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Goldstone Ground

Goldstone Ground

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The Goldstone Ground was a football stadium
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

 and home ground of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.
Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club are an English association football club based in the coastal city of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex. They currently play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system....

 between 1902 and 1997. The club currently plays at American Express Community Stadium
Falmer Stadium
Falmer Stadium, known for sponsorship purposes as the American Express Community Stadium, or The Amex, is a football stadium near the village of Falmer in Brighton and Hove and is the home of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.. The stadium was handed over from the developers to the club on 31 May 2011...

, a stadium on the outskirts of the city, following the move from their temporary stadium
Withdean Stadium
Withdean Stadium is an athletics stadium in Withdean, a suburb of Brighton. Between 1999 and 2011 it was the home ground of football team Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.....

 in the Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

 suburb of Withdean
Withdean
Withdean is a former village, now part of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex. The area was originally named in the 12th century, when it was called Wictedene. The area was historically farm land but has been developed, mainly in the 1920s and 1930s, with a mix of detached, semi-detached and mid-rise...

.

After the sale of the ground to private developers, the area was changed to a row of warehouse style retail shops, along with a "drive-through" Burger King
Burger King
Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain...

 outlet.

History


The Goldstone Ground stood on Old Shoreham Road, Hove
Hove
Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast...

 opposite Hove Park
Hove Park
Hove Park is a park within the English city of Brighton & Hove.The park is very popular with local residents and dog walkers throughout the year. A paved path goes all round the park, approximately 1.89 kilometres in length, and is often used by walkers and runners. There are also several paved...

 in a partly residential area. The area was previously part of Goldstone Farm and was first used for a football match by Hove F.C. on 7 September 1901. Albion played there for the first time on 22 February 1902, and it became the club's permanent home the next season.

The main West Stand was largely built in 1958 and consisted of seating and terraces. The South Stand was originally built in 1949 and served family spectators. The North Stand was built in 1984 and consisted solely of terraces. The East Stand was formed of uncovered terraces. Floodlights were first installed in 1961.
The ground also hosted football games for the 1948 Olympic Games
Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics
The 1948 Olympic Games title was won by Sweden, managed by Englishman George Raynor.-Summary:Sweden, whose Football Association forbade professionalism within domestic football, ran out as winners and only used 12 players throughout the entire tournament but there were exceptional performances put...

, one of only two grounds outside London (the other being Fratton Park
Fratton Park
Fratton Park is a football stadium in the English city-port of Portsmouth. It has been the home of professional club Portsmouth F.C. since its construction in 1898.-Description:...

).
On 23 September 1992, a certain 17-year-old by the name of David Beckham
David Beckham
David Robert Joseph Beckham, OBE is an English footballer who plays midfield for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer, having previously played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, and A.C...

 made his professional début at this stadium, coming on as a substitute for Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 in a League Cup Second Round tie.

Closure and sale


The last game at The Goldstone was held on 26 April 1997, in which Brighton beat Doncaster Rovers
Doncaster Rovers F.C.
Doncaster Rovers Football Club is an English football club, based at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The team currently competes in the Football League Championship, after being promoted via the League One play-offs in 2008, and have remained there since.The club was founded in...

 1-0. The result lifted Brighton off the bottom of Division Three and meant that a draw or win in their visit to Hereford United
Hereford United F.C.
Hereford United Football Club is an English professional football club based in the city of Hereford. Founded in 1924, they are competing in Football League Two in the 2011–12 season. Hereford have played at Edgar Street for their entire history and are nicknamed 'The Whites' or 'The Lilywhites',...

 the following weekend would prevent relegation to the Conference
Football Conference
The Football Conference is a football league in England which consists of three divisions called Conference National, Conference North, and Conference South. Some Football Conference clubs are fully professional, such as Luton Town, but most of them are semi-professional...

 and preserve their Football League status. Brighton went on to draw the game 1-1 and secure survival - thus avoiding becoming the first former members of the top flight or the first major cup finalists to be relegated to the Conference.

Between 1902 and 1997 the ground had admitted 22.9 million supporters to 2,174 games. The largest attendance at the Goldstone was 36,747 when the Albion played Fulham
Fulham F.C.
Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

 on 27 December 1958.

The ground was sold by the board, who were trying to clear the club's mounting debts in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy, although no alternative football ground had been lined up, and without consulting the fans. The then chairman, Bill Archer, aimed to profit from the sale of the lucrative development land on which the Goldstone stood. A ground share with Portsmouth
Portsmouth F.C.
Portsmouth Football Club is an English football club based in the city of Portsmouth. The club is nicknamed Pompey. Portsmouth's home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the club's formation in 1898. The team currently play in the Football League Championship after being relegated from...

 never materialised and the club eventually arranged a ground-share with Gillingham
Gillingham F.C.
Gillingham Football Club is an English professional football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, they play their home matches at the Priestfield Stadium...

 at their Priestfield Stadium
Priestfield Stadium
Priestfield Stadium is a football stadium in Gillingham, Kent...

 over 70 miles from Brighton.

The sale of the club's stadium provoked two pitch invasions by angry fans in protest against it. A pitch invasion late in the 1995-96 season
1995-96 in English football
- Premiership :Newcastle United were 12 points clear at the top of Manchester United, but Alex Ferguson's relatively young and inexperienced side overhauled them during the second half of the season to win the title....

, when the Seagulls were relegated to Division Three, resulted in a suspended sentence of three points deducted and a game played behind closed doors for the club. A similar protest on 1 October 1996 in a league game against Lincoln City
Lincoln City F.C.
Lincoln City Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Lincoln, Lincolnshire. The club are currently members of the Conference National in 2011–12 following relegation from the Football League....

 meant that a Football League hearing on 9 December that year saw them deducted two league points. The club later appealed against the points deduction but their appeal was rejected, although ultimately they still managed to avoid relegation from the Football League by a narrow margin that year.

The Goldstone Ground was sold to property developers and it has since been redeveloped as a retail park.