Park Soccer Stadium, right across the Walter Gilbert Road,
from King's Park Rugby Stadium, is currently being rebuilt,
amid some controversy, for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. My
informant Gerald Buttigieg sent in a news clipping on the
building of the original stadium and, later, some info on
the rugby stadium, and what must must have been one of the
first major matches played there. Allan Jackson - 6 March
news clipping showing New Kingsmead soccer and cricket
stadium under construction in 1960. It was later renamed
as King's Park Soccer stadium. Clipping courtesy
<== Click to view enlargement
/ Beaches main page
two King's Parks
seems that, until the late 1950s, much of the sport in Durban
took place at the Lord's Ground off Old Fort Road. It then
gradually moved away to the area around Walter Gilbert Road
because Lords Ground was required for the building of a Municipal
Centre and other land had had become available with the closure
of Stamfordhill Airport.
following is an extract from a souvenir brochure to mark the
opening of The Municipal Centre, Old Fort Road, Durban on
3rd October 1957. The opening was performed by the Mayor,
Councillor Percy Osborn.
Worship the Mayor sponsored the proposal that a New Municipal
centre should be established in the vicinity of the Old
Fort, but several other problems then presented themselves,
since the ground surrounding the Old Fort was under lease
to the Durban Football and Cricket Grounds Association
and rugby and cricket as well as athletics was accommodated
in this area. It therefore meant that before any Municipal
scheme could be furthered, other homes had to be found
for these activities and the terms of reference of the
Sub-Committee were enlarged to include the development
of King's park and of Kingsmead. The very fine Kings Park
scheme, which is now nearing completion, gives rugby,
athletics and archery, homes which compare with any in
the country, while cricket will be allowed the use of
the rugby fields during the summer season. The equestrian
section of Kings Park, when completed, will also rank
amongst the finest in the country." Snippet courtesy
it seems likely that King's Park Rugby Stadium opened in 1958,
or so. On the subject of the move of the sports facilities,
Lord's Ground (do not know why it is called Lord's) used
to be a vast flat area off Old Fort Road where just about
all school junior cricket and rugby was played in the
50s. I remember playing rugby [and socccer. Ed.] there
on Saturday mornings and one must remember that it was
a convenient central point, people did not travel to schools
to watch junior rugby. The whole ground was fenced with
the same area was an army ground and drill hall which
is still there. Alongside the army ground was a road which
ran alongside and at the back was a Government Telephone
Department Yard, vehicle park area and store called "Lord's
Ground". It is still there. Lord's Ground sport fields
in winter were marked out into Soccer and Rugby fields
and Durban's amateur Soccer and Rugby league matches were
played there till rugby moved to the new King's Park in
Walter Gilbert Road circa 1958.
then remained until the New Kingsmead stadium was built,
circa 1961, alongside King's Park and amateur soccer was
then played on the fields provided alongside the new stadium.
(This is the one they have just pulled down). I seem to
recall that the stadium was not a success because the
stadium was to be a replacement for Old Kingsmead, which
had got very run down; the old pavilion being the only
structure, was wood and iron while all the stands were
metal structures with plank seats.
the New Kingsmead did not work out because the stadium
seating ended too far away from the soccer pitch which
was marked out in the middle of a cricket arena. However
because of the popularity of soccer in the 60s with the
advent of the NFL (Durban City, Durban United, Addington
teams etc) the New Kingsmead was taken into use and I
stand to be corrected here, but I seem to recall that
the soccer pitch was brought up close to the main pavilion
stand and on the opposite side temporary seating was erected
for the soccer season.
the 1980s this venue was used for the Durban Tattoo which
lasted a few years and then eventually it reverted to
a soccer ground mainly for African league soccer. [It
was also used for a while as a hot rod and stock car oval
track after these exciting sports moved from Hoy Park.
One other thing that must be mentioned about King's Park
Soccer Stadium, is that hosts and hosts of Durbanites
used its parking lots to practice their parallel parking
for their driving tests. Often, you could hardly move
in there with flocks of driving instructors waving frustratedly
at their erratically-reversing pupils. Allan Jackson]
cycle stadium named Cyril Geoghegan (spelling could be
wrong) was completed with the rugby stadium opposite the
Windsor Park Golf Course. I was at school with his sons.
The stadium still exists. As does the Athletic Track and
the Archery Field both of which survive today.
picture of King's Park was taken on the day of the game
which was Natal vs. The All Blacks and was played on 31st
May 1960 which was Union Day, a public holiday. I was there
at the ground that day as all schools in Durban were invited
to attend and we sat on the grass round the field perimeter.
The game ended in a 6 all draw and was Natal's finest achievement
to date, Natal never having won the Currie Cup in its history.
This came much later.
courtesy G Buttigieg
Click to view enlargement
Day was celebrated because the 4 provinces formed the
Union of South Africa on 31st May 1910. The next year,
1961, it became Republic Day because South Africa opted
out of the Commonwealth and was declared a Republic on
31st May 1961. Every school going child was given a bronze
medal to commemorate the day.
courtesy G Buttigieg
Click to view enlargement
point, New Kingsmead was renamed King's Park Soccer Stadium.
It seems likely that the cricketing authorities decided to
stick with Old Kingsmead, which in now known just as Kingsmead.
(as yet undated) news clipping, above, shows Old Kingsmead
falling into dilapidation.
news clipping, above, with resoration in progress after
the decision had been taken to stock with the old cricket
courtesy G Buttigieg. Click to view enlargements.