Tyne and Wear HER(16920): Monkwearmouth, Stadium of Light. Sunderland AFC (Site 7) - Details
Monkwearmouth, Stadium of Light. Sunderland AFC (Site 7)
Opened on 30th July 1997 with a concert by Status Quo, a blessing by the Bishop of Durham and a friendly match against Ajax (Amsterdam). The first site to be chosen was alongside the Nissan car factory on the A19. Plans were drawn up for a 48,000 seat stadium and a 10,000 seat indoor entertainment arena. In the end the indoor arena was built at Newcastle instead. Sunderland's new football stadium was built on the site of Monkwearmouth Colliery. It took three years for the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation to reclaim the site. Taylor, Tulip and Hunter (from Gateshead) were the architects. Ballast Wiltshier were the builders. It took 14 months to build the £17 million stadium. The capacity was 42,000, increased to 48,353 in 2002 by adding an extra tier to the North Stand. There is also a Stadium of Light in Lisbon, Portugal. Outside the stadium there is a monument by Jim Roberts, in the form of a Davy Lamp. The iron Murray Gates, dedicated to former Chairman Bob Murray bear the phrases 'Into the Light' and 'Ha'way the Lads'. There is a salvaged pit wheel with a plaque recording the history of Monkwearmouth Colliery. Opposite to the main entrance is a bronze sculpture by Artcyle called 'Fans, Past, Present and Future' (erected November 2004). The 'Men of Steel' are by Graeme Hopper from Crook. Groups of figures haul pieces of coal up the slopes from the river, to represent man's struggle and will to survive. On the south side of the stadium is a statue of Bob Stokoe, the manager who led Sunderland to victory in the FA Cup Final of 5th May 1973. The statue is by Sean Hedges-Quinn. In the stadium car park two sections of the 1929 balcony truss from the main stand at Roker Park designed by Archibald Leitch are displayed.
Lynn Pearson, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, pp 74-75, 84-89