Nottingham is a proud sporting city, but surprisingly three of it’s largest sporting institutes are all situated along the same spot of the River Trent, no more than a 15-minute walk away from each other. Rachel Roberts offers an overview into the history of these grounds and the teams that inhabit them.
Trent Bridge is home to Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and their short format side the Notts Outlaws. The cricket club was founded in 1841 but the ground was first used for cricket in the 1830s. It is located just a step away from its namesake, along the bank of the river, and is less than a 5 minute walk away from the City Ground on the same riverside. With a capacity of 17,500 people and a frequent host of international as well as domestic cricket games, it is considered to be one of the finest grounds in the country.
Trent Bridge was also the setting of a world-record One Day International score: England’s 481-6 v Australia in 2018
Nottinghamshire CCC have won the County Championship 6 times, most recently in 2010, and the Notts Outlaws won the T20 Blast in 2017. Local lad Stuart Broad holds the record for the best bowling figures seen on the ground in a Test Match, of 8-15 against Australia during the Ashes series of August 2015. Trent Bridge was also the setting of a world-record One Day International score: England’s 481-6 v Australia in 2018.
City Ground has been the home of Nottingham Forest since September 1898 and was named after Nottingham’s newly-awarded city status. It has a capacity of 30,4445 and its Brian Clough Stand seats just under a third of the crowd. The stand is named after the club’s most successful manager, who led them to winning the prestigious European Cup in both 1979 & 1980, the league in 1978, and four league cups in 1978 & 1979, and 1989 & 1990. Nottingham Forest also hold the unlikely records of winning the European Cup more times than their domestic league, and are one of two sides to have won all of the finals they appeared in.
Brian Clough also managed neighbours Derby County, with whom he won the league in 1971/72. You can see several references to the much beloved man across the city and connecting it to nearby Derbyshire. Forest now play in the Championship, and recently have had promising seasons looking for promotion, but have frequently ‘bottled it’ by the end of the run in. They finished 7th in the 19/20 season, which you can read more about in Zack Palmer’s review here.
Their home kit of black and white stripes inspired the famous kit of Italian side Juventus…
Meadow Lane houses Notts County – the oldest professional Association Football team in the world. They even predate the FA itself, which was founded a year after Notts County in 1863. Their home kit of black and white stripes inspired the famous kit of Italian side Juventus, who adopted the style for themselves in 1903. The ground has a capacity of around 20,000 and they have played there since 1910. It is located opposite the City Ground on the other side of the river, and at 270m away the pair are the closest professional football stadiums in England. Meadow Lane has also played host to Varsity Football games between our own UoN and Nottingham Trent.
Notts County’s best ever finish was 3rd in the top-flight in 1890/91 season. They narrowly missed out on playing Premier League football in its inaugural season but were relegated just before, in 1992. Turbulent times and mixed fortunes followed but they never made it back to the big time. They were relegated from the football league for the first time in 2019 and now play in the national league – English football’s 5th tier. Full of atmosphere and enthusiasm, and along the backdrop of the famous river, this sporting centre is a highlight of the city.
This trio of grounds are easily accessible with public transport (a 15 minute bus ride or a half-an-hour walk from the train station) and so are definitely worth checking out – especially while living in the city so nearby. Whether it’s watching a Championship scrap on a Saturday afternoon or the acceleration of a T20 tie on a summer’s evening, Nottingham offers a lot to be enjoyed.
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