Stonebridge Road is a multi-purpose stadium in Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent, England, also known as Kuflink Stadium for sponsorship reasons. It is primarily used for football matches. Stonebridge Road was constructed in 1905, and was initially the home of Northfleet FC, which merged with Gravesend FC in 1946. It is currently the home ground of Ebbsfleet United (formerly Gravesend & Northfleet FC). Thus, Stonebridge Road has been the home of Ebbsfleet and its predecessor football clubs for over 100 years.
|Location||Stonebridge Road, |
|Capacity||4,769 (2,179 seated)|
Although one of the Fleet's local rivals, from 2000 to 2006 Dartford had a groundsharing agreement with Ebbsfleet United to use Stonebridge Road as its home. Gillingham used Stonebridge Road briefly for home matches in 1961.
When the Fleet plays at Stonebridge Road, the home supporters typically sit in the Main Stand or in the Plough End. Both those seating areas are covered, although seats were not installed in the Plough End, which is also called the Northfleet End, until 2006. Home fans also stand in the terraced Stonebridge Road Stand, which runs along the length of the pitch on the side of the stadium closest to the street and which is also covered. Away supporters typically stand in the Swanscombe End, which is an open terrace.
The postcode (for maps and directions) of Stonebridge Road is DA11 9GN.
Ebbsfleet United, then called Gravesend and Northfleet F.C., played its first ever match after the merger of the two Kent clubs at Stonebridge Road in August 1946 against Hereford United. The Fleet won that first match 3-0 with more than 5,000 fans in attendance. The stadium's record attendance is 12,032, which was achieved against Sunderland in February 1963 in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie.
In April 2002, the Fleet gained promotion to the top level of non-league football, the Conference National, by defeating Bedford Town on the last day of the season at The New Eyrie. The season also saw the highest modern day attendance at Stonebridge Road, an official figure of 4,068 spectators was announced for the game was against title rivals Canvey Island, although unofficial estimates put the number closer to 6,000 fans.
In July 2014, the construction company PHB agreed a sponsorship deal with the club to rename the stadium as The PHB Stadium, Stonebridge Road. A new sponsorship deal for stadium naming rights was struck in 2017 and the ground is currently The Kuflink Stadium.
In August 2009 proposals for a new stadium as part of redevelopments in the local areas were rejected by Kent County Council and Gravesham Borough Council. After the owners of the freehold put the site up for auction on 21 September, a group of former directors, Ebbsfleet supporters and MyFootballClub members set up a limited company to raise the funds to buy out the freehold.
On 17 September 2009, Gravesham Borough Council announced that they had bought the ground, to be leased to the club at £1 per year, but with the option of the Club purchasing it from the Council if sufficient funds can be raised.
In 2016, work began on a new multi-million pound redevelopment of the stadium with the demolition of the Liam Daish stand and adjoining terracing. The resulting structure on the Stonebridge Road side will house all of the operational and commercial offices, as well as hospitality and social facilities and seating. The new stand opened for supporters in December 2016 and was fully operational in November 2017.
Because National League requirements state a stadium capacity of 4,000 is in place, the club completed work on a £200,000 strengthening of the Swanscombe End terrace to bring the Kuflink Stadium up to a capacity of 4,769, from its previous 3,134.
- "Ebbsfleet United to rename Stonebridge Road ground Kuflink Stadium". Kent Online. 18 October 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- Adams, Duncan (10 March 2008). "Ebbsfleet United". Blue Square Premier League Football Ground Guide. Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- "Stonebridge Road". Ebbsfleet United F.C. Official Website. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-23.
- McCartney, Stephen (27 January 2008). "Stonebridge Showdown: Darts want to follow in the Fleet's footsteps". www.kentishfootball.co.uk. Archived from the original on 31 January 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- "Stonebridge Road". Doing the 92. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2008.
- Oliver, Pete (8 August 2007). "Blue Square Premier form guide". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- "Beat the weather - myfootballclub.co.uk". YouTube. 23 April 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
- "Ebbsfleet United Ground Guide". The Football Supporters Federation. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2008.
- "Concise history of the Fleet". Ebbsfleet United F.C. Official Website. Retrieved 28 May 2008.[dead link]
- "Route update: Fleet's Trophy heroes take to the streets". Gravesham Borough Council Official Website. 14 May 2008. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
- "Fleet announce stadium sponsorship deal with Kuflink". Ebbsfleet United. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- "Hopes dashed for Fleet stadium". bbc.co.uk. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2008.[dead link]
- "FOOTBALL STADIUM & COMMERCIAL YARDS". Clive Emson Land & Property Auctioneers. 2009. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
- "Council buys Ebbsfleet's football ground". Gravesham Borough Council. 17 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2008.
- "Swanscombe End next for refurbishment | Fleet Online: Official Website of Ebbsfleet United FC". ebbsfleetunited.co.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2017.