As Harrow residents, we are very lucky to have one of the most famous, iconic and spectacular stadiums on our doorstep – Wembley.
Opening it’s doors to the general public for the first time in April 1923, the stadium quickly became home to the biggest national sporting events in the entire country.
Originally the stadium was set to be demolished after an event for the British Empire the following year, however Sir James Stevenson, a businessmen and civil servant, who also chaired the Standing Committee for the British Empire event, lobbied for the the stadium stay open and campaigned against the destruction of the newly built Wembley.
King George V opened the stadium to the general public and it soon became home to some of the most iconic moments in footballing history such as the World Cup in 1966, won by England of course, EURO ’96, and the London 2012 Olympic Games.
But it’s not just football or sport that makes Wembley Stadium one of the most famous in the world, some of the worlds most famous musicians, bands and live acts have performed at the venue over the years.
Although the stadium was rebuilt in the early 00’s and reopened in 2007, it maintained its magic and is now approaching its centenary year in 2023.
We wanted to find out what memories Harrow residents had of the stadium, we asked our group members to name their favourite sporting moments and musical acts they’ve seen – here are the best responses…
“Michael Jackson Dangerous, Madonna whose that’s girl and Vogue, Eric Clapton, Guns and Roses, Freddie Mercury tribute concert, Liverpool v Leeds charity shield, I worked there in 80s and 90s and loved it.”
“Watching the London Monarchs American football was a great experience in the early 90s.”
“Simply Red was the first ever concert I went to see and it happened to be at Wembley. My dad took me to Wembley stadium and we had amazing seats. Everyone was standing on their chairs so I joined in and the concert was amazing. I also went to see Westlife with one of my best friends. It was exciting as it was the first time We were allowed to go without a parent which made it that much more special. Of course Westlife was amazing and when the sang ‘flying without wings’ they came out over the crowd and stopped right above us! Definitely a night I won’t forget.”
“Tina Turner concert however enjoyed more her warmup act: Lionel Richie.”
“Oasis in the year 2000. The warm up act were the Happy Mondays and both were equally as good as each other. I miss the old Wembley though, the new stadium doesn’t feel the same, I think it lacks character but only compared to the old Wembley.”
“Roger Waters and his epic The Wall show.”
“WWF Summerslam ‘92. Bret Hart vs The British Bulldog, and Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage, Undertaker was there too and the Legion of Doom. I was there and my whole class was envious, it was one of the best events I’ve been to at Wembley and the atmosphere was intense, having been to many boxing fights too but this memory stands out as the best.”
“Best match was QPR v Derby playoff final oooooooh Bobby Zamora.”
“I saw Tina Turner at Wembley, must have been around 1995 or 96. It was one of the best live performances by any artist I’ve ever seen in my life, she was sooooo good.”
“My friend got me tickets to the 2000 Charity shield. I loved every second of it, First experience seeing a game at Wembley.”
“I took my family to see England vs USA in 2018. It was Wayne Rooney’s last ever game for the three lions and he got a standing ovation from the whole of Wembley Stadium at the end of the game. It actually gave me goosebumps.”
“My first ever concert I went to was Genesis in 1987 and it was superb, then seeing Brentford finally get promoted to the PL [Premier League] last year was the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
“Michael Jackson at the old Wembley Stadium, 1988.”
“Sadly another Wembley memory for me was watching the great Barcelona team led by Messi destroy United in the 2011 Champions league final. Had pitch side tickets and as a united fan it was depressing. But looking back on it, seeing one of the greatest club sides ever to play the game at their pinnacle was not so bad after all.”
“Concert: Michael Jackson ‘BAD’ tour
Football: it’s between England v Scotland or England v Holland at Euro 96…”
“Michael Jackson ‘Dangerous’, Madonna ‘Whose That Girl’ and ‘Vogue’, Eric Clapton, Guns and Roses, Freddie Mercury tribute concert, Liverpool v Leeds charity shield, I worked there in 80s and 90s and loved it.”
“Forest Green rovers winning the play off at Wembley 2017… My son in law was one of their best players and we had vip seats…”
“When I was at school in the 60s, we used to go to the old Wembley stadium to watch the international hockey matches. It was a great treat.”
“Micheal Jackson on his Dangerous Tour 1992, the atmosphere was electric and that was probably the best concert I’ve ever been to. Although, I did recently go to the Summertime Ball at Wembley and Harry Styles was mesmerising and I’m looking forward to seeing Ed Sheeran next month.”
“My first and only really concert was seeing the purple one himself, Prince! He was just the best, a lovely childhood memory.”
“I watched Wealdstone football club win at Wembley, I also saw the pope at Wembley.”
“It’s not a church or religious building, but Wembley is still holy ground to many of us. My favourite event was seeing the Wrestling there in 1992, Summerslam, when the Bulldog won the belt.”
“Frank Bruno vs Oliver Mcall in 1995. That night I will honest never forget as long as I live. The atmosphere in the stadium after Bruno won the match and became world heavyweight champion, it was electric. A lot of people thought he would lose which made it even more special, and then he went and lost it to Mike Tyson!.”