The New Wembley has just hosted its first ever League Cup final.
It may still be some time before we stop calling it the New Wembley but the Wembley arch which now adorns the London skyline has replaced the twin towers as the backdrop to Vale Farm - the home of Wembley FC.
The club was formed in 1946 when football enjoyed a post Second World War boom.
Many locals felt it wrong that the area which held the English National Stadium didn't have its own football team.
As a result of their efforts Wembley FC was born and they began playing in the Middlesex League on an unfenced roped off pitch at Vale Farm an area purchased in the 1920s by Wembley Urban District Council for recreational purposes.
"The pitch was always renowned for its excellent condition so much so that England trained on it during the 1966 World cup finals"
Within a year of Wembley FC playing at Vale Farm a petition was presented to the council for an enclosed ground and eventually the authorities relented.
With Vale Farm enclosed, Wembley were able to take gate money but the future of the venue as a NonLeague ground was not assured until 1951.
That was the year the club presented a document outlining the clubs ambitions and the council was so impressed they offered the club a 21-year lease with the option of developing the ground.
And the club wasted little time in erecting terracing, a small enclosure, a stand, floodlights and revamping the pavilion, bar and dressing rooms.
The pitch was always renowned for its excellent condition so much so that England trained on it during the 1966 World cup finals.
Everything with Vale Farm was rosy and in the 70s a further 30 year lease was secured and the club appeared to be one of the most stable in NonLeague football.
However disaster struck and a fire threatened the very existence of Vale Farm.
The main stand was gutted and the covered terrace was condemned.
However, local builder Brian Gumm, the club chairman worked tirelessly to re-build the ground into the Vale Farm we see today.
The remaining terrace was covered and 450 bright red seats were added to make up the tidy main stand now in place.
The site of the old stand was concreted over and is now a very pleasant area to stand and watch the action.
The amenities of the nearby Wembley Stadium are among the very best in the world but Vale Farm's toilets, turnstiles and a tea bar are all excellent for Wembley FC's NonLeague status.
last updated: 25/02/2008 at 11:19
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