Ten years of Stadium MK: Some nights we will never forget

Stadium MK
Stadium MK

It threatened to be a white elephant, a landmark dedicated to misplaced ambition and a failed experiment. Ten years later though, Stadium MK has played host to some of the town’s most iconic moments.

On Wednesday July 18, 2007, the doors swung open for the first time to welcome in football fans to watch a Chelsea XI play MK Dons - the first match played in their new home, not a seldom-used hockey stadium.

MK Dons beat Manchester United 4-0

MK Dons beat Manchester United 4-0

In the proceeding decade, the stadium has become so much more than that. Not just home to Dons, the infamous 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United and the place where England international Dele Alli made his name, the house Pete Winkelman built has helped put Milton Keynes on the map.

Japan’s 26-5 victory over Samoa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup is believed to be the most watched game of rugby of all time, and was hosted at Stadium MK.

Premier League champions and darts legends have graced stadium in a sporting capacity, brave marathon runners have raced around it to rapturous applause - even political parties have celebrated victories over their rivals there on election night.

Far from the white elephant it could have been, Stadium MK at 10 years old is continuing to grow in stature, in reputation and in landmarks.

Stadium MK

Stadium MK

Put to a poll, our readers voted the 4-0 win over Manchester United the best game ever to be held at Stadium MK.

Two goals from Will Grigg, including an audacious chested effort past David De Gea, and another two from Benik Afobe wrote their names in Dons folklore.

The night will forever be remembered as the first time the stadium reached a sell-out, as 26,969 piled in to watch the show unfurl in front of them on the pitch.

The win over United narrowly saw off the 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup in 2012 - the first time the two clubs had met - and another goal-fest, the 5-1 win over Yeovil in 2015 to secure promotion to the Championship.