British Stadium Tours and Sport Venues

British Stadium

Have you ever thought of visiting a famous British sporting venue on a non-match day? You’d be surprised at just how much you can learn and what there is to see. As well as nosing around dressing rooms, gazing at coveted trophies and experiencing the glory of the ground, there are fascinating facts to be learned - from Shakespeare to stage wizardry...

A few things you can’t learn from watching sport

The first televised live coverage of a football match was an Arsenal practice game in 1937. It was played at their then stadium – Highbury.
Arsenal Stadium Tour & Museum

The home of English rugby, Twickenham Stadium started off as a humble cabbage patch.
Twickenham Rugby Museum & Stadium Tourcabbage

Did you know? If it wasn’t for a dog bite in 1904, Chelsea’s Stadium Stamford Bridge may well have been relocated. Businessman Gus Mears was on the verge of selling the land on Stamford Bridge following a lucrative offer. His colleague Frederick Parker staunchly supported the club remaining where it was, but during a stroll of the grounds Parker was told he was wasting his time. As the two walked on, Mears' dog suddenly bit Parker - drawing blood - but Parker merely shrugged off the attack. Mears was impressed, telling Parker he would now trust his judgement over others.
Chelsea Stadium Tours

Although unsubstantiated, it is a theory that rugby was invented when ‘bad loser’ William Webb Ellis got fed-up during a game of football and picked up the ball and started to run with it.

Tottenham Hotspur’s name stems from Shakespeare. Harry Hotspur was a character with a fiery reputation in Henry IV Part 1. He was based on Sir Henry Percy of Northumberland – an aristocratic family who owned large pieces of land in the Tottenham area.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Tour

‘You cannot be serious’ is probably one of the most memorable Wimbledon moments in recent years:

When he’s not commentating, John McEnroe now “haunts” a changing room in the historic venue’s museum. Using the illusionary stage-technique called Pepper’s Ghost, McEnroe ‘appears’ talking tennis and some of his legendary games.
Wimbledon Tennis Museum & Tour

Until 1864 when the first grass-mower was bought, the wickets at Lord’s Cricket Ground were prepared by allowing sheep to graze on the grass.
You can visit Lord's Cricket ground on a London Pass

For fun: Fans at Gillingham were subjected to celery searches in 1996. During the chant of a rather obscene song, a craze of waving celery sticks had begun. Anyone caught in possession of the vegetable was threatened with a life ban.

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