The Grounds That Never Were: Derby County’s Wembley Of The North


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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16 Responses

  1. Kwolf says:

    Excellent article. Something I knew nothing about.
    A great antidote to the usual self righteous drivel I’m pointing towards by my twitter feed.

  2. Kwolf says:


  3. tom says:

    Can’t see the photos of the design..

  4. admin says:

    Tom, links to the pictures (and the article referenced above) are here:

  5. Frankie says:

    Hi – great article!

    I posted up those scans from the Architecture magazine a while ago, so good to see that someone has made use of them!

    Maybe you could put the full link in the article – as the link to one JPG doesn’t work


  6. Mick says:

    Wasn’t there a similar scheme at Port Vale around the same time?

    Just think how many World Cups we’d have got if these had gone ahe…..oh

  7. admin says:

    Hi frankie, thanks for scanning them in the first place! There is a link above in the comments but I will amend this afternoon.

  8. admin says:

    Mick, vale park, which, from memory was built in about 1951 or so, will be the next in this little series.

  9. Matt says:

    A great read – looking forward to the next in the series

  10. Roy Ebsary says:

    “Small wonder, then, that the project soon came to be known, especially consider the previous work of Ayrton himself, as “The Wembley Of The North”.”

    Surely, “The Wembley Of The Midlands”. Since when has Derby been in the North? At least Vale Park is further north & may be actually considered to be in the north.

  11. admin says:

    Roy, I would agree with you, but it certainly seems to have been the contemporary nickname for the project. Derby, is, I think, more or less the exact geographical centre of England.

  12. Nick says:

    Great article, thanks. Been a fan for 36 years and never knew this.

  13. maliniok says:

    Great series, one thing I like about this site is that I can learn things about British football that I wouldn’t learn anywhere else! New Plough Lane promised by Sham Hammam to Wimbledon fans during the selhurst park exile could be one in the series!

  14. Boy From Brazil says:

    Just shows you what might have been, and little Derby county might have been the mighty Derby County had this been built.

    Wembley of the north yes we are North and aso in the Midlands.

    Derby till I die.

  15. sam says:

    lovely article, i look forward to more!

    i have read a bit about vale park and certainly the plans changed but at least it was built.

    there’s some wonderful pictures i believe of a spaceage neu-molineux in the 60s which i presume has a fantastic(al) story behind it too.

    furthermore, if you wish for some info and images of my beloved bhafc’s 1980’s dome then do let me know!

  16. Dermot O'Dreary says:

    I think at some point the Luton Town stadium incorporating Formula 1 track has to merit an article in this series

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