A Classic Football Stadium : The Dell 20 Years Anniversary
On the 19th May 2001 Southampton’s fans said goodbye to the stadium that had been the home for their club for 104 years.
The Dell had a capacity of 15,000 people however on 8 October 1969 the attendance record was broken with 31,044 spectators watching Saints lose 3-0 to a Manchester United side that included legends Bobby Charlton and George Best while being managed by Sir. Matt Busby.
Later in The Dells history it would become a cursed stadium for the dominant United team in the nineties as Southampton defeated Sir Alex Ferguson’s team three times in a row.
The Stadium was the smallest premier league stadium and it was clear that if Southampton were to be a self sufficient club and consistently retain premier league football a larger capacity stadium was needed.
The last match at The Dell was against Arsenal and was predictably dramatic as Southampton beat Arsenal 3-2 with an 89th volley which was suitably scored by club legend Matt Le Tissier.
Ex Head of Media at the club Graham Hiley highlighted the emotion he felt when Le Tissier scored the winning goal stating, “In all my career covering the Saints that was the only time I was unable to speak.”
An emotional Hiley continued by saying “I literally couldn’t speak for about a minute it was so emotional with the crowd, the look on his face, what it meant, the joy around the ground and it was one of those moments that will live with you forever.”
The Dell was to be demolished as Southampton moved home to Saint Mary’s as housing estates were built on the iconic stadium.
The history of the Dell still lives on as the apartment blocks that have been built bear the names of former players Bobby Stokes, Ted Bates, Danny Wallace and Mick Channon.
By Max Timms
Link to Package of The Dell’s 20th Anniversary – https://youtu.be/baZm-pDONwA
Link to Instagram trailer of The Dells’s 20th Anniversary – https://www.instagram.com/p/CPBEPOTJYeO/?utm_medium=copy