Newcastle Road, Football Ground
30 Jun 2022
Sunderland AFC (1886 - 1898)
1886-98. Now built over. The Newcastle Road pitch is recorded on an oil painting (12 feet x 8.5 feet in size) by Thomas Hemy called 'Team of All Talents'. It shows Sunderland AFC playing Aston Villa on 2nd January 1895 (4-4 draw). It is believed to be the earliest painting of a professional football match. Sunderland commissioned the painting to celebrate winning the League in 1892 and 1893. They won again in April 1895. The terraces were not as steep as shown on the painting. Straw is shown piled up at the touchlines. This was used to protect the pitch from frost. Sunderland were elected to the First Division in 1890 and won the Championship three times during their first five seasons. In 1891 a record number of 21,000 people watched a match. However the ground was not deemed big enough. In 1896 a limited company was formed to fund a move. Roker Park was built in 1898. The Newcastle Road ground was built over by houses (Netherburn Road and Newlington Court). In 1903 Hemy's painting was offered as a raffle prize but never claimed. It was re-hung at Roker Park and now is displayed in the Stadium of Light.
NEHL - Sunderland's first ever FA Cup tie was hosted here - a 2-1 victory over Newcastle West End FC in 1886.
Sunderland's first international game was also played here. England beat Wales 4-1 in 1891, with an attendance of 21000 (higher than the actual attendance allowed).
Ordnance Survey, 1890s
"A Corner Kick", Thomas Henry (1895)
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Historic Environment Records
Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past
Tyne and Wear: Sitelines
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