At Old Trafford yesterday evening, The Big Red One was glowing in the reflected light of the setting sun. Third Man took the photograph below to show progress on its construction.
It does tend to dwarf the 1894 Pavilion which in its time provided some of the very best facilities for players, with no less than three baths in the Amateurs’ dressing room.
There are plans to raise the height of the Pavilion and to build another Big Red One on the other side.
Third Man has learnt from I.A.R Peebles (The Watney Book of Test Match Grounds) that the décor of Old Trafford has traditionally been colourful.
On Capture, Corporal Deiderski of Rommel’s Africa Corp, found himself by a circuitous route in a prisoner of war camp in Cheshire. When the war was over he stayed there and, after marrying a local ‘lass’, moved to Manchester to practice his trade as a painter and decorator.
As Peebles tells it, “His exceptional talents caught the eye of that enterprising Secretary, Geoffrey Howard, and he set to work to enliven the sober colour scheme of Old Trafford. The result was most cheerful and stimulating, with benches bursting out in all manner of brilliant hues and notices, directing the way to mundane destinations, beautifully scribed on miniature signposts.”
Is it too much to hope that the authorities might consider naming this most cheerful and stimulating addition to their famous ground, The Corporal Deiderski Stand?