By Chris Wright
With Manchester United in town for the FA Cup fourth round tonight, we thought we’d have a timely nosey around the small, but perfectly formed they’ll be spending their Friday night at: The Abbey Stadium (known corporately as the R Costings Abbey Stadium), home of Cambridge United.
The U’s have called the Abbey their home since 1932, when the club’s president, Henry Francis, relocated his team from their pitch on the famed Parker’s Piece field in Cambridge in a bid to attract bigger crowds to their games.
The ground has been developed and re-developed several times since then, currently boasting a perfectly respectable maximum capacity of just a sliver over 8,000 – roughly half of which is seated.
However, the Abbey’s record attendance was set in May of 1970, when a whopping 14,000 fans packed in to watch a friendly against Chelsea that was specially arranged to mark the first use of the ground’s new floodlights.
Despite a fairly rough and ready Portakabin-smattered frontage, the stadium itself is a real non-league beauty – clad top-to-bottom in the club’s famous amber and black…
More in Pies’ Around The Grounds series…
Field Mill, Mansfield Town
City Ground, Nottingham Forest
Princes Park, Dartford FC’s Wooden Eco Stadium
The New Maracana, Rio De Janeiro
Griffin Park, Brentford
De Kuip, Feyenoord
Upton Park, West Ham
San Mames, Athletic Bilbao
FC Gspon’s Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium, The Highest Pitch In Europe
Valley Parade, Bradford City
Prenton Park, Tranmere
Wankdorf, Young Boys
Estadio Municipal, SC Braga
Home Park, Plymouth Argyle
Victoria Park, Hartlepool United
Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
Ninian Park, Cardiff City
Wankdorf Stadium, Young Boys
Portman Road, Ipswich Town
Recreation Ground, Aldershot
Saltergate, Former Home Of Chesterfield
The Crown Ground, Home Of Accrington Stanley