The third of my posts counting down to the centenary of Maine Road’s opening game. Today I’d like to talk about exploring the back rooms and cupboards of the old ground.
During the 2002-03 season while I was researching and writing Farewell To Maine Road, the official history of City’s grounds, I was allowed to wander around the old place for my research. Club photographer Ed Garvey often accompanied me and we’d open doors, look under seats and generally try to see things that would not always be immediately obvious on match day.
One day we were helped on to the ‘new’ Kippax roof – a scary experience! Other teams we explored the nooks and crannies of the stands. Then there was the time when a paint store room door was open. We popped our heads in and found this gem. This old ‘ghost sign’ saying ‘Commit No Nuisance’ had originally been on public view. That wall was the internal side of the large external wall that surrounded the Kippax terracing. Fans would congregate on the side we were on and the painted notice would warn them to ‘commit no nuisance’.
A few of these used to be positioned around the ground but by 2002-03 we’d assumed they’d all gone. This one survived because, at some point the club built a series of storerooms and additional toilets against this wall, trapping this specific sign for ever.
I wish we could have dismantled it and taken it for good to be re-erected at the new stadium but sadly that wasn’t possible for various reasons. At least we managed to take a photo of it and ensure a permanent record of it was kept for ever.
2023 marks the 100th anniversary of Maine Road’s first game and to commemorate this landmark moment I will be posting a different image or feature on the old stadium each day for 100 days. Day 100 will be the actual centenary of that historic first game.
If you’d like to read more on the history of Maine Road, take a look at Farewell To Maine Road, which can be downloaded from this page: