England take on Liechtenstein in their penultimate Euro 2004 qualifier at Old Tr
England take on Liechtenstein in their penultimate Euro 2004 qualifier at Old Trafford tomorrow night. TheFA.com takes a closer look at the home of Manchester United...
With Wembley currently being rebuilt, Old Trafford has taken on the mantle as England's biggest football stadium with a capacity of nigh on 70,000.
Built in 1909 it cost a whopping £60,000 from the designs of Scotsman Archibald Leitch, who was also the mind behind stands at Hampden Park, Ibrox and White Hart Lane, and its first game in 1910 was witnessed by a then capacity crowd of 80,000. Since then however, the capacity has gone down, but the stadium itself has grown and grown.
Over the years, more seats and roofing were added gradually taking the capacity lower, and after the Taylor Report required stadiums to be all-seater in the early 1990s, Old Trafford was reduced to 44,000. Soon after, building work began all around the ground. In 1996, the huge three-tiered North Stand was finished. Holding 26,000 at a cost of £19m, the stand is also home to the United Museum, Trophy Room and the Red Cafe restaurant.
The builders were back at Old Trafford for much of 2000. Firstly the East Stand had a second tier added and the Manchester United Megastore, taking the capacity to 61,000, then later that year they were up the other end when a second tier was also added to the famous Stretford end and the current 68,210 capacity was reached.
As well as hosting many huge domestic and European matches involving Manchester United, The Theatre of Dreams has also staged many other important fixtures. In 1915, Old Trafford staged The FA Cup Final between Sheffield United and Chelsea, four years after Bradford City had lifted The Cup there following a replay win over Newcastle. It was then given another opportunity for an FA Cup Final replay when Chelsea and Leeds drew at Wembley in 1970. In recent years Old Trafford has become a regular choice for the semi-finals and this year will be its 15th.
One of the venues for the World Cup in 1966 and Euro '96, England also sealed a place to Korea and Japan after a 2-2 draw there in their final Group 9 qualifier in October 2001. Finally, Old Trafford hosted another of the world's biggest fixtures last season - the UEFA Champions League Final, which saw Milan beat Juventus on penalties.
England at Old Trafford
Old Trafford - The Stat Pack
First Match: Manchester United v Liverpool, League Championship, 19 February 1910
Record Attendance: 76,962, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Grimsby Town, FA Cup Semi-Final, 25 March 1939
Record Club Attendance: 70,504, Manchester United v Aston Villa, Division 1, 27 December 1920
Record Receipts: £1,320,929.99 v Olympiakos, UEFA Champions league, Group G, 23 October 2001
Pitch Measurements: 116yds x 76yds