Imagine the thrill of a 58,000 capacity crowd at Fratton Park – Nostalgia 

To the far left can be seen part of the original Grand Stand at Fratton Park.
To the far left can be seen part of the original Grand Stand at Fratton Park.

As someone who was not a lover of being seated at football matches, especially in winter, the view, above, of the South Stand at Fratton Park is quite alien to me. I was a definite Fratton Ender.

This stand was erected in 1925 along with the North Stand some 10  years later. It was the first stand since the construction of Fratton Park in 1899.

In 1925 the South Stand of Fratton Park was built. Here we are looking east.

In 1925 the South Stand of Fratton Park was built. Here we are looking east.

When the terraces were erected it made a capacity of 58,000. The largest crowd I was in at Fratton Park was 36,000 and that was amazing. But imagine being among the 51,385 who attended the FA Cup fixture against Derby County in 1949.

The stand was designed by Archibald Leitch

Below, we see another view of the South Stand under construction from the Fratton End. Later the famous Fratton End was built and opened in 1956.

The South Stand was built in 10 weeks for £20,000 and opened on August 29, 1925.

Looking in the new South Stand at Fratton Park from the Fratton End.

Looking in the new South Stand at Fratton Park from the Fratton End.

It  replaced a smaller stand called the Grand Stand which was in use from 1899 until 1925.

As the new stand was much larger than the Grand Stand the pitch had to be narrowed from 77 yards wide to 73 yards. 

In the pre-1925  photograph, below, we can see part of the original 1,000 capacity Grand Stand.

Today fans enter the South Stand from Frogmore Road, but, as you can see here, there was once a mock Tudor  building with a clock tower.

This was in situ from 1905 until 1925.

I have tried highlighting the front of the building to see what is there but with no success.

I think there might be seating where the white gated area can be seen, giving a good view of the Fratton end at least.

Perhaps the first corporate entertainment, eh?

Pic: Barry Cox collection.