Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard


September 2015

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wembley Stadium (new)

Work first began on the new Wembley Stadium in 2003 to replace the famous old venue that had seen so many wonderful days and held so many happy memories to so many.

The initial plan was for the old stadium to be demolished in 2000 with new one being ready for 2003, but a series of financial and legal battles delayed things.

The stadium was designed by HOK Sport, which included the work of Sir Norman Foster with engineers Mott MacDonald and was built by Australian company Brookfield Multiplex. The stadium was funded by Sport England, Wembley National Stadium Ltd, the FA, The Government Department for Media Culture and Sport and The London Development Agency.

Originally it was proposed that the stadium would also be able to stage athletics, but after many hearings and consultations, this was vetoed. In 2004 Brent Council unveiled plans to regenerate the whole area into a new Wembley City. The Wembley Conference Centre and multi storey car park was demolished and the Arena was upgraded.

Delays during construction were caused through disputes over the arch as well as contractual and safety issues. Opening dates were put back on several occasions, much to the embarassment of the FA and Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn.

The stadium was handed over to the FA on the 9th March 2007. Residents of the Borough of Brent were admitted to a test event on Saturday 17th March with England Under 21s playing a game with a reduced capacity to satisfy the safety certificates.

A statue of Bobby Moore was unveiled on Friday 11th May overlooking th stadium approach with the FA Trophy Final between Stevenage Borough and Kidderminster Harriers being played the following day. before Wembley Stadium was officially opened on Saturday 19th May 2007 for the FA Cup Final, which saw Chelsea defeat Manchester United 1-0 with a Didier Drogba goal.

The first full international at the new stadium saw a 1-1 draw between England and Brazil on the 1st June 2007. Germany became the first foreign national side to defeat England there the following August.

The stadium became home to the Football League Play Off Finals and FA Cup semi finals, The League Cup Final, FA Trophy Final, FA Vase Final as well as all full England international

As well as football Wembley also began to host an annual regular season NFL (American football) match and an annual motor festival as well as many music concerts.

In 2011 the stadium was chosen as venue for the Champions League Final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United. Barca put on such an incredible display that it was felt that it could take many years before it was bettered. The 2013 final of the same competition will return to Wembley, such was the previous staging so successful.

To read a full stadium description, go to the page on Wembley Stadium (new) My Visits.

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