Tuesday, 30 August 2016

70th Anniversary of Boothferry Park

31 August 2016 is the 70th anniversary of the opening of Boothferry Park. Whether it’s football, rugby, basket ball or show jumping (yes, basket ball and showing jumping has featured at Boothferry Park!) the ground holds many memories. If you have not been, the chances are you know someone that has. It would, therefore, be a shame to simply let the memory of Boothferry Park pass by without taking a moment to remember this old ground. Boothferry Park maybe gone, but it’s certainly not forgotten.

Its origins can be traced back to 1929 when the land located on the corner of Boothferry Road and North Road was acquired by the club in 1929. With the help of a £3,000 loan from the Football Association, work began on its construction during the early part of the 1930s. Progress was slow with work eventually halted. An additional £6,000 loan was taken from the Football Association with the aim of completing the ground ready for the start of the season in 1940. The outbreak of war, however, saw the development of Boothferry Park stall once again.

Artist impression the proposed, completed Boothferry Park,including the railway platform (known as Boothferry Park Halt) from Hull City AFC’s first match programme at Boothferry Park, 31 August 1946 [L. DSHC/5/1]. 

After the war things were more promising. A group of businessmen, headed by Harry Needler, bought the club and announced new plans for Boothferry Park, which included the capacity to be increased to 80,000 and the construction of its own rail platform. The date for the opening of the stadium was set for the beginning of the 1946/47 season, and although not fully complete (only the West stand was complete at this time) the first game was played on 31 August 1946 against Lincoln City. It ended in a 0-0 draw in front of 25,586 spectators. The match programme for this game available to view at [L DSHC/5/1].

Neil Chadwick
History Centre Assistant

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