Before each away game, Pars Review looks at the venue we will be travelling to: its history, with rare photos showing changes to the opposition club's stadium over the years, and how it looks now. On Saturday we travel to the Paisley 2021 Stadium, home of St Mirren.
St Mirren moved to their current home in 2009. For the first 17 years of their history (1877-1894) they played at 4 different grounds in Paisley, before moving to Love Street, where they remained until 2009. This article will look at Love Street and their current stadium.
In 1894 St Mirren rented a site in Love Street, Paisley from a Mr Fullerton; for the first year, the ground was known as Fullerton Park, and was then renamed St Mirren Park. It was always more commonly referred to as Love Street. The ground had one main stand which held 1000 people. The photo above shows the stadium in 1927, by which time a new main stand had been built, seating around 1800. The stadium remained largely unchanged through the remainder of the 1920s through to the 1950s.
In the late 1950s, the North Bank (terracing on the opposite side from the main stand) was covered and then the terracing at the home end of the ground was brought forward to within a few yards of the goal. All terracing in the ground was concreted and barriers installed. The photo below shows the covered North Bank and the home end terracing on the right . The away end terracing remained some distance behind the goal.
In 1991, seats were installed in the North Bank (as seen in photo below).
In 1995, a 3000 seater stand was built behind the away end goal, which was also much closer to the pitch (pictured below).
In 2000, St Mirren were required to install seating in the home end terracing, to meet Premier League rules on seated stadiums. The terrace then became known as the East Stand (see photo below).
The following 2 photos show Love Street in 2005 - a 10,800 capacity all-seated stadium that still featured the 1921 main stand.
In 2003, St Mirren, who were experiencing financial problems, began talks with various supermarket companies to sell the Love Street site. In 2007, the club accepted an offer from Tesco for the site. In addition to keep the club afloat, the money from the sale of Love Street was used to build a new 8000 seater stadium in Greenhill Road, less than a mile from Love Street. The photos below show the site during and after construction, which began in January 2008 and was completed 12 months later, and was named St Mirren Park. It has since been renamed the Paisley 2021 Stadium as part of a sponsorship deal with Renfrewshire Council, who are bidding to have Paisley named as the UK City of Culture in 2021.
The next 2 photos were taken by Pars Review - the first in October 2015 when we played St Mirren in the Challenge Cup, and the second photo from this month when the Pars Under 20s defeated St Mirren in the Scottish Youth Cup.