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What Happened to Southampton FC’s Former Home, The Dell?

Southampton Football Club are often complimented for their state-of-the-art facilities, including the 32,000 seater St Mary’s stadium, but what ever happened to The Dell, the Saints’ former home between 1898 to 2001?

The mid-1990s was when the people of Southampton knew The Dell wouldn’t be around for much longer, the club chairman at the time, Rupert Lowe, announced plans to move to St Mary’s on the banks of the River Itchen.

The new ground has witnessed some extraordinary sites since being made available for the 2001-02 season, with two relegations, two promotions, and fourteen managers, but things seem to have changed since the takeover of Markus Liebherr in 2009.

Everything is all very well and rosy now with St Mary’s as a UEFA 4-star rated stadium, but what ever happened to The Dell?

The Dell was the first stadium to have permanent floodlighting installed and was the home to Southampton for 103 years, including some of the club’s finest moments – including a 1976 run which ended in a win at Wembley. At the end of the 2000-01 season it was time to say goodbye to The Dell and the fans decided to strip all the seats for memorabilia, there were even some fans taking advertisement boards home with them.

Saints legend Matthew Le Tissier said goodbye to The Dell in style by scoring a last minute volley against Arsenal to win the match 3-2. A week later, the final game had taken place and it was Uwe Rosler who scored the final goal at the ground.

Following The Dell being knocked down, a housing estate was built on the site that used to host some memorable matches, the apartment blocks on the site make up the names of former Southampton players. Le Tissier – The first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premier League – is one of the players with their names on the apartment blocks, along with Bobby Stokes, Ted Bates, Danny Wallace and Mick Channon.

Then: The Dell; Now: The new housing estate

The Dell had been redeveloped four times over its history and was iconic for the Milton Road Stands‘ wedge-like appearance. Prior to the Hillsborough disaster, The Dell once had a record attendance of over 31,000 people watch a single match, but due to the new obligations, the stadium was eventually restricted to a capacity of 15,200.

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  1. Dave

    May 3, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I watched Saints get relegated at the nearby Winston Pub.

    After the result I walked across the road and into the Dell complex. The Centre spot was still commemenrated.

    It seem a strange thing to do, but the funny thing is that I wasnt the only one

  2. Paul

    May 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Like many things in life, things move on. I’d only managed to go to a handful of games as a kid (being broke was a biggie for this), but as an adult going to St Mary’s is still special. Having a ST for League 1 and then the Championship brought back what football is really about! It’s not about the glamour fans, it’s about what is in the heart. When we were that far down it showed the City at its finest. Being rock bottom, on minus points and still getting 20,000 show up against Yeovil made me feel so proud. So while going past The Dell site brings back memories, it’s the people that keep things alive 🙂

  3. Pete

    May 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Agree with the above. This is a good read. I’m always curious as to what happens to old stadiums.

  4. Hoosiergunner

    May 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Interesting article. I’ve always been fascinated by the power of place… particularly how a place has changed over time. We cannot do this with soccer stadiums in the US, but I’ve enjoyed doing similar explorations of our baseball stadiums of yesteryear. Thanks for the write-up.

  5. Simon Burke

    May 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I’ve never had this confirmed but apparently one of the Dell stands is now at Stevenage FC. I attend Stevenage games when i get home every year and I can see that being true but would love to know for sure.

    • Neil Edwards

      November 8, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Sadly not true. All stands at The Dell reduced to rubble (including all the asbestos) RIP The Dell x

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