The first homeowner at Victoria Park was met by a safe pair of hands last week in the form of legendary Stoke City player, Gordon Banks.
The former England international goalkeeper, Banks was joined by Dave Smith, Managing Director of St. Modwen Homes and David Sidaway, City Director at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, to hand over the keys to the first homeowner, Christine Levitt at St. Modwen Homes’ Victoria Park development.
Banks played at the former Victoria Ground, Stoke City’s home ground for over a century, as goalkeeper for the club from 1967-1973. Today, the Victoria Ground is being transformed by St. Modwen Homes into a new community with 130 homes, a play ground and school sports field.
Christine said: “Moving into my new home at Victoria Park was always going to be an exciting moment for me, but to have Gordon Banks hand over the keys and talk about his memories of the football ground was extra special. I even got to show him my own ‘football pitch’ in the garden!”
Dave Smith, Managing Director at St. Modwen Homes, said: “At St. Modwen we’re incredibly proud of the homes we are building at Victoria Park , the old Stoke City Football ground, having worked closely in recent years with the Council, who have been very pragmatic, to assist us in getting this scheme underway. The Victoria Ground was of huge importance locally, with hundreds of people visiting the ground every week to watch Stoke City.
“Welcoming the first homeowner to site is a real milestone at any development as it marks the beginning of a new community developing; especially at regeneration projects such as Victoria Park. Having Gordon here to hand over the keys to Christine represents the significant sporting history of the site and demonstrates our passion for keeping those memories alive at Victoria Park.
“We want this development to be more than a place to live , we want it to enhance the area as there is a need and demand for high quality housing, and create better futures for the local people of Stoke, without forgetting the legacy of the site. As such, we are identifying the location of various features of the Victoria Ground and pitch, with plaques and markings around the development .We are also asking people to submit their entries for a commemorative book of photographs and memories which we will donate to the local community.”
St. Modwen Homes is working with former football players and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, as well as the local community, to create a book of photographs and stories about the former Victoria Ground. People can submit their memories and photographs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Victoria Park by St. Modwen Homes Facebook page.
Two copies of the book will be created; one to be kept at Victoria Park and the other will be donated to Stoke City Council for the public to enjoy.
A range of two and three bedroom properties are currently available at Victoria Park with prices starting from £149,995.
Located off Boothen Old Road, the Marketing Suite at Victoria Park is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5.30pm, and 12pm to 7.30pm on Thursdays. For more information call 0844 243 4516 or email VictoriaPark@StModwenHomes.co.uk. Alternatively visit www.stmodwenhomes.co.uk or follow the housebuilder on Twitter at @StModwenHomes and on the Victoria Park Facebook page.