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From a cabbage patch to world class Rugby Stadium

January 17, 2018

The unmistakable Home of England Rugby since 1909; Twickenham Stadium has been in everyone’s minds (and hearts). If you’re anything like us – you might have pondered where it all began? What stood in its place 100-odd years ago?

We’ve searched the deepest darkest corners of the internet to find the answer. So get your notebooks out and your pens at the ready – you never know when you’ll need to remember this for the next pub quiz!  

The Glorious History of Twickenham Stadium:

1906 – Tired of renting stadiums, the RFU (Rugby Football Union) decided to find somewhere they could call home.  The found the perfect spot of land in the town of Twickenham but, there was one teeny problem. It was being used as a cabbage patch!  

1909 – The first every game of Rugby was played at the stadium; Richmond took on the Harlequins on 2nd October.  

1910 – The stadium now complete, 20,000 spectators crammed in to watch England beat Wales in the 5 Nations. Twickenham’s opening sparked a ‘golden era’ for English Rugby.  

1918 – Rugby, amongst most other things, was interrupted with the break out of WWI. Seven of the 1913/14 squad lost their lives in the war. The stadium, however, survived – it went back to its agricultural roots as an area to graze cattle, sheep and horses.  

1920 – The two existing stands were enlarged and a third was added to the Stadium – taking capacity up to 43,000. The extra support for the English fans seemed to do the trick, as they dominated the 5 Nations all through the ‘20’s.

1927 – radio history was made. The first ever rugby match was broadcast live on BBC Radio from inside the stadium.    

1930’s – Prince Alexander Obolensky or, as he is better known, The Flying Prince, scored two of the best tries Twickenham has ever seen. We love him so much we named a box after him!

History of Twickenham Stadium

History of Twickenham Stadium

1944 – WWII and the devastation of the nation. Twickenham stadium was hit by a V-2 rocket and many more brilliant players were killed, including The Flying Prince, Obolensky.  

1988 – Fast forward a few decades; at a time when an English try was rarely heard of, Chris Oti scored a memorable hat-trick against Ireland. It was also the match where the Benedictine School began the tradition of chanting ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’.

Twickenham Stadium, 7 May 1988

History of Twickenham Stadium

Twickenham Stadium, 2 October 1999

 History of Twickenham Stadium

2004 – The stadium was redeveloped to create the world-class facility we know today. With a capacity of 82,000, the redevelopment introduced a four-star Marriott Hotel, a performing arts complex and a health and leisure club.

The South Stand being demolished, 10 July 2005

History of Twickenham Stadium

History of Twickenham Stadium

History of Twickenham Stadium

But excitingly, that's not where our story ends. 2018 will be another momumental year for Twickenham as the stadium will see the arrival of the redeveloped East Stand. 

The East Stand's redevelopment brings together four truly new world-class facilities, each with its own distinctive and exceptional design, appealing to a wide audience of fans.

Autumn 2018 will also see some incredible fixtures, including a return of the All-Blacks, and fierce competition agaisnt Australia, South Africa and Japan in the Quilter Internationals.

And there you have it; the story of the Home of England Rugby. A world-class stadium and not a cabbage patch in sight.