Tuesday, October 14, 2014

14 October 1878 - This Time, The Stars Were Above The Pitch, Not On It

On 14 October 1878, Sheffield's Bramall Lane ground hosted a match between two sides pulled from local players. It was the first match in history to be played under floodlights. The lighting system, designed by electrician John Tasker, used four sets of lights on wooden towers, powered by Siemens generators.

The experiment in nighttime football was a success, as approximately 20,000 people attended the match (though it was perhaps a qualified success, as the darkness allowed a reported 6,000 of them to sneak into the match). That was a larger crowd than the one for that year's FA Cup Final.

Unfortunately, the lighting systems in use at the time proved unsafe and the Football League banned them at the start of the 1888-89 season. Lights were not used in the Football League until Portsmouth played Newcastle at Fratton Park on 22 February 1956.

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