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The Old Spotted Dog Ground

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'The Dog'
Location Forest Gate, London
Capacity 2,000 (100 seated)[1]
Field size 45 × 90 ft
Clapton (1888–)
London Bari (2012–)
The location of The Old Spotted Dog Ground within Greater London.

The Old Spotted Dog Ground in Forest Gate is the oldest senior football ground in London.[2] Clapton Football Club have played home matches there since 1888[3] and it is also shared by fellow Essex Senior Football League side, London Bari.


The grounds were originally part of the Old Spotted Dog Hunting Lodge, famously used by Henry VIII. The lodge later became a pub, the Spotted Dog, still featuring parts of its original facade, is now a Grade II listed building [4] (although closed down in 2004 the structure has since fallen into disrepair).[5] The lands behind the pub became a sports ground, used primarily for county cricket matches before switching its usage to football.[3]

Clapton FC moved to the ground in 1888 after learning that St Bartholomew's Hospital had given up their tenancy.[6] The former Hackney club played the first match at the ground on 29 September 1888 against Old Carthusians, winning 1–0 in front of over 4,000 spectators.[6] The highest attendance at the ground for a Clapton match was recorded as 12,000 for an FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur during the 1898–99 season.[1]

Clapton's former status as one of English football's leading amateur clubs saw The Old Spotted Dog host a number of high profile matches, including contests with, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax of Amsterdam.[7] Neighbours, West Ham, also used the ground as home to their youth and 'A' teams during the 1960's and brought their World Cup winning stars to feature in the The Dog's first match under floodlights in 1966.

During World War II the ground was used as an anti-aircraft station.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p658 ISBN 978-1-869833-77-0
  2. ^ Clapton FC Clapton FC
  3. ^ a b c The Old Spotted Dog ground Clapton FC
  4. ^ Council apology over Forest Gate’s Spotted Dog campaigners’ claim Newham Recorder, 13 October 2012
  5. ^ Robert Bevan (1 May 2014). "East End rescue mission: the London treasures under threat as land prices rise". Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  6. ^ a b History Clapton FC
  7. ^

Coordinates: 51°32′32″N 0°1′17″E / 51.54222°N 0.02139°E / 51.54222; 0.02139{{#coordinates:51|32|32|N|0|1|17|E|type:landmark_region:GB-NWM |primary |name= }}

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