GRIFFIN PARK was until recently one of the most vibrant stadiums in the Football League.
Despite its meagre capacity of 12,764, the stadium was iconic for the fact it was the only English stadium to have a pub on every corner of the ground.
But since Brentford made the move to the Gtech Community Stadium in September 2020, their spiritual home has been left in a state of ruin.
All that remains now are the corners of some stands which are covered in weeds.
The stadium was home to Brentford since 1904, when it was acquired as an orchard from Fuller’s brewing company.
A team of volunteers cut down the trees in order to make room for the Bees’ former home, in exchange for being able to keep the wood.
True to its reputation of being the only ground with a pub on every corner, the name of Griffin Park was inspired by one of the corner pubs named ‘The Griffin’.
The others were: The Princess Royal, The New Inn and The Brook.
The stadium was built with a 20,000 seater capacity in mind, alongside hopes that it could be increased to 30,000.
However for much of Brentford’s early history, the ‘stadium’ consisted of one grandstand.
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It wasn’t until Brentford’s debut season in the first division in 1935-36 that the ground finally had four stands.
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In the 1980s Griffin Park began taking the shape it would until its closure, with seated stands nestled between the four pubs.
For much of Brentford’s history, their lower league status did not necessitate improvement, which led to Griffin Park having an old-school look.
Speculation around moving away from their home began around 2002, but it wasn’t until current owner Matthew Benham became involved with the club that plans to move accelerated.
Benham made his money in finance before moving to sports betting in 2001, which enabled him to make his millions.
He implemented a gambling model alongside former business partner and now Brighton owner Tony Bloom which allowed their company to predict matches more accurately than the bookies.
After the club fell into financial trouble under former owner Ron Noades, Benham began investing in the club as a ‘mystery investor’ in 2003.
Benham gradually expanded his control over the Bees’ by agreeing to take on their loans before becoming the full owner of the club in 2012.
The club earned promotion to The Championship in 2014 and final approval for the building of the Gtech Community Stadium was granted in September 2016.
With the club flirting with promotion to the Premier League both in the 2014-15 season and 2018-19, questions were asked as to whether Griffin Park could safely be used in England’s top tier.
The club were expected to apply for special dispensation to remain at Griffin Park while construction on the Gtech was completed.
Much to the frustration of Brentford fans, they were unable to say goodbye to the ground due to the final season at Griffin Park being played during the Covid-impacted 2020-21 season.
The club earned planning permission to build 75 family homes on the site of Griffin Park, alongside a centrepiece garden that would pay tribute to their former home.
But in a recent photo, its clear to see that building has not begun and all that remains are crumbling stands.