Premier League club's former stadium where David Beckham made Man Utd debut is now retail park with a Nando's and a Lidl | The Sun

IT MAY look like a regular Nando's and Lidl, but this retail park was once the home of one of the Premier League's top clubs.

And it was even the scene of David Beckham's professional debut for Manchester United way back in 1992.

But just five years later, the old stadium was demolished in 1997 with the club at risk of being washed away.

Now the South Coast side are revelling in their new ground and preparing for the dizzying heights of European football.

And their former stomping ground still gets plenty of visitors every Saturday afternoon… as shoppers head to the likes of TX Maxx, Pets at Home and DFS.

The stadium in question is the Goldstone Ground – home of Brighton & Hove Albion for 95 years.


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Originally part of a farm, Hove FC played on the local pitch for the first time in 1901 before Albion moved in soon after.

The ground expanded with the stands built after World War II up to its record attendance of 36,747 in 1958.

The Goldstone was used for the 1948 Olympics, hosting Luxembourg's 6-0 thrashing of Afghanistan in the preliminary round.

And Brighton fans celebrated various promotions and cup runs – including securing top-flight status for the first time in 1979.

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Then in September 1992, the future England captain Becks would make his first appearance in senior football.

Beckham replaced Andrei Kanchelskis in a 1-1 draw in the League Cup second round – before the Red Devils won the second leg at Old Trafford.

However, Brighton's board controversially decided to sell the ground in an attempt to clear the club's debt.

And amid furious fan backlash, including pitch invasions and demonstrations, the final Seagulls game took place at the Goldstone in 1997 with a crucial 1-0 win over Doncaster.

The following week, Brighton earned a 1-1 draw away at Hereford on the final day of the season to stay in the EFL – and send their opponents down on goals scored.

The Goldstone sale prompted a two-year ground share at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium until 1999, when Brighton rented the Withdean Athletics Stadium – formerly a zoo – until eventually getting the keys for their impressive new stadium, the Amex, in 2011.

Now fans are delighting in the glory days of a five-year stint in the Premier League – and another campaign and European tour to come in 2022-23… with both the Amex and their old Hove home the sites of plenty of brilliant bargain buys.

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