Club: Sunderland AFC | Opening: 1898 | Closing: 1997 | Final capacity: 22,500
Roker Park was from 1898 to 1997 the home of Sunderland AFC.
By the late 19th century Sunderland occupied a ground at Newcastle Road which was quickly becoming too small for Sunderland’s increasing crowds. A site was therefore selected for a new stadium and on the 10th of September 1898 Roker Park officially opened with a match against Liverpool (1-0).
Further developments to the ground were made in 1912 when the Roker End was concreted. About 50,000 people could fit in the stadium at that time. In 1929 a new Main Stand designed by Archibald Leitch was built.
The official capacity of Roker Park in the 1930s was 60,000, however in March 1933 a record attendance of 75,118 supporters visited an FA Cup tie between Sunderland and Derby County. A few years later a new stand was built at the Clock End.
The ground got extensively renovated for the 1966 World Cup with seats installed at the Clock End and a roof added to The Kop. During the World Cup three group matches and the quarter-final between the Soviet Union and Hungary (2-1) were played at the ground.
Even though further improvements were made during the 1970s, the stadium gradually deteriorated and lacked any expansion possibilities being hemmed in by housing. In its latter years capacity was severely reduced to a mere 22,500.
In 1996 construction started of the Stadium of Light at a site a few hundred yards away from Roker Park. The Stadium of Light got completed in 1997 and Roker Park subsequently demolished and replaced by housing estates.