09 May 2018
St. Modwen Homes has joined forces with members of the Stoke City Old Boys Association (SCOBA) to launch a campaign to collect people’s memories of the former Victoria Ground site in Stoke-on-Trent.
Home to Stoke City Football Club between 1878 and 1997, Victoria Ground has now been transformed into a new housing development by St. Modwen Homes called Victoria Park. Earlier this month, footballing legends from SCOBA opened the doors to the first show homes at the development.
Now, in a bid to keep the memories of Victoria Ground alive, St. Modwen Homes is working with former football players and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to create a book of photographs and stories about the football ground.
As part of this, the housebuilder will be including memories from the local community within the book and is calling for people to submit their entries. Everyone that submits a memory will be in with the chance to win either a £100 voucher to use at the Orange Tree restaurant, a Royol Doulton dinnerware set or a Fortnum and Mason hamper.
Stoke City legend Denis Smith, who played for the Club between 1968 and 1982 and made 493 appearances for the Club, was one of the first to submit his memory for the book. He said: “The first memories I have of the Victoria Ground were being in the Boys Enclosure watching the team from about 8 years of age, and then when you were about 12 you were allowed to go into the Boothen End with the big boys. To go from watching the team in the stands to getting on the pitch for the first time was something pretty special.
“The early 70s was a special time for the club, we had an excellent team who all worked hard together, and we were very unfortunate not to claim a league title at that time. However we had FA Cup semi-finals and winning the League Cup in 1972 for my hometown club will always be a highlight of my playing career.
“The Victoria Ground was a large part of our success, and the crowd there made a huge difference. The atmosphere when you got 40,000 plus people into the stadium was immense, and that is one of the reasons why the Victoria Ground will always be a special place for me.”
Two copies of the book will be created; one to be kept at the development and the other will be donated to Stoke Council for the public to enjoy.
Dave Smith, Managing Director at St. Modwen Homes, said: “We’re passionate about keeping the history of Victoria Ground alive at Victoria Park and want this development to be somewhere that people walk past and remember the good times they had watching Stoke City play. As such, we’ll be including markers such as the penalty spot and will have this memories book on show for people to read through when they visit. We’ll also be working with SCOBA on a number of other initiatives and it’s great to have these footballing legends be so supportive of Victoria Park.
“Being from the local area myself, I can’t wait to hear people’s memories from Victoria Ground. I’m sure it’s going to make a great book that will be a real keepsake for the community.”
Cllr David Conway, leader of the city council, said: “It’s been a key priority for the city council to bring this important site back into use and it was very pleasing to see the first homes unveiled last month. We’ve worked closely with St Modwen Homes to get things moving and the positive response the development has received from the local community has been extremely encouraging.
“The long-awaited regeneration of this site is another sign that Stoke-on-Trent is on the up and highlights the confidence developers have in the city right now.”
People can submit their memories and photographs by emailing email@example.com or via the Victoria Park by St. Modwen Homes Facebook page.
Two show homes have now been unveiled at Victoria Park; a two bedroom Alban home and a three bedroom Lawrence house type. Prices start from £149,995 for a two bedroom home.
SCOBA was set up in 2009 to reunite former Stoke City football players from all eras. As well as reigniting friendships and offering support, SCOBA also hosts a number of events to support and raise funds for local charities.
Located off Boothen Old Road, the Marketing Suite at Victoria Park is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm, and 12pm to 7.30pm on Thursdays. For more information call 0844 243 4516 or email VictoriaPark@StModwenHomes.co.uk. Alternatively visit www.stmodwenhomes.co.uk or follow the housebuilder on Twitter at @StModwenHomes and on the Victoria Park Facebook page.
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