WEMBLEY STADIUM 100th Anniversary
• Wembley Stadium celebrates its 100th anniversary today
• Iconic venue first opened its doors for FA Cup Final in 1923
• It has hosted some of the UK’s most historical moments of the last century including 1966 World Cup win, Live Aid and 2022 Lionesses victory
• Football and music stars share Happy Birthday message
Today, April 28, 2023, sees national icon Wembley Stadium celebrate its 100th anniversary
Since it first opened its doors 100 years ago, Wembley Stadium, connected by EE, has been home to some of the most historic and memorable moments of the last century.
Many of the stars associated with those moments have now been captured in a celebratory piece of artwork to mark the stadium’s landmark birthday.
The Wembley 100 Icons image features famous names from the worlds of football, sport, music, and politics, who have all performed at the iconic stadium in the last 100 years. It includes sporting icons such as Muhammed Ali, Bobby Moore, Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Leah Williamson and Harry Kane alongside music legends Paul McCartney, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, and Beyonce. The full list can be viewed here.
Sir Geoff Hurst, England’s hat-trick hero from 1966, is also one of those to appear in the artwork. He said he will always have a special affinity with the stadium, adding: “Wembley will always have a very special place in my heart for obvious reasons. It’s the place where I enjoyed one of the greatest days in my life and a venue, I still love going back to each time because of the memories it evokes.
“To perform at Wembley is every footballer’s dream. I feel honoured to be associated with one of the stadium’s greatest footballing moments ever and I can still recall the noise, colour, and atmosphere of the time we did our celebratory lap. What a place. What a memory. Happy Birthday Wembley.”
Hurst’s performance at Wembley also features in a list of 100 History Making Moments put together by the stadium team to mark the momentous milestone. It combines memorable sporting and music feats alongside some of the more unusual events to have taken place at the stadium during that time, including greyhound racing, speedway World Championships, the Olympics (twice), ski-jumping and American stunt man Evil Knievel jumping 13 buses on his motorbike in 1975.
Wembley Stadium Director Liam Boylan commented: “Wembley is a special place that holds a space in people’s hearts for many different reasons, whether that is through sport, music or the variety of other events that have taken place here over the years.
“Today, we want to celebrate that fact and look forward to another 100 years of fantastic, history making defining moments.”
Earlier this year Wembley Stadium ran a campaign asking fans to submit their greatest moments of the Stadium. A short film detailing some of the contributions can be found here.
The stadium received thousands of recollections of moments, from people whose lives were forever enriched by their trip to the national stadium.
Adrian Steel and his wife Wendy got married at the new Wembley Stadium in 2007. They are the only couple ever to get special dispensation to exchange their vows on the centre circle of the famous hallowed turf.
The couple waited four years for the new stadium to open and their wish was granted when they got the opportunity to hire out the stadium for their big day.
The ceremony was witnessed by 250 family and friends seated in the stands and served as a test event for the stadium’s grand opening a week later – when Chelsea took on Manchester United in the FA Cup Final. Adrian commented: “It was a dream come true and the perfect match of the day.”
Another moment came from Jonathan Smith from Southampton. His grandad William attended the 1923 FA Cup Final and secured a programme from that day. In 1978 when he was 81, William penned a letter to young Jonathan telling him to look after and treasure the programme, because it would be quite the ‘curiosity’ in 2023 when Wembley was 100 years old.
Jonathan said: “The programme is one of my most prized possessions and is particularly poignant at this moment in time as Wembley celebrates its 100th birthday.”
As part of the birthday celebrations stars from the worlds of music and sport have sent congratulatory messages to the stadium which will be showcased on social media throughout today (Friday, 28 April). Follow @WembleyStadium on Twitter and Instagram to join in the action.
The stadium will also be welcoming around 2,000 members of the local community and fans for a free tour of the stadium following an invite on social media earlier this week.
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