31/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 12:02

Maine Road: The community Manchester City left behind

Category: England

Published: 21st May 2011 09:10:49

"When I think about it, it was the stadium that brought us all together and now that atmosphere has gone."

Renee Lukes, 83, was a neighbour of Manchester City for 30 years, living right opposite their old Maine Road ground.

She can still vividly remember the day the club brought home the League Cup in 1976, its last piece of silverware before this year's FA Cup success.

She said: "The last time they won, they actually came down my street in an open top coach with the cup.

"Everyone here was so excited."

Yet, when the Blues parade the FA Cup on Monday, they will not be passing near Ms Lukes' front door.

Instead they will head from central Manchester to their home at Eastlands - about three miles away on the other side of the city centre.

The club spent 80 years at Maine Road in the heart of Moss Side in Manchester, surrounded by red-brick terraced houses until its move in 2003.

Ms Lukes said: "Fathers would take their boys and girls to matches, it was a real family club."

However, the stadium was also known for hosting live music concerts.

A keen music fan, Ms Lukes said: "I remember when David Bowie played his Glass Spider Tour at the stadium.

"We all took our drinks and our tables and chairs outside and we sang and drank."

Despite the happy memories of the past Ms Lukes said: "I don't know anybody anymore, it's all changed, quite a few people left when the stadium closed down."

However, not all of the local residents have fond memories of Maine Road.

William Diqua, 64, said that when City played at home, the alleyways and passages that led to Maine Road swarmed with supporters.

"On match days, the pure filth that was left behind was unbelievable - beer cans, empty bottles, chip papers.

"I think its changed actually for the better, you don't get the people hanging around anymore.

"A lot of people were happy when the stadium closed."

Maine Road was demolished in 2004, a year after it closed its doors to fans. Part of the demolition team was Rob Hale, a 24-year-old Manchester City season ticket holder.

"When we first started work here, I thought: 'Oh God, I used to watch City here,' and to see it first get knocked down was hard.

"But City are moving up and so has their stadium."

With up to 35,000 supporters gathering each match day, local businesses in Moss Side thrived.

Byron Gordon ran a makeshift car park on a piece of land he rented from Mosscares Housing Association (MHA).

He said: "People from out of town wanted to know their car was going to be there when they were going home, so they didn't gamble parking on the streets."

Mr Gordon stopped renting the land after the ground closed in 2003 and he said: "MHA have built houses on it now."

Ashok Kumar ran the local newsagent on Claremont Road for 28 years serving fans, staff and even players.

He said: "In the end we lost something, business and atmosphere, but hopefully with the new houses it will be the same again."

In Maine Road's place, modern white fronted houses and apartments are being built.

Although the former ground remains a building site, Sue Thornley from Prospect Homes said: "Roughly 62 houses are already occupied by a complete mixed community with different backgrounds and professions."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. Maine Road: The community Manchester City left behind [Online] (Updated 21st May 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/155601/Maine-Road-The-community-Manchester-City-left-behind [Accessed 31st Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • UK government launches new guidance on delivery charges

    The government has unveiled new principles aimed at tackling "ridiculous" delivery charges faced by shoppers in remote parts of the UK.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Experts call for new Scottish towns

    Scotland may need up to eight new towns to help avert a potential housing crisis, a special commission has said.
  • Facebook expands Africa push

    It's the new frontier for the internet - connecting billions of people in Africa and Asia who have yet to sample the delights of the digital world. Through an organisation called Internet.org, Facebook has put itself at the forefront of this mission.
  • UK government launches new guidance on delivery charges

    The government has unveiled new principles aimed at tackling "ridiculous" delivery charges faced by shoppers in remote parts of the UK.
  • Two burnt in Jersey Post chemical leak

    Two members of staff at Jersey Post were taken to hospital with minor burns after a package leaked chemicals.