11 Things...About Stevenage
WHAT do you know about Stevenage - our destination this weekend? Here are some things to educate you on the Hertfordshire town...
1. After the Second World War the Abercrombie Plan called for the establishment of a ring of new towns around London. Stevenage was designated the first New Town on August 1, 1946.
2. The pedestrianised town centre was the first purpose built traffic-free shopping zone in Britain, and was officially opened in 1959 by the Queen.
3. In 1928, Philip Vincent bought the HRD Motorcycle Co LTD out of receivership, immediately moving it to Stevenage and renaming it the Vincent HRD Motorcycle Co LTD. He produced legendary motorcycles, including the Black Shadow and Black Lightning, in the town until 1955.
4. Two films were set in and around Stevenage, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and Boston Kickout. Spy Game was partly filmed in Stevenage but set in Washington D.C.
5. Many top class sporting heroes have come from Stevenage, the most notable being Kevin Phillips, Ashley Young, Lewis Hamilton & Ian Poulter.
6. Stevenage FC were the first team to win a competitive final at the new Wembley Stadium. In 2007 they beat Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 to win the FA Trophy in front of a competition record crowd of 53,262.
7. The club's first ever Football League fixture was against Macclesfield Town in August 2010, ending in a 2–2 draw at Broadhall Way.
8. Stevenage played Torquay United in the League Two play-off final on May 28, 2011 at Old Trafford, winning 1–0, securing a place in League One for the first time in the club's history. The victory meant the club had also earned back-to-back promotions.
9. In the 2010-2011 season Stevenage equaled their previous best performance in the FA Cup, reaching the fourth round of the competition. In the previous round the club were drawn against Premier League side Newcastle United, who they beat 3–1 at Broadhall Way, the first time the club had ever beaten first tier opposition.
10. The Boro went one better the following year, getting to the fifth round, but losing 3–1 to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in a replay at White Hart Lane.
11. Tom Hitchcock, currently on loan to Stevenage from Milton Keynes Dons, was a former Green when Argyle were loaned the player from Blackburn Rovers in 2011. Dean Parrett now also plays for Stevenage, a player the Greens loaned from Tottenham in 2010. He is, however, currently injured.