Video of the Day: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Queens Park Rangers, December 1982

by | Jan 23, 2016

We’re so used to the size and shape of our football stadia changing these days that it can be easy to forget that there was a time when they never seemed to change very much at all. Our Video of the Day for this morning features two clubs who meet in the Championship this afternoon, but also two clubs who underwent extensive ground renovation as the 1970s turned into the 1980s, with very differing fortunes. When Wolves’ Molineux Street Stand failed to meet the standards of the 1975 Safety of Sports Grounds Act, the club set about building a new stand behind the existing one, on land where housing had been demolished. The new stand, designed by the architects Atherden and Rutter, was one of the most modern in the country and was opened in 1979, but because it was built behind the old stand it was  thirty yards from the pitch. In addition to this, its cost was so high that the club had a close shave with bankruptcy in 1982. By 1986, Wolves were playing Fourth Division football.

Queens Park Rangers, meanwhile, redeveloped Loftus Road substantially between 1980 and 1981. Two new stands had already been built there in 1968 and 1972, and two further constructions at the stadium completed the job, making the ground one of the most modern in the country, and the controversial addition of an artificial surface added to the feeling that this was a template for the stadia of the future. On the pitch, QPR reached the FA Cup final in 1982, taking Tottenham Hotspur to a replay, and would end the 1982/83 season getting promoted to the First Division with Wolves in tow.  This match comes from a week before Christmas in 1982 on a snow-covered pitch at Molineux, with QPR top of the table and Wolves six points behind them. Commentary comes from Alan Parry.

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