The story of Morfa Stadium, Swansea’s once iconic venue which was torn to the ground to make space for a retail park

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Morfa has been a go-to destination in Swansea long before the days of KFC, B&Q and the Liberty Stadium.

What once sat in this now prominent part of city was something more modest, which created many timeless memories.

From the 1980s until early noughties, an athletics stadium was arguably the biggest attraction the area had to offer.

Constructed and in use from 1980, it was officially opened as Morfa Stadium on April 20, 1989 by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.










The facility featured a fully-sized pitch, where various sports would be played, and an athletics track.

It was used as a residential training facility for Swansea Harriers Athletics Club, which has produced numerous local, national, international, Commonwealth, Olympic and world competitors.

There would be 10k events held here, and it would also be the home to many school sports days.

Spectators would watch on from the stand which housed rows of multi-coloured red, blue and green seats and cheer on local faces as they took to the field or raced around the track.







It was a special moment for many if you got to visit and compete there.

And it would also be a very popular venue for children’s parties, with indoor athletics equipment and crash mats aplenty.







Its defining moment, and the one for which it will be most remembered by many, had nothing to do with sport at all.

On July 31, 1999, the Stereophonics played a gig there, which to this day is still commonly regarded as the world-travelled band’s best ever.

With 50,000 fans in attendance, the open air concert, which came after the release of their Performance and Cocktails album, was a legendary moment in the city’s music history.






But the venue which created those priceless memories was to be removed from the city’s landscape, brick by brick, just four years later.

In 2003, it was time for the dawning of a new era, as Swansea Council unveiled its vision for the future to build a stadium to provide a home for the Ospreys, and the Swans, with the club gearing up to move from their home of The Vetch Field.

The stadium was built on the land that was Morfa playing fields, which once hosted famous gigs like BBC Radio 1’s One Big Sunday on more than one occasion.

But the council’s vision also included plans to build a new retail park next to it, spelling the end for Morfa Stadium, which was demolished in 2003.








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The Liberty Stadium and Morfa Retail Park have transformed the SA1 area for good, delivering a huge boost to the economy with an elite sporting venue and a vast array of top high street shops and eateries, not to mention the local employment opportunities and subsequent housing developments, such as Copper Quarter. It is a huge asset to the city.

But the memories which were created at both Morfa Stadium and Morfa playing fields will long leave a lasting impression in the minds of all those old enough to remember it.

Whether it was the place you saw a legendary gig, took part in an egg and spoon race or celebrated a special birthday, it won’t be forgotten.



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