Football under lights



It's taken for granted these days that football can be played on any day at any time, more so when TV programming is

involved but just imagine though when there was no such thing as floodlights....., unbelieveable to think of ??  but yes,

matches had to be  played mid afternoon, mid week  because there was no such thing as "lights"

Then in 1952 advancements were being made to the game of football


This page is more of an historical interest but Arthur played in all the games mentioned below.


the examples from the program's, below show afternoon kick off's




















Sunderland's first experience of floodlit football in the UK came at Southampton's Dell on 1st December 1952 with this being the first floodlit game at The Dell, a crowd of 15000 watched the game,  Sunderland played in luminous red shirts which showed up brilliantly under the floodlights, sorry for the poor quality teamsheet below





















Roker Park then hosted it's first ever floodlit match  just 9 days later when Sunderland hosted Dundee, We don't have the program for that match but, the game was hailed as a great success and was watched by a crowd of over 34,000 with

Sunderland winning the game 5-3. I believe that both teams wore "bright satin shirts" to enable them to been more

clearly , after all, this floodlight thing was a new spectacle. The photo's below are from the game but what are

more interesting are the program notes from a couple of Sunderland  home programs for that same season,

you never know it might just catch on !!!!!




Fred Hall leading Sunderland out with Trevor Ford just behind the skipper

Only 12 "lamps " per tower

Sunderland: - Threadgold, Marston, Hudgell, Aitken, Hall, Wright (A), Bingham, Wright (T), Ford, Shackleton, Reynolds.      (Subs Hedley, Toseland Davis)


Dundee: – Henderson(T), Frew, Cowan, Molley, Boyd, Cowie, Stables, Henderson(A), Flavell, Steel, Christie.      (Sub Merchant)

Notice the comment about special lighting having to  be installed in the stands & stairways

Just look at the comments about pay & bonus, just shows one of the major differences between then  and now !!!

As more clubs installed floodlights, it still took a while before non friendly games could be played under lights until ;-


In 1955 Sunderland made a proposal that led to the formal introduction of floodlit fixtures to the league calendar. They suggested that if the two clubs agreed then postponed fixtures could be played under floodlights.


As a result, the first cup tie to be played under lights was on 28 Nov 1955, it was a second round replay between Carlisle & Darlington which was played at Newcastle's ground


Then, the very first league game was played on 22 Feb 1956 at Fratton Park, Portsmouth, ironically, the game was held up for 30 minutes as the fuses failed