SMITH OF THE STAR: 150 years of Bramall Lane

Old Cricket pavilion during work on South Stand in 1970s
Old Cricket pavilion during work on South Stand in 1970s
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1854: Michael Ellison, Sheffield CC chairman, leads a meeting at the Adelphi Hotel where Duke of Norfolk allows 8.5 acre cricket ground on Bramall 
Lane away from industry smoke.

1855: First public event – a cricket match between teams made up of players from six of the leading local cricket clubs.

1862: First football match. Committee viewed football with distaste but economics meant they had to consider other sports to guarantee income. Sheffield FC played Hallam FC in aid of Lancashire Distress Fund.

1863: On January 8 at the Adelphi Hotel Yorkshire CCC formed.

1867: World’s first cup competition sponsored by local theatre owner Tommy Youdan began and Bramall Lane staged the world’s first cup final. Hallam beat Norfolk to win Youdan Cup.

1868: Local theatre owner Oliver Cromwell sponsors competition for clubs less than two years old. One-year-old The Wednesday enter and win it with one of the world’s first ‘golden goals’.

1871: Series of Sheffield v London games began. Sheffield won 3-1 under Sheffield rules. London won return - under their rules - 1-0. Rules of the game codified into an accepted set of laws.

1875: Bramall Lane extended to cover nearly 12 acres. Reputed to be the largest cricket ground in England. Up to five matches could be played simultaneously.

1878: The World’s first floodlit match

1883: England & Scotland game first between the two sides to be played outside London or Glasgow. Scotland won 3-2.

1888: First day of Yorkshire v Australians attracted 20,700 - then largest ever for a cricket match in England.

1889: Charles Stokes, treasurer of local FA, president of Heeley FC and founder member and player for The Wednesday, proposed a new club be formed - Sheffield United Cricket & Football Club founded.

1898: Michael Ellison died. United crowned English Champions. The club bought ground for £10,000 and became a limited company in July 1899.

1901: New Archibald Leitch stand opens September with 3,800 seats and terracing for 6,000. Proposal for two-tier stand at Bramall Lane End rejected as it might ‘restrict the light during cricket matches’.

1902: Third Ashes test, July. Australia won by 143 runs.

1912: FA Cup Final replay between Barnsley & West Brom. Barnsley won with a goal two minutes from time in front of 38,555.

1973: Farewell to Cricket. The board decided that to compete at the top-level of football they needed a modern ground.