Football stadia in the United Kingdom are largely revered as churches among fans, but there are those destined for hellish fates.
There are a wide variety of reasons why a club might stop playing at their home venue, whether due to relocation, bankruptcy, or something more sinister. Dozens of clubs have upped sticks for one reason or another over the decades, leaving major developments behind without much thought for what comes after.
Some sites are swiftly snapped up as pieces of prime real estate, while others are left abandoned for years at a time. Eventually, grounds that once bustled by the thousands become ghost towns – or in some cases scrap yards and superstores.
Daily Star Sport breezes through some of the most spookish settings left to the elements, with some still left untouched to this day. Millmoor – Rotherham
Rotherham called Millmoor their home for a little more than a century before the Millers moved on in 2008. However, many fans of the club still consider the predecessor their ‘spiritual home’, having first housed the club during its early days as Rotherham County.
(Image: Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) 1 of 12 Millmoor – Rotherham
Fast-forward to today and the ground paints a very different picture, with overgrown plant life and empty seats aplenty. Millmoor has been put to use as a site for youth football in recent years, while scrap merchants C F Booth have also capitalised on the vacant lot.
(Image: Getty Images) 2 of 12 McCain Stadium – Scarborough
Never ones to miss out on a bargain, German supermarket chain Lidl snapped up the site at McCain Stadium, which once hosted games for Scarborough FC. The ‘Theatre of Chips’ once hosted the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea before permanently closing in 2007, but it wasn’t until a decade later that Lidl opened shop.
(Image: TWITTER/@LOSTSTADIUMS) 3 of 12 Buckingham Road – Aylsebury
Once host to Bobby Robson’s England, Buckingham Road has plummeted from those dizzying heights and is now slumming it on the stadium scale. The former home of Southern League side Aylesbury United more closely resembles a junkyard these days, with no chance of the Three Lions rocking up again anytime soon.
(Image: Getty Images) 4 of 12 Buckingham Road – Aylsebury
Following short-lived plans to renovate the site into property, murmurs of Aylesbury moving back into the ground have done the rounds. The stadium will need one heck of a clean-up before it’s fit for purpose, however, with battered railings around the field and stands consumed by shrubbery.
(Image: Getty Images) 5 of 12 The Valley – Charlton Athletic
Fans parting on the pitch is usually the sign of a thriving club, but the opposite was true for Charlton Athletic after The Valley closed down in 1985. The stadium fell into disrepair d
uring their seven years in exile, with photos emerging of kids playing on the once-hallowed turf and a bonfire on the turf. (Image: Getty Images) 6 of 12 The Valley – Charlton Athletic
The Valley looked far from its best during that period and was left open to the elements before being reopened in 1992. Since returning to the ground, Charlton have ventured back to England’s top flight and are now looking comfortable in their League One surroundings.
(Image: Getty Images) 7 of 12 York Street – Boston United
After more than a century of being based at York Street, Boston United left the venue in 2020 to set up shop down the road at the
Boston Community Stadium. For a time, however, the club’s old accommodation was left vacant following their departure during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Image: Railway Athletic) 8 of 12 York Street – Boston United
After a year without an occupant, York Street found new tenants when Railway Athletic moved in for the 2021/22 campaign. The union didn’t last, however, and the ground is once again without a permanent resident.
(Image: Railway Athletic) 9 of 12 Boothferry Park – Hull City
Hull City spent just short of 80 years at Boothferry Park before moving to the newly built KC Stadium – now the MKM Stadium – in 2002. Portions of the site were sold to pave the way for Iceland and Kwik Save to open shops on the property, but the entire ground was demolished by 2011.
(Image: EMPICS Sport) 10 of 12 Ship Lane – Thurrock FC
Ship Lane, the former home of ex-Isthmian League side Thurrock FC, was put on the market after the team folded in 2018. The Fleet spent their entire 33-year existence at the ground after being founded in 1985 and won their final home fixture prior to shutting up shop.
(Image: Rightmove) 11 of 12 Ship Lane – Thurrock FC
The stadium is due to receive a new lease of life, however, after Grays Athletic advanced with its bid to take over the ground as their new home.
(Image: Rightmove) 12 of 12
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