Hartlepool have played home games at Victoria Park throughout their history. Their main rival is Darlington. The club's mascot, ’H'Angus the Monkey’, was elected mayor at the 2002 Hartlepool Borough Council election. The club also receives vocal support from Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling.
Edgeley Park is a football stadium in Edgeley, Stockport, England. Built for rugby league club Stockport RFC in 1901, by 1902, the rugby club was defunct and Stockport County Football Club moved in.
Hampden Park is a football stadium in the Mount Florida area of Glasgow, Scotland. The 51,866-capacity venue serves as the national stadium of football in Scotland. It is the normal home venue of the Scotland national football team and was the home of club side Queen's Park for over a century. Hampden regularly hosts the latter stages of the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup competitions and has also been used for music concerts and other sporting events, such as when it was reconfigured as an athletics stadium for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Hampden Park is the 55th-largest stadium in Europe and the 13th-largest stadium in the UK by capacity.
St James' Park is a football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Premier League club Newcastle United F.C. With a seating capacity of 52,305 seats, it is the eighth largest football stadium in England.
The Riverside Stadium is a football stadium in Middlesbrough, England, which has been the home of Middlesbrough since it opened in 1995. Its current capacity is 34,742, all seated, although there is provisional planning permission in place to expand that to 42,000 if required.
The Boleyn Ground, often referred to as Upton Park, was a football stadium located in Upton Park, east London. It was the home of West Ham United from 1904 to 2016.
Cyril Barry Knowles was a footballer who played full-back for Tottenham Hotspur and England. He was the son of the rugby league footballer; Cyril Knowles, and the older brother of fellow professional footballer Peter Knowles. He died of cancer on 30 August 1991 aged 47.
Griffin Park is a football ground in Brentford in the London Borough of Hounslow, England. It was the home ground of Brentford F.C. from its opening in September 1904 to August 2020. The ground is in a predominantly residential area and was known for being the only English league football ground to have a pub on each corner. The ground's name referred to the griffin featured in the logo of Fuller's Brewery, which at one point owned the orchard on which the stadium was built.
Ayresome Park was a football stadium in the town of Middlesbrough, North East England, and was the home of Middlesbrough F.C. from its construction in time for the 1903–04 season, until the Riverside Stadium opened in 1995, It was demolished in 1997 and replaced with housing.
Rodney Parade is a stadium in the city of Newport, South Wales, owned and operated by the Welsh Rugby Union. It is located on the east bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre. The ground is on Rodney Road, a short walk from the city's central bus and railway stations via Newport Bridge or Newport City footbridge. There is no spectator car park at the ground but a number of multi-storey car parks are nearby.
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.
A floodlight is a broad-beamed, high-intensity artificial light. They are often used to illuminate outdoor playing fields while an outdoor sports event is being held during low-light conditions. More focused kinds are often used as a stage lighting instrument in live performances such as concerts and plays.
Broadhall Way, known as the Lamex Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is an association football stadium in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. It has been the home ground of Stevenage since the early 1960s, and has a capacity of 7,800 people.
Huish Athletic Ground more commonly referred to as Huish was a football stadium located in Yeovil, Somerset, England. It was the second home ground of Yeovil Town Football Club, after the Pen Mill Athletic Ground which they left in 1920, until the club's departure for Huish Park in 1990.
Brian Honour is an English former footballer who made nearly 400 appearances in the Football League playing as a midfielder for Darlington and mainly Hartlepool United. He had a brief spell as joint caretaker manager of Hartlepool with Paul Baker in 1999, managed at non-league level, and set up his own coaching school.
Luke Thomas Armstrong is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Salford City.