Address: 54.564498, -1.246935
Site Type: Football Ground
Ayresome Park, opened in 1903, was Middlesbrough Football Club's first ground when joining the professional Football league. Before this, the team actually played at a cricket ground on Linthorpe Road (the ground is long gone, north of Ayresome Gardens where Clifton Street is nowadays) since their inception in 1876, but the the team were still amateur at this point.
Another team called Middlesbrough Ironopolis were actually the biggest team in the 1890s. . They won three league titles and even got to the FA Cup Quarter Finals! Ironopolis played somewhere called the Paradise Ground, which was just to the south east of the ground. Sadly the team didn't last too long and dissolved in 1894, leaving Middlesbrough FC as the town's reigning team.
Ayresome Park has had some huge matches since it was built. Just after the war in 1949, Middlesbrough played Newcastle and over 50,000 people turned up to watch their team play, which was about 1/8th of Middlesbrough's whole population! Three matches were also played in 1966 for the World Cup, involving the Soviet Union, North Korea, Italy and Chile.
Middlesbrough FC actually ran into some trouble during the 80s, when they were running out of money. For their first home game in the 1986-87 season, they actually had to play at Hartlepool because they were so in debt they were locked out of their own ground. It took new owners and a takeover to get the team back on their feet.
The last game played at the ground was against Luton in 1995, and was coincidentally the one where the team secured the Division One title (now the Championship) and made its way into the Premier League. After this, the Riverside Stadium was Middlesbrough's new home up until the present day.
The ground was really nestled in between the houses, hence why it was demolished!