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A walking tour of Highbury Square

Stan Collymore takes an unexpected detour on his way to the gym.

Aerial Views Of London Football Stadiums
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Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images

As we all know, Highbury, pretty much the best stadium of its generation in all of England, was vacated by Arsenal for the Emirates prior to the 2006/07 season. After that, Arsenal, who still obviously owned Highbury but now didn’t need it, decided to do something useful/profitable with it and build housing there. They were required to maintain the East Stand as it looked, as it was a listed building, so instead of piecemealing the site and selling off all but the East Stand to other developers, they decided to do it themselves.

Highbury Square is the result. It’s a development of more than 650 condos, none of which you or I could afford because they’re in London (seriously? $850K for 713 square feet?) but any one of which we’d probably all snap up in a second if we won the Powerball, just to say we live at Highbury.

As a condo building and not a sports site, of course, it’s not really of much interest the public, so there aren’t really “tours” of it to be had. But today, Stan Collymore was going to the gym and realized that the branch he was going to is actually in the East Stand, and he hadn’t been there since he played there, so he took a look around and narrated his trip:

It’s a neat little look inside a place that none of us will probably ever get to see. As he notes, a lot of the central garden area that used to be the pitch is not walkable, because people had their ashes sprinkled over the pitch through the years, so the club didn’t want to disturb that, which is a lovely touch.

Also: remind me to tell you of the time I went through that same gate he did and ended up standing at the center circle of the Highbury pitch.