The world's greatest ground? A photographic centenary celebration of Highbury

7. Roof on the Laundry

 
In 1936, the North Terrace - by now concreted, like the rest of the former compacted-earth standing areas - was given a roof. From under it, the huddled masses could shelter from the weather while they gazed in awe at two matching stands stretching the length of either touchline.
 
For in the same year, Leitch's East Stand was torn down and replaced with a new one designed to match the impressive structure opposite it. But whereas the West Stand had cost £45,000, the costs for the East spiralled to £130,000 - equivalent to £7.7m in 2013 - with special attention paid to the quality of the facade. 
 
Here, Arsenal's Ted Drake attacks the Everton goal on the opening day of the season, August 29, 1936. Despite the presence of Drake, who the previous season had scored seven in one game against Aston Villa and the winner in the FA Cup final, Arsenal would finish in sixth place. The team was ageing, but the stadium was timeless.
 

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Only realise now how lucky I was that my first ever Premier League match was at Highbury, taken by a season ticket holder during my first visit to London. Thank you Barrie! :-)