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EDGELEY PARK

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Stockport County, who started off life as Heaton Norris Rovers in 1883, moved to Edgeley Park in 1902, when, at this time, it was the home of a rugby club. In 1903 the rugby club folded, leaving County as sole tenants. That same summer a roof was erected at the rear of the Popular Side. Ten years later a new Main Stand went up on the Hardcastle Road side, and ten years after that, in 1923, a wooden cover was built at the Cheadle End. At midday on 23 july 1935 a fire broke out in the Main Stand, so intense that not only was the structure reduced to a 'violent twisted' wreck, but twelve houses on the other side of Hardcastle Road were also gutted. A replacement 2,000 seat Main Stand was built in the year after and opened by the League President, Charles Sutcliffe on 24 October 1936. There were two developments in 1956. A sloping roof was added over the Popular Side (linked to the pre-war barrel-roof at the rear) and the terrace dedicated to County's late chairman, Ernest Barlow. Floodlights were also erected, first used in October 1956. In 1978 the back of the Barlow Stand was fenced off, the old barrel roof taken down and a five-a-side pitch laid out on the levelled area. There would be even more drastic cuts when the ground became designated under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act in 1985. First, the demolition of the Cheadle End Stand was ordered. From then until 1995, only a strip of flat ground lay behind the goal. Also in 1985, the open Railway End was cut down to a third of its original height. The terrace's timber nosings were also concreted over and the Main Stand paddock closed in. In 1993 the Barlow Stand had 2,411 seats installed on reprofiled terracing and in 1995 the Cheadle End Stand was constructed with 4,800 seats.

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