The biggest attendances in UK football might not be as ridiculous as the biggest football attendance worldwide (199,854 people at the Maracana in 1950), but they still managed to generate their own remarkable atmospheres.
Biggest Attendances In English Football:
The majority of the records came in the distant past, when seating was a rarity rather than a necessity, allowing crowds to easily exceed 50,000 even in less than enormous stadia.
We’ll take a look at the records all-time and in the Premier League era, starting with the recent past and Tottenham Hotspur…
Spurs Record Attendance: 85,512 vs Bayer Leverkusen (November 2016)
In what was the third ever meeting between the two sides, Tottenham set the record for the highest ever home attendance for an English club. It wasn’t a happy evening for Spurs, however, as a Kevin Kampl goal saw them suffer defeat.
Much was discussed about Spurs playing at Wembley while their new stadium was built – whatever your opinion on it, those matches have broken attendance records aplenty.
Spurs Record Premier League Attendance: 83,222 vs Arsenal (February 2018)
Harry Kane was the man for Spurs as they set another attendance record in a 1-0 win against Arsenal. It was a significant win, as Arsene Wenger’s tenure came to an end and Spurs reasserted their position as the force in north London.
Man City Record Attendance: 84,569 vs Stoke City (March 1934)
A record for an English club’s home match until Tottenham played at Wembley in 2016, Manchester City and Stoke City played in front of nearly 85,000 fans in the sixth-round of the 1933/34 FA Cup at Maine Road.
Manchester City saw off the Potters on their way to winning their second FA Cup as they beat Portsmouth at Wembley the following month.
Man City Record Premier League Attendance: 54,693 vs Leicester City (February 2016)
A brace from Robert Huth and a goal from Riyad Mahrez helped the Foxes go five points clear.
Chelsea Record Attendance: 82,905 vs Arsenal (October 1935)
With a current capacity of just over 40,000, it is astonishing to think around double that got into Stamford Bridge in October 1935 to witness a 1-1 draw against Arsenal.
It might have been a long time before Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, but the rivalry was alive back then.
Separated by just two points at the end of the season, neither side threatened eventual champions Sunderland a great deal, although Arsenal did win the FA Cup - against the 888 tips odds.
Chelsea Record Premier League Attendance: 46,824 vs Manchester United (November 2003)
A few months into Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea reign, just shy of 47,000 were at Stamford Bridge to see Claudio Ranieri’s Blues edge past Manchester United thanks to a Frank Lampard penalty.
There were big names aplenty on show, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, John Terry and Claude Makelele.
Man United Record Attendance: 81,962 vs Arsenal (January 1948)
Relocated to Manchester City’s Maine Road because of bomb damage to Old Trafford, Manchester United hosted over 80,000 fans for a 1948 clash with Arsenal.
As the country recovered from the Second World War, the two teams who dominated the early Premier League years battled for the Division One title.
Arsenal lifted the trophy at the end of the 1947/48 campaign a few months after a 1-1 draw at Maine Road with their closest challengers.
Man United Record Premier League Attendance: 76,098 vs Blackburn Rovers (March 2007)
Facing 10th-placed Blackburn Rovers, Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United set the Premier League attendance record on 31st March 2007.
United were well on their way to lifting yet another title, and gave themselves a boost with 4-1 win despite being 1-0 at half-time.
Everton Record Attendance: 78,299 vs Liverpool (September 1948)
Victims of many of many football’s greatest quotes from the other side of Liverpool, it’s fitting that Everton’s biggest attendances both came against their oldest rivals.
This early season encounter saw Bob Paisley starting for Liverpool. The match ended 1-1 with Jock Dodds getting on the scoresheet for the hosts at a packed Goodison.
Everton Record Premier League Attendance: 40,552 vs Liverpool (December 2004)
In what turned out to be a glorious season for Liverpool, Everton faced their bitter rivals in brilliant form. David Moyes’ side were second in the table as they welcomed Rafa Benitez’s team.
A second half strike from Lee Carsley was enough to secure all three points for the Toffees. Xabi Alonso and Duncan Ferguson both came off the bench.
Aston Villa Record Attendance: 76,588 vs Derby County (March 1946)
Just months after the end of the Second World War, a whopping 76,588 people piled into Villa Park to watch the first leg of Aston Villa’s FA Cup tie with Derby County.
A pair of late goals from The Rams saw them win a seven-goal thriller 4-3 in Birmingham before a 1-1 draw in the second leg. Derby beat Birmingham City in the last four and won a dramatic final against Charlton Athletic to lift their first and only FA Cup.
Aston Villa Record Premier League Attendance: 45,347 vs Liverpool (May 1994)
When Aston Villa drew their record Premier League attendance in 1994, the ending was a lot more enjoyable for the crowd than it was in 1946.
Hosting a Liverpool side featuring Robbie Fowler, John Barnes and Ian Rush, Dwight Yorke snatched a late 2-1 victory for the hosts with a second half brace.
Sunderland Record Attendance: 75,118 vs Derby County (March 1933)
Sunderland hosted Derby County in an FA Cup sixth-round replay in the early 1930s and drew a crowd just shy of the current capacity of Old Trafford.
888 sport prediction odds find it unlikely that Sunderland will be back in the Premier League soon but you never know - they certainly have a passionate fan base.
The official capacity was around 60,000 at the time, but an extra 15,000 or fans squeezed in to witness Derby scrape a 1-0 away victory.
The Rams went on to lose to Manchester City in the semi-final played in Huddersfield, and City were thrashed 3-0 in the final by a Dixie Dean led Everton.
Sunderland Record Premier League Attendance: 48,355 vs Liverpool (April 2002)
Like their record attendance at Roker Park, Sunderland’s Premier League record attendance – which came at the Stadium of Light – ended in a 1-0 defeat.
Liverpool were the winners on this occasion, with Sunderland’s Claudio Reyna being sent off in the 89th minute for a second yellow.
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Matt Dunham / AP Photo*
FIRST PUBLISHED: 25th September 2019