= Wembley Stadium (1923) =
The original Wembley Stadium (; originally known as the Empire
Stadium) was a stadium in Wembley, London, best known for hosting
important football matches. It stood on the same site now occupied by
Wembley hosted the FA Cup final annually, the first in 1923, which was
its inaugural event, the League Cup final annually, five European Cup
finals, the 1966 World Cup Final, and the final of Euro 96. Brazilian
footballer Pelé once said of the stadium: "Wembley is the cathedral of
football. It is the capital of football and it is the heart of
football", in recognition of its status as the world's best-known
The stadium also hosted many other sports events, including the 1948
Summer Olympics, rugby league's Challenge Cup final, and the 1992 and
1995 Rugby League World Cup Finals. It was also the venue for numerous
music events, including the 1985 Live Aid charity concert.
The stadium's first turf was cut by King George V, and it was first
opened to the public on 28 April 1923. Much of Humphry Repton's
original Wembley Park landscape was transformed in 1922-23 during
preparations for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924-25. First known
as the British Empire Exhibition Stadium or simply Empire Stadium, it
was built by Sir Robert McAlpine for the British Empire Exhibition of
1924 (extended to 1925).
The stadium cost £750,000 (equivalent to approximately £46 million in
2020) and was constructed on the site of an earlier folly called
Watkin's Tower. The architects were Sir John Simpson and Maxwell
AyrtonSutcliffe, Anthony (2006). 'London: An Architectural History'.
Yale University Press.
. [https://books.google.com/books?id=ONC1UsSpS4AC&pg=PA172 p. 172]
(via Google Books). Retrieved 4 February 2009. and the head engineer
Sir Owen Williams. It was originally intended to demolish the stadium
at the end of the Exhibition, but it was saved at the suggestion of
Sir James Stevenson, a Scot who was chairman of the organising
committee for the Empire Exhibition. The ground had been used for
football as early as the 1880s.
At the end of the exhibition, which proved to be a financial
disappointment, the site at Wembley was considered by many to be a
vast 'white elephant'. It was bought by a property speculator, James
White, who planned to sell off the buildings for redevelopment,
including the stadium which had been the centrepiece of the
exhibition. Arthur Elvin, an ex-RFC officer who had worked in a
tobacco kiosk at the exhibition and had previous experience working
for a scrap metal firm, was employed by White to oversee the selling
off of the buildings and the clearance of the Wembley site.
The stadium had gone into liquidation after it was pronounced
"financially unviable". After nine months, having earnt a good sum
from selling various buildings on the site, Elvin agreed to buy the
stadium from White for a total of £127,000, using a £12,000
downpayment and the balance plus interest payable over ten years.
The electric scoreboard and the all-encircling roof, made from
aluminium and translucent glass, were added in 1963.
The stadium's distinctive Twin Towers became its trademark and
nickname. Also well known were the 39 steps needed to be climbed to
reach the Royal box and collect a trophy (and winners'/losers'
medals). Wembley was the first pitch to be referred to as "Hallowed
Turf", with many stadia around the world borrowing this phrase. In
1934, the Empire Pool was built nearby. The "Wembley Stadium
Collection" is held by the National Football Museum. The stadium
closed in October 2000 and demolition commenced in December 2002,
completing in 2003 for redevelopment. The top of one of the twin
towers was erected as a memorial in the park on the north side of
Overton Close in the Saint Raphael's Estate.
Wembley is best known for hosting football matches, having hosted the
FA Cup Final annually as well as numerous England International
White Horse Final
The Empire Stadium was built in exactly 300 days at the cost of
£750,000. Described as the world's greatest sporting arena, it was
ready only four days before the "White Horse" Final in 1923. The FA
had not considered admission by ticket, grossly underestimating the
number of fans who arrived at the 104 gates on match day. However,
after the match, every event, apart from the 1982 replay, was
The first event held at the stadium was the FA Cup Final on 28 April
1923 between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. This is known as
the White Horse Final. Such was the eagerness of fans and casual
observers to attend the final at the new national stadium that vast
numbers of people crammed through the 104 turnstiles into the stadium,
far exceeding its official 127,000 capacity. The crowds overflowed
onto the pitch as there was no room on the terraces. Estimates of the
number of fans in attendance range from 240,000 to well over 300,000.
It was thought that the match would not be played because of the
number of spectators inside the stadium that had spilled onto the
pitch. That was until mounted police, including Police Constable
George Scorey and his white horse, 'Billy', slowly pushed the crowds
back to the sides of the field of play for the FA Cup Final to start,
just 45 minutes late. In honour of Billy, the footbridge outside the
new Wembley Stadium has been named the White Horse Bridge. The
official attendance is often quoted as 126,047. The match was a 2-0
victory for Bolton Wanderers, with David Jack scoring the first ever
goal at Wembley.
The 1953 FA Cup Final between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers was
dubbed the "Matthews Final" after Blackpool's winger Stanley Matthews.
At age 38, he was making his third and ultimately his final attempt at
winning an FA Cup medal. In the previous six years, he failed to earn
a winner's medal against Manchester United in 1948 and Newcastle
United in 1951. It featured a hat-trick by Blackpool's Stan Mortensen
in his side's 4-3 win, with Matthews almost single-handedly turning
the match around for Blackpool, who had trailed 3-1 to Bolton
Wanderers before fighting back to win the match. It remained the only
hat-trick ever scored in an FA Cup Final at the original Wembley.
The FA Cup final was played there in April or May until 2000
(excluding the 1970 replay when Chelsea beat Leeds United at Old
Trafford). It was also the venue for finals of the FA Amateur Cup,
League Cup (except for the early years when this was settled on a home
and away basis) and in later years the Associate Members' Cup and the
Football League promotion play-off finals (in the early years of
play-offs they were home and away fixtures). The 1988 final of the
Middlesex Charity Cup was also played there.
Prior to the 1923 Wembley stadium, international football games had
been played by England at various stadia. Most early internationals
(including the first ever international football match (1870)) were
played at The Oval, which opened in 1845 as the home ground of Surrey
County Cricket Club and would in 1880 host the first Test match played
in England. For the first 27 years, the only International England
games played at Wembley were fixtures against Scotland, with other
games played elsewhere until 1951. The first team other than Scotland
to face England at the venue was Argentina. In 1956 and 1971, it was
the venue of the home matches of the Great Britain national football
team for the qualification matches to the Summer Olympic Games against
In 1966, it was the leading venue of the FIFA World Cup. It hosted
nine matches, including the final, where tournament hosts England won
4-2 after extra time against West Germany. Seven years later, Wembley
was the venue for a specially arranged friendly between teams called
"The Three" and "The Six" to celebrate the United Kingdom joining the
European Union. The match finished 2-0 to "The Three".
In 1996, it was the principal venue of UEFA Euro 1996, hosting all of
England's matches, as well as the tournament's final, where Germany
won the UEFA European Championship for a third time after defeating
the Czech Republic 2-1 with the first international golden goal in
football history. Germany had earlier defeated England on penalties in
the semi-final after a 1-1 draw, with Gareth Southgate missing a
penalty for England in the shoot-out.
England's final two competitive matches played at the stadium resulted
in 0-1 defeats for England to Scotland and Germany respectively. The
first defeat was in the play off for the Euro 2000 qualifiers in
November 1999, but England still went through as they won the other
leg 2-0 at Hampden Park. However, the final match at Wembley was the
opening qualifier for the 2002 World Cup, and defeat prompted the
resignation of England manager Kevin Keegan at the end of the match
after just 18 months in charge.
In all, the stadium hosted five European Cup finals. The first two
were 1963 final between Milan and Benfica, and the 1968 final between
Manchester United and Benfica. In 1971, it again hosted the final,
between Ajax and Panathinaikos, and once more in 1978, this time
between Liverpool and Club Brugge, another in 1992, when Barcelona
Wembley has also hosted two European Cup Winners' Cup finals: in 1965,
when West Ham United defeated 1860 Munich, and in 1993, when Parma
defeated Royal Antwerp.
It was also the venue for Arsenal's home Champions League matches in
1998-99 and 1999-2000. It has hosted an individual club's home matches
on two other occasions, in 1930, when Leyton Orient played two home
Third Division South matches while their Lea Bridge Stadium was
undergoing urgent remedial works; and in 1930-31 for eight matches by
non-League Ealing A.F.C. It was also to be the home of the amateur
club which made several applications to join the Football League, the
In March 1998, Arsenal made a bid to purchase Wembley in hope of
gaining a larger stadium to replace their Highbury ground, which had a
capacity of less than 40,000 and was unsuitable for expansion.
However, the bid was later abandoned in favour of building the 60,000
capacity Emirates Stadium, which was opened in 2006.
On 20 May 2000, the last FA Cup final to be played at the old Wembley
saw Chelsea defeat Aston Villa with the only goal scored by Roberto Di
Matteo. The final competitive club match there was the 2000 First
Division play-off final on 29 May, between Ipswich Town and Barnsley,
a 4-2 win resulting in promotion to the Premier League for Ipswich.
The last club match of all was the 2000 Charity Shield, in which
Chelsea defeated Manchester United 2-0. The last international match
was on 7 October, in Kevin Keegan's last game as England manager.
England were defeated 0-1 by Germany, with Dietmar Hamann scoring the
last goal at the original Wembley. On that day, Tony Adams made his
60th Wembley appearance, a record for any player. Adams also claimed
England's final goal at the stadium, having scored in the previous
home fixture against Ukraine on 31 May.
[[1966 FIFA World Cup]] matches
!Date !Time (BST) !Team #1 !Score !Team #2 !Round !Attendance
|11 July 1966 19:30 0-0 rowspan="5" |Group 1 87,148
|13 July 1966 19:30 1-1 | 69,237
|16 July 1966 19:30 2-0 92,570
|19 July 1966 16:30 0-0 61,112
|20 July 1966 19:30 2-0 98,370
|23 July 1966 15:00 1-0 Quarter-finals 90,584
|25 July 1966 19:30 2-1 Semi-finals 94,493
|28 July 1966 19:30 2-1 3rd place match 87,696
|30 July 1966 15:00 4-2 Final 96,924
In the sport of rugby league, the RFL held its Challenge Cup Final at
Wembley from 1929 onwards. The stadium was also regularly used by the
sport for major international matches, such as Great Britain versus
Australia. In 1949 the France national rugby league team became the
first French national team of any sport to win at Wembley. The largest
crowd for a Challenge Cup Final at Wembley was set in 1985 when Wigan
beat Hull F.C. 28-24 in front of 99,801 spectators, which as of 2017
remains the second highest rugby league attendance in England behind
only the 1954 Challenge Cup Final replay at Bradford's Odsal Stadium
when a then world record attendance of 102,575 saw Warrington defeat
Halifax 8-4 (the original 1954 cup final at Wembley, drawn 4-4, was
played in front of 81,841 fans).
The stadium set the international record crowd for a rugby league game
when 73,631 turned out for the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final
between Great Britain and Australia (since beaten by the 74,468
attendance for the 2013 RLWC Final at Old Trafford). The Mal
Meninga-led Australian team won the game 10-6 on the back of a Steve
Renouf try in the north-east corner and Meninga's goal kicking. The
1995 World Cup Final between England Australia was also played at
Wembley with 66,540 spectators watching Australia win 16-8. The final
of the 1999 Challenge Cup was the last to be played at the stadium and
was attended by 73,242 fans, with the annual fixture moving to other
grounds (Murrayfield Stadium, Millennium Stadium and Twickenham)
before returning to the new Wembley upon its completion in 2007.
Game# !! Date !! Result !! Attendance !! Notes
|1 18 January 1930 def. 26-10 20,000 1929-30 Kangaroo Tour
|2 30 December 1933 def. 51-19 10,000 1933-34 Kangaroo Tour
|3 12 March 1949 def. 12-5 15,000 1948-49 European Rugby
League Championship First French national team (any sport) to win at
|4 16 October 1963 def. 22-16 13,946 1963 Ashes series
|5 3 November 1973 def. 21-12 9,874 1973 Ashes series
|6 27 October 1990 def. 19-12 54,569 1990 Ashes series
|7 24 October 1992 def. 10-6 73,631 1992 Rugby League World
Cup Final New international rugby league attendance record.
|8 16 October 1993 def. 17-0 36,131 1993 Great Britain vs
New Zealand series
|9 22 October 1994 def. 8-4 57,034 1994 Ashes series
|10 7 October 1995 def. 20-16 41,271 1995 Rugby League
World Cup Group A
|11 28 October 1995 def. 16-8 66,540 1995 Rugby League
World Cup Final
|12 1 November 1997 (SL) def. 38-14 41,135 1997 Super
League Test series
1948 Summer Olympics
Wembley was the main venue for the 1948 Summer Olympics, with Fanny
Blankers-Koen and Emil Zátopek among the notable winners in athletics.
The Stadium also hosted the semifinals and finals of the Olympic
hockey and football tournaments, the Prix des Nations event in the
equestrian competition, and a demonstration match of lacrosse.
Motorcycle speedway first took place at Wembley in 1929, and operated
until the outbreak of World War II in 1939, a few days before the 1939
World Championship Final was due to be held, but it was cancelled as a
result of the war. The Wembley Lions returned in 1946 and operated in
the top flight until the end of the 1956 season winning a number of
League titles. A short lived revival saw the Lions in the British
League in the 1970 and 1971 seasons. Lionel Van Praag (1936), Tommy
Price (1949), and Freddie Williams (1950 and 1953), all won World
Championships whilst riding for Wembley. The ashes for the speedway
track were supplied by Richard Biffa Ltd who's operating base at the
time was in Wembley Hill Road. Richard Biffa later became Biffa Waste
Services. The Lions were formed by the Wembley Stadium chairman Sir
Between 1936 and 1960 Wembley hosted all of the first 15 finals of the
Speedway World Championship. It hosted another nine World Finals
before the last one at Wembley took place in 1981 in front of 92,500
fans, just shy of the venue's record speedway attendance of 95,000 set
at the 1938 World Final.
Riders who won the World Championship at Wembley include; inaugural
champion Lionel Van Praag (Australia), Jack Milne (United States),
Bluey Wilkinson (Australia), Tommy Price (England), Freddie Williams
(Wales), Jack Young (Australia - the first two-time winner, first
back-to-back winner and the first second division rider to win the
title), Ronnie Moore (New Zealand), Ove Fundin (Sweden), Barry Briggs
(New Zealand), Peter Craven (England), Björn Knutsson (Sweden), Ole
Olsen (Denmark), Bruce Penhall (United States - the winner of the 1981
World Final), and legendary New Zealand rider Ivan Mauger. With four
wins, Sweden's Ove Fundin won the most World Championships at Wembley,
winning in 1956, 1960, 1963 and 1967.
Wembley also hosted the Final of the Speedway World Team Cup in 1968,
1970 and 1973 won by Great Britain (1968 and 1973) and Sweden (1970).
The speedway track at Wembley Stadium was 345 m in length and was
notoriously difficult to ride for those not used to it. Despite
regularly being used for World Championship and other British
championship meetings, Wembley long had a reputation as a track that
was difficult to pass on which often led to processional racing. Among
those who never performed well there despite their credentials include
1973 World Champion Jerzy Szczakiel (who won his title at home in
Poland and two weeks later under difficult circumstances failed to
score in the World Team Cup Final at Wembley), while others such as
Ivan Mauger and Ole Olsen often seemed to find their best form at the
stadium. The track itself was located inside of the greyhound racing
track, but intersected the stadium's playing field at the corners. The
pits were located in the tunnel at the eastern end of the stadium.
The track record at Wembley will forever be held by Denmark's World
Champion of 1984, 1985 & 1988 Erik Gundersen. In Heat 6 of the
1981 World Final, Gundersen set the 4-lap record (clutch start) of
66.8 seconds. As this was the last time the stadium was used for
speedway racing, it remains the track record.
Stock car racing
Two meetings were held at Wembley in 1974 promoted by Trevor Redmond.
The first meeting held featured BriSCA Formula 1 Stock Cars and
National Hot Rods. The second meeting featured the BriSCA Formula 2
Stock Cars World Final with F1's in support. Before the first meeting
the Wembley groundsman threatened to resign over possible damage to
the hallowed turf. The pitch was surrounded by wooden beams and little
damage was caused.
Though the venue was not traditionally a regular host of rugby union
matches, England played a friendly against Canada on 17 October 1992,
as their regular home stadium at Twickenham was undergoing
redevelopment. Wales played their Five Nations and autumn
international home matches at Wembley (as Twickenham Stadium would not
accommodate them) while Cardiff Arms Park was being rebuilt as the
Millennium Stadium in the late 1990s (a deal reciprocated for FA Cups
during the construction of the new Wembley Stadium). In total there
were seven internationals.
Date Competition !colspan=2| Home team !colspan=2| Away team
|17 October 1992 1992 Autumn International Series 26 13
|29 November 1997 1997 Autumn International Series rowspan="6" |
7 42 76,000
|5 April 1998 rowspan="2" | 1998 Five Nations Championship 0
|7 March 1998 19 13 72,000
|14 November 1998 1998 Autumn International Series 20 28
|20 February 1999 rowspan="2" | 1999 Five Nations Championship 23
|11 April 1999 32 31 76,000
Wembley was a regular venue for greyhound racing. It was the first
sport Sir Arthur Elvin introduced to the stadium. The opening meeting
was in 1927. The greyhound racing provided the stadium with its main
source of regular income, especially in the early decades, and
continued to attract crowds of several thousand up until the early
1960s. The stadium staged its last greyhound race meeting in December
1998 with the owners, the Greyhound Racing Association, citing
economic reasons and the lack of plans for a greyhound track in the
Two of the biggest events in the greyhound racing calendar were the St
Leger and Trafalgar Cup. Both were originally held at Wembley, the St
Leger from 1928 until 1998 after which it moved to Wimbledon Stadium
and the Trafalgar Cup from 1929 until 1998 after which it moved to
Oxford Stadium. In 1931 the famous greyhound Mick the Miller won the
Wembley's owners' refusal to cancel the regular greyhound racing meant
that the match between Uruguay and France in the 1966 FIFA World Cup
was played at White City.
The National Football League held nine preseason American football
games at Wembley between 1983 and 1993. The Minnesota Vikings and the
St. Louis Cardinals played the first game on 6 August 1983. The
Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys played the last game on 8 August
1993. The United States Football League also played an exhibition game
there on 21 July 1984 between the Philadelphia Stars and Tampa Bay
Bandits. The London Monarchs of the World League of American Football
played at the venue in 1991 and 1992. Wembley hosted World Bowl '91
the inaugural World Bowl where the Monarchs defeated the Barcelona
From 1958 until the mid-1970s, hurling and gaelic football tournaments
known as the "Wembley Tournaments" were held at Wembley Stadium to
bring the Irish sports to expatriates in Britain at the time. Several
Gaelic football games were played in Wembley Stadium, most of them
exhibition matches, most notably Kerry and Down in 1961.
The stadium also staged women's field hockey matches in which England
appeared in their annual match between 1951 and 1969 and then from
1971 to 1991.
On 18 June 1963, Wembley hosted a heavyweight boxing match between
London native boxer Henry Cooper and American rising star Muhammad Ali
in front of 35,000 spectators.
On 26 May 1975, in front of 90,000 people, Evel Knievel crashed while
trying to land a jump over 13 single decker city buses, an accident
which resulted in his initial retirement from his daredevil life.
In 1992, the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE) drew a
sellout of 80,355 when SummerSlam was hosted at Wembley Stadium. The
main event featured English wrestler Davey Boy Smith winning the
Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart. As of April 2016, the
WWE considers this to be their fourth largest live gate in history
behind only WrestleMania 32 (2016) which drew a reported 101,763,
WrestleMania III (1987) which drew a reported 93,173 and WrestleMania
29 (2013) which drew 80,676 fans.
The stadium became a musical venue in August 1972 with The London Rock
and Roll Show, an all star concert. It later played host to a number
of concerts and events, most notably the British leg of Live Aid,
which featured such acts as David Bowie, Queen, Paul McCartney, Elton
John, The Who, Dire Straits and U2, held at the stadium on 13 July
1985. Phil Collins performed at Wembley, then boarded a helicopter to
London Heathrow Airport and took a British Airways Concorde to
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to perform at the American segment of Live
Aid at JFK Stadium on the same day.
Other charity concerts which took place in the stadium were the Human
Rights Now! concert, The Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert,
Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa
Concert, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness and
the NetAid charity concert.
Acts who played at Wembley Stadium include:
* Queen performed two nights on 11 and 12 July 1986, on The Magic
Tour, with the concert on 12 July recorded for a live album with
edited video released on VHS as 'Queen at Wembley' and full version
released on DVD as 'Queen: Live at Wembley Stadium'). On 20 April
1992, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert took place at Wembley, a
concert which featured the surviving members of Queen and various
* David Bowie had two nights at Wembley on the Glass Spider Tour in
* Genesis played four consecutive sold-out concerts on 1, 2, 3, 4 July
1987, on the Invisible Touch Tour with a total attendance of nearly
300,000. These were the last four shows for the band's major, sell-out
world-tour in 1986-1987. The concert of 4 July 1987 had Princess Diana
and Prince Charles in attendance. The shows were filmed for 'Genesis
Live at Wembley Stadium.'
* Michael Jackson performed 15 times at this location, the most by any
artist in the history of Wembley Stadium, selling over 1.1 million
tickets in the process. During Michael Jackson's Bad World Tour in
1988, he was given a special award by Wembley Stadium Officials for
breaking a Guinness World Record with a combined total of 504,000
people attending the seven sold-out Wembley shows. The concert on 16
July 1988 was attended by Princess Diana and Prince Charles and a DVD
of this concert (Michael Jackson: Live at Wembley July 16, 1988) was
released on 18 September 2012.
* Celine Dion performed twice, including 11 & 12 July 1999 as part
of her Let's Talk About Love World Tour, performing to 80,000 people
* Tina Turner (4 sold-out concerts at Wembley Stadium, two in July
1996 and two in July 2000. Recorded during her Twenty Four Seven Tour
for the live tour DVD in the year 2000).
* David Cassidy had 6 sold-out shows in one weekend in 1973.
* Madonna had eight shows on 18, 19, 20 August 1987, 20, 21, 22 July
1990 and 25 and 26 September 1993.
* Hezekiah Walker and his choir, The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir,
performed in 1997 for their album 'Live In London.'
* Oasis performed twice, 21 and 22 July 2000, and recorded their video
and album 'Familiar to Millions' at Wembley and they were the last UK
band to headline at the old Wembley.
* Guns N' Roses’ performance of "Live and Let Die' was broadcast as
part of the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. Nine Inch Nails also
performed as the opening act on 31 August 1991. They played a second
show in 1992.
* Johnny Cash played in 1979 and recorded for the BBC in 1981 and
* The Who played on 18 August 1979: "The Who And Friends Roar In".
This was the band's first major concert after the death of drummer
Keith Moon the previous year following a series of smaller warm-ups.
* INXS had a concert that was recorded and released as a VHS/DVD with
the name 'Live Baby Live').
* Pink Floyd performed two shows in August 1988, on the A Momentary
Lapse of Reason Tour. World War II searchlights were used outside the
stadium for dramatic effect for approaching fans.
* The Spice Girls had shows on 19 and 20 September 1998 to a crowd of
110,000; one was recorded and released as a VHS/DVD.
* The Bee Gees did the "One Night Only" Tour in 1998 to a crowd in
excess of 56,000.
* Elton John performed seven times, including 1975, 1984, 1992 with
Eric Clapton and 1998 with Billy Joel . He headlined The Summer of 84
concert, part of his European Express Tour, along with bands such as
Big Country, Nik Kershaw, Kool and The Gang and Wang Chung. The show
was recorded for a Showtime concert special.
* Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played three times on the
1984-85 Born in the U.S.A. Tour, twice in the 1988, once during Tunnel
of Love Express Tour and second time as a part of Human Rights Now! He
also performed once in 2016.
* The Rolling Stones had twelve performances between 1982 and 1999.
* U2 performed 9 times between 1985 and 1997 including two nights on
the 4th (European) leg of their "Zooropa" tour on 11-12 August 1993.
* Eagles did 2 nights in 1996 as part of their Hell Freezes Over Tour.
* Bon Jovi played three consecutive nights in June 1995, which were
filmed for 'Live from London'. They also played on 19 and 20 August
2000, and were the last musical act to play at the old Wembley before
it was closed.
*Bryan Adams in July 1996, in front of a crowd of over 70,000 people,
performed his second sold out at the UK venue, the first on July 18,
1992, and is considered to be his most popular concert; the concert
was broadcast on radio stations in 25 countries. From the evening of
July 27, the 1996 Wembley video was obtained.
* Cliff Richard played 16 and 17 June 1989. The concert was recorded
and released as 'From a Distance: The Event' album and VHS/DVD. Guests
included The Shadows, Aswad, Kalin Twins, The Searchers, Gerry and the
Pacemakers, The Dallas Boys, The Vernons Girls, Stock Aitken Waterman,
Tony Meehan and Jet Harris.
* Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young played 14 September 1974. Guests
included Joni Mitchell, The Band, Jesse Colin Young.
*Wham! played their last concert titled The Final on 28 June 1986.
* Aerosmith with support from Lenny Kravitz were the guests at the
Twin Towers Ball on 26 June 1999.
Cecil Freeman Gregg's crime novel 'Tragedy at Wembley' (Methuen, 1936)
sees his detective character Inspector Cuthbert Higgins investigate a
murder at the stadium.
The stadium features in the opening scene of the film 'The King's
The 1948 Olympic Marathon and the 1923 Stadium feature in the South
Korean war film 'My Way' (2011), though the marathon is clearly filmed
in Riga, rather than London, and the stadium standing in for Wembley
has an anachronistic electronic scoreboard.
In the 2018 Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' the stadium was digitally
recreated for the Live Aid scene.
John Betjeman is shown standing in the Stadium in his 1973 BBC film
'Metroland', though, as John Bale has pointed out in 'Anti-Sport
Sentiments in Literature: Batting for the Opposition' (Routledge,
2007), he shows no real interest in Wembley's sporting connections,
either here or elsewhere.
In Nigel Kneale's 1979 'Quatermass', in which ancient stone circles
turn out to be locations designed by aliens to harvest young humans,
the Stadium is said to have been built on the site of a stone circle
("the Sacred Turf they call it", says Professor Quatermass, "I wonder
There is a persistent myth that a small locomotive met with a mishap
when Watkin's Folly was being demolished, or the Empire Stadium built,
and was buried under what became the "sacred turf" (though in some
versions it is a carriage filled with rubble). When the stadium was
rebuilt no locomotive or carriage (or stone circle...) was found,
though the foundations of Watkin's tower were.
* - Architectural drawings and plans of the 1923 stadium
Old Wembley Stadium] @worldstadia.com
Wembley Stadium & the 1948 Olympics - UK Parliament Living
Extract from Vintage Speedway Magazine - Wembley The Last Amen]
White Horse Cup Final - The Times]
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Original Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wembley Stadium (1923)