Olive Grove was Wednesday’s fifth ground after Highfield, Myrtle Road, Sheaf House and Bramall Lane, it opened in September 1887.
A plaque marks the ground on the wall behind the bus stop next to the Olive Grove works depot and is only a few hundred yards away from where Sheffield FC first played, a piece of land occupied by the B&Q store on Queens Road. Both pitches would have been chosen for their flatness but were essentially water meadows to the river Sheaf that runs to the west of both grounds. Olive Grove still has an operational football pitch. A few hundred yards in the opposite direction up Heeley Bank Road is the Sheffield Works Department Sports football pitch, which Sheffield FC are still considering as a new location for their Dronfield-based football club.
Wednesday FC obtained the field to build the Olive Grove ground on a seven years’ lease from the Duke of Norfolk. It had a stream running through it feeding the Sheaf together with a footpath. It cost Wednesday £5,000.00 to divert the path, cover the stream, organise the drainage and build the pitch and enclosures:
“The new ground of the Wednesday Football Club which was opened yesterday, is a great addition to the grounds where the winter pastime may be indulged in under favourable circumstances, in Sheffield. The portion set apart by the rule, measuring 110 yards in length, 70 in width and is surrounded by a cinder path 6ft wide. There is a large shed capable of accommodating about 1000 persons and it is probable that a covered enclosure will before long be erected. The ground has two double entrances- one near the railway from Olive Grove road, and the other from the direction of Myrtle Grove road.”
Olive Grove hosted the first ever United v. Wednesday derby on December 15th, 1890, which Wednesday won 2-1.
In 1899 Wednesday moved to Owlerton which in 1913 was renamed Hillsborough.
All the famous football pitches played on in the 1857-1889 era; East Bank, Hounsfield Park, Highfield, Cremorne Gardens, Sheaf House, Bramall Lane, and the Olive Grove, are all within the same square mile.
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