Not a name that springs to the minds of many Kiwi’s I’d imagine, but to any football nut, this guy is a legend.
Finally got my copy from University Bookshop today, and am a very happy football-architecture-stadium fan. Put this on your shopping list for xmas, it’s a fantastic read and a great history of a stunning stadium architect.
For a brief history of the man and a list of the parks that he has designed that has literally entertained and housed millions of sports (and concert) fans go to his Wiki entry here.
The publisher’s page, Played in Britian, has a nice summary of the book too, found here.
In the second book of the Played in Britain series, stadium expert Simon Inglis recalls the life and work of Archibald Leitch (1865-1939), the Scottish engineer whose designs were to football what Frank Matcham was to theatre.
Millions of spectators sat or stood in Leitch’s structures, built for such famous clubs as Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Hearts and Glasgow Rangers. No other stadium architect can claim such an illustrious list of clients.
And from the Author’s sub site on the Played in Britian website.
For author Simon Inglis, Archibald Leitch was one of the most intriguing figures in British football history. He was also the man who inspired Inglis’s career as a historian of the game.
‘Although I didn’t realise it at the time,’ recalls Inglis, ‘I watched my first ever game from a Leitch-designed building, the Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park, in April 1962, when the magnificent redbrick stand was 40 years old and I was just seven. Villa won that day 8-3, and I was hooked. That year I even wrote a few school compositions about Villa Park, which I re-discovered in the attic years later and was amazed to find included references to double-decker stands, floodlights and Wembley Stadium. I then spent the next 20 years standing on the Holte End, only to find that Leitch had designed that also.’