Writer: Matt Wilson
Date:Thursday January 10 2008
Hull City`s former home is currently being demolished as the works to knock down the clubs former stadium, Boothferry Park, started on Tuesday.
Boothferry Park opened in August 1946, a whole seventeen years after the initial proposals had been made due to a combination of financial difficulties and the use of the Boothferry Park site for repairing tanks during World War II. The opening of the stadium finally took place with the Lord Mayor leading the opening ceremonies as Hull won their race against time as Lincoln City became the first visitors to Boothferry Park.
That figure was raised to 40,000 by the time Middlesbrough visited for a F.A Cup match two years later whilst the game versus Manchester United in February of 1949 saw the club achieve its highest ever attendance, with the 55,019 still a record to this day. That match also provided the team with one of its nicknames as the "ferrymen" became adopted due to the overwhelming size of the crowd that night. With so many in attendance, ferries had to be used to disperse the crowds as the street surrounding Boothferry Park became clogged with fans.
Developing the stadium wasn`t the only priority in the early years with a train station also being build behind the old East stand, known as Kempton. "Boothferry Halt" opened in 1951, with six trains operating on the first night which saw Everton visit Boothferry Park. The railway line linked Paragon Station, Hull`s main station with Boothferry Park in a move that would transport Hull fans for years to come.
The ground implemented its famous floodlights in October of 1964. Initially, two gantries had been built, housing 96 lamps in what was the envy of many other football league clubs. However, as technology swiftly moved on, so did Boothferry Park`s floodlights and a six pylon system costing £50,000 was installed. The lights were certainly turned on in the first match to be played under the pylons; with four of the six operational on the night Hull thrashed Barnsley 7-0, with Chris Chilton netting four goals. The pylons also went on to become the highest in Europe as Hull City continued to upgrade their stadium.
Gradual maintenance work and re-development continued but not at the extent of the stadium`s initial seasons. Indeed, as time went on, and the club moved into the '90`s, the stadium`s age started to show. With maintenance not a key issue, the club received another of its nicknames with the ground known as "Fer Ark" due to the missing lights on the main Boothferry Park sign.
The final match at Boothferry Park took place in 2001 as Darlington were the last team to visit the KC and finish Hull`s history by beating the Tigers 1-0 before they moved to their current home, the KC Stadium on the site of another former stadium, The Circle.
With the ground having been vacant for five years, demolition work, which has been long overdue in the eyes of the Council, finally begun on Tuesday with the old South Stand currently bearing the brunt of demolition works. Demolition is expected to continue over the coming weeks as they clear the area for re-development with 350 flats due to be built over the next year on the old Boothferry Park site.
This week is a sad one for many City fans with many memories being lost with the demolition of Boothferry Park. However, we want to know what you remember about Boothferry Park, whether that be a memorable player, match or incident. We`ve had many highs but also several lows in our history at Boothferry Park but what stands out for you.
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Date:Thursday January 10 2008
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