After years of watching Barcelona at the Camp Nou, Liverpool at Anfield and Old Trafford, Benfica at the Stadium of Light Lisbon, Lazio at the Olympic Stadium, Rome, it was time to visit my local team. So I took my little one and took the short drive down to Victoria Road for a stadium tour.
The stadium has been a showpiece of the local area since 1917 and the local Sterling Works side used to play their games at the venue. It was convenient as the pitch was situated right next to the Sterling Works factory.
In 1955 Briggs Sports and Dagenham FC moved on and left the stadium and Dagenham & Redbridge have been a fixture at the ground since. After some resurfacing and structural work was completed on the terraces construction began on the main stand. J.W. Bowers, chairman of the Essex County Football Association was chief guest at the grand opening of the new ground on 7 January 1956.
- Victoria Road hosted its first floodlit match – an FA youth Cup game on 26 September 1957.
- The very first senior outing was against Rainham Town on 19 March 1958.
- In 1967 the club achieved its highest attendance total as 7200 excited punters jam-packed into the stadium for an FA Cup tie against Reading FC.
Moving forward to the year of Italia 90 and Redbridge Forest moved in to ground share. It was a pital moment as the rickety old ground had fallen into a state of disrepair. The cash boost was most welcome and to increase the capacity of the ground the new tenants funded a new stand as well as the replacement of grass banking with firm concrete terracing. The completion of these new works bought the ground up to Football Conference standards. Two years later Dagenham and Redbridge Forest merged.