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Dates with destiny

1880 Wembley Park Leisure Grounds develops football and cricket pitches, a running track, fountains and waterfalls.

1889 In a bid to encourage more people to use the railways, chairman of the Metropolitan Railway Sir Edward Watkin decides to build a 350m four-legged structure dubbed 'London's Eiffel Tower'.

1895 The tower's foundations move and the project runs out of money. It has reached only 61m when work is abandoned.

1907 The 'feet' of what is now known as Watkin's Folly are blown up with dynamite.

1918 The government begins planning a British Empire Exhibition with a stadium as its centrepiece.

Wembley Park Leisure Ground, which by now has evolved into an 18-hole golf course, is chosen.

1924 The Empire Stadium is opened by King George V on 23 April. Designed by engineer Sir Owen Williams, it took 300 days to build at a cost of ú750,000. Over 25,000t of ferro concrete, 1,000t of steel and 500,000 rivets were used.

1948 Olympic Games venue.

1955 Floodlights installed.

1963 Electric scoreboard and an encircling aluminium and translucent glass roof added.

Boxer Henry Cooper floors a young Muhammad Ali before going on to lose the bout.

1966 England beats Germany to lift the World Cup.

1985 Live Aid concert raises more than ú60M for famine relief.

October 2000 England loses last match at the stadium to old enemy Germany.

September 2002 Demolition works begin.

February 2003 Twin towers are demolished.

Spring 2006 New Wembley Stadium due to open.

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