Manchester City move from Hyde Road to Maine Road in 1923

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In 1923, Manchester City said goodbye to Hyde Road and took the short move to Maine Road, where the club set up home for the next eighty years. Here, the club would break attendance records and establish themselves as one of the largest and most successful clubs in the country following the move from their original home.

In November 1920 a fire caused by a cigarette end destroyed the main stand at Hyde Road, and Manchester City began to seek a new home. Initial discussions raised the possibility of sharing Old Trafford with neighbours Manchester United, but United’s proposed rent was prohibitive so repair work was undertaken and Manchester City continued to play at Hyde Road.

Plans for the club to move to a new ground, Maine Road in Moss Side, were announced in 1922. The final Manchester City match at Hyde Road was a league fixture against Newcastle United on 28 April 1923, and in August 1923 a public practice game was the last football game played at Hyde Road.

Manchester City began the 1923–24 season at Maine Road which had an 80,000 capacity. Parts of Hyde Road were used elsewhere. For example, the roof of the Main Stand was sold to Halifax Town and erected at The Shay where part of the Hyde Road roof is still in place. Within a decade, all traces of a football ground had disappeared from Hyde Road.

The bulk of the area was taken over by Manchester Corporation Tramways Department, whose primary Hyde Road depot and works were already nearby, and the area was used as their yard for assembling and storing tramway rails and materials.

The Tramways system also provided at this time a substantial parcel handling service within the city, using both vans and individual parcels trams and a new central parcels depot was built on the Bennett Street side of the former site against the railway viaduct.

After the end of Manchester’s trams in 1949 (most of the old trams were scrapped on this site) the site was used for storing old buses and as a bus drivers’ training area.

As of 2000, the site of the pitch is the Olympic Freight Terminal, a container storage and warehousing facility.

Hyde Road now.
Hyde Road now.

A sixteen and a quarter acre former brickworks on Maine Road was purchased for £5,500. Maine Road was originally known as Dog Kennel Lane but renamed Maine Road after the Maine law during the 1870s at the insistence of the Temperance Movement who owned land on Dog Kennel Lane and the local authority accepted their request.

During construction, the stadium was reputedly cursed by a gipsy when officials evicted a gipsy camp from the area. This curse was allegedly removed on 28 December 1998.

However, the gipsy curse is likely to be an urban myth as such stories are common to some football league grounds. Construction took 300 days at a total cost £100,000.

The initial layout of the ground consisted of one covered stand with a seating capacity of 10,000 and uncovered terracing on the other three sides, with gentle curves connecting the corners.

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