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     On This Day


In 1996,The Daggers lost 0-1 to Northwich Victoria Away in the GM Vauxhall Conference 


In 2001,The Daggers beat Hednesford Town 2-0  Away in the Nationwide Conference 


In 2007,The Daggers beat York City 2-1 at Home in the Nationwide Conference 


In 2009,The Daggers lost 0-1 to Bournemouth at Home in the Coca Cola League Two 


 

 


History of Victoria Road
by Dave Simpson on 23/11/2001

Dagenham & Redbridge Press Officer, Dave Simpson, looks back at the history of Victoria Road, the home of Dagenham & Redbridge FC.

History of the Ground - Victoria Road
Victoria Road has existed as a football ground since 1917, when the Sterling Works side, whose factory was situated alongside, used it. It was not fully enclosed until the summer of 1955, when Briggs Sports moved out to Rush Green Road, and Dagenham FC moved from the Arena. During that summer they levelled and re-seeded the pitch, and removed the stones from the playing surface. They then extended the banking and the terracing. The only cover was a tiny wooden stand, which was steep and narrow, and had a few rows of seating, on the far side of the ground.

The original main stand (right) was built that autumn and was opened on 7th January 1956 by JW Bowers who was then, the chairman of the Essex County FA. The first match was an Essex Senior Cup tie with Harwich & Parkeston and the score was 6-0 - the Dagenham line up for that game was Skinner, Hutson, Cresswell, Warrior, Knight, Constable, Brooks, Bridge, Cullen, Newman, Lunn. Goalscorers were Warrier, Bridge, Newman and a hat trick from Cullen. It was reported that the new stand had a capacity of 800.

During the summer of 1956, the turnstile block at the Victoria Road side of the ground was added, and the men's toilets situated at the Victoria Road end were also built. In the summer of 1958, the cover over the north side was erected, at a cost of £1,400 - a substantial sum in those days.

The first floodlit match at Victoria Road was Dagenham v Woodford in the FA Youth Cup on 26th September 1957 and the first senior match was friendly against Rainham Town on 19th March 1958.

Although the ground was regularly maintained, not a lot changed until the arrival of Redbridge Forest in 1990 to ground share. They paid for a new stand (right) to be erected in the corner of the ground to increase the seating capacity and replaced the grass banking at the Pondfield End with concrete terracing. These improvements brought the ground up to the standard required by the Football Conference.

Redbridge Forest and Dagenham merged in July 1992 and the ground improvements have continued right up to the present day. In 1995 they replaced the crumbling pitch perimeter wall with a new brick built one and two years later rebuilt the toilet block at the Victoria Road end of the ground.

The wooden stand was now starting to look it's age and the club decided it was time to demolish it and brought in Bill O'Neil from Atcost to design and build a new purpose built one. The new 800-seater stand, which brought the grounds seating capacity to over a thousand, was used for the first time for the Essex Senior Cup final against Canvey Island on August 4th 2001, just 12 weeks after the old stand saw it's last game.

The Club has continued to improve the facilities and during the summer of 2001 constructed new turnstile blocks and replaced the eight floodlight pylons which used to run along the sides of the ground with four corner ones. These lights were then replaced again in the close season 2012 to provide higher and brighter lights as stipulated by new Football League regulations. These are so bright it wis always useful to bring sunglasses to evening matches to avoid being blinded!

On Thursday 11th October 2001, Bass Brewers PLC, agreed a record breaking £150,000 sponsorship of the new stand, now named the Carling Stand (left), with all the money being paid up front. This provided the funds for the improvements to continue. The work involved installing a number of crush barriers, which help ease the flow of spectators around the ground along with a new walkway behind the covered terrace. Also constructed was a new turnstile block at the Bury Road end of the ground and additional toilet facilities which allow new segregation options for big games at the stadium.

The improvements brought the ground up to Football League status and the capacity is currently 6,000. Football League A grading was confirmed by letter in March 2002. The club record attendance is now 5,949, set against Ipswich Town in the FA Cup on 5th January 2002.

The ground has been chosen to host some important matches including a Women's Full international match between England and Sweden, UEFA Youth International matches between England and San Marino and Cyprus and San Marino and an FA XI against the Ryman League representative side. For four seasons from 2001/02 West Ham United hired the ground to play their reserve matches. In August 2003 the ground was used for training by the England Under 21 team and in April 2005 it hosted the Women's FA Cup semi final.

In the summer of 2003 a further sponsorship deal was signed by the club with a local Nissan and Fiat dealership group to rename the ground to the Glyn Hopkin Stadium. The deal was valued in six figures and ran for three years.

Following the end of the Glyn Hopkin sponsorship the ground reverted to plain old Victoria Road for 2006/07 and this season saw the club finally clinch the Conference title and promotion to the Football League.

The only work required immediately to allow Football League games to be played at the ground were new turnstiles and the provision of a permanent police control room and CCTV cameras. The work for this was completed during the close season 2007 with a brick structure housing the police control room built behind the Bury Road terrace (right).

The ground was once again renamed before the Football League season started as a result of sponsorship from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The new name (below) was something of a mouthful but indicated the commitment of the local council to the club.

New signage around the ground prior to the 2012 Olympics announced that the Borough was the Gateway to the Games, referencing the Games which took place in Stratford, in neighbouring Newham.

During the 2008/09 season the digital clock at the Bury Road End was replaced by the world's most temperamental electronic scoreboard (right).

During the close season of 2009 the Pondfield End terrace, up to 1990 just three steps and a grass bank, was demolished and a new 1,240 seater stand built in its place to house away fans, plus new changing rooms and offices for the club.

The stand (below) was needed to satisfy the Football League rule which states that clubs must have seated accommodation for a minimum of 2,000 within three seasons of joining the league. The stand was officially opened at the game against Aldershot Town on the 8th December 2009 and was initially sponsored by the Marcus James Group. This sponsorship deal is now over and the stand is now known as the Traditional Builders Stand.

The stand provides purpose built accommodation for visiting disabled supporters and carers (left) and is the first inside the ground to provide a match day bar for supporters.

Players now enter the field of play from a tunnel under the stand (right) rather than the old tunnel close to the half way line in the Carling Stand. The old changing rooms in the main clubhouse remain in place at present but are no longer used on match days.

The Daggers’ home was again renamed to "The Chigwell Construction Stadium" following the announcement of a "significant" sponsorship deal with the company, based in Redbridge, in September 2015. This deal lasts for three seasons.

Map of the ground (as at 1st January 2010):

Click to enlarge


 

 

 

 

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