Elm Park was home for the Royals for over 100 years, until they moved to Madejski Stadium.
The first game was held on 5th September 1896 between Reading and A Roston Bourke’s XI - which saw Reading leading 7-1 before the match was prematurely ended due to torrential weather. The final competitive match at Elm Park saw Reading play Norwich City on 3rd May 1998.
The Main Stand at Elm Park, on the Norfolk Road side, was built in 1926 and once held 4000 seats as well as the club offices. Opposite on the south side of the ground was a large covered terrace running the length of the pitch known as the South Bank or Tilehurst Road terrace. At either end of the ground were uncovered terraces. The Town End (east end) was where away supporters stood from the 1980s onwards while the opposite terrace was known as the Tilehurst End and used by home supporters.
The gate receipts record for Elm Park was over £110,000 for a 4th Round FA Cup tie against Manchester United in 1996 while the record attendance was 33,042 for a 5th Round FA Cup tie against Brentford in 1927. As a result of the Taylor Report in 1990 the capacity of Elm Park was reduced to 14,800.
Our greatest ticket revenue at Elm Park was on 27th January 1996, when the club hosted Manchester United in the fourth round of the 1995/96 FA Cup.
The record attendance was achieved in 1927 when 33,042 watch Reading beat Brentford 1-0 in the fifth round of the 1926/27 FA Cup. As a result of the Taylor Report, Reading were forced to implement changes to the ground which reduced the capacity to 14,800.
Elm Park will remain a vital part in Reading’s history, playing host to some memorable moments.