Stadium for the North: Five of the Most Memorable Matches at the Racecourse in the Modern Era

13 Jun 2022 | 08:17 | Football

As the oldest international football stadium in the world, the racecourse has seen thousands of football matches. From crucial Wales qualifiers to memorable matches against Wrexham in Europe, Cae Ras has seen it all.

The Northern Stadium campaign to support Wrexham’s Council bid to receive UK Government ‘Upgrade’ funding. If successful, it will see a new Kop stand built and Racecourse Ground will return to be a four-sided stadium, capable of hosting top international sporting events.

In this article, we will take a look at the 5 most memorable games ever played at the Racecourse in the modern era.

READ MORE: Stadium for the North: All about the campaign and how to support it

Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal (1992)



Wrexham players celebrate their famous FA Cup win over Arsenal
Wrexham players celebrate their famous FA Cup win over Arsenal

Do we have to start with this one? In terms of position in the tournament, the two sides could not be further apart.

Wrexham finished the last game of the previous season in the entire Football League while Arsenal won the First Division title. That counts only on January 4, 1992 as a memorable free-kick by Mickey Thomas and a goal from Stevie Watkin that gave Brian Flynn’s team a win over 13,000 men.

This was the first of many FA Cup shocks the Reds had in the 1990s as Brian Flynn’s men continued to enjoy one of the greatest periods in the club’s history.

Wales 4-1 England (1980)



Mickey Thomas enters the ball against England in Wales' 4-1 win in the Home Championship at Wrexham in 1980
Mickey Thomas enters the ball against England in Wales’ 4-1 win in the Home Championship at Wrexham in 1980

Nearly 25,000 fans gathered at the Racecourse to witness one of the best ever results for the Welsh national team. Mike England’s men eased past the winners as a sensational Welsh performance pleased much of the audience.

Paul Mariner put the visitors ahead before Mickey Thomas, Ian Walsh, Leighton James and Phil Thompson netted at home to secure the win.

Wrexham 1-0 Porto (1984)



Jim Steel scored the winner for Wrexham against Portuguese giants Porto
Jim Steel scored the winner for Wrexham against Portuguese giants Porto

Scots central striker Jim Steel was the hero when fourth-place Wrexham, managed by Bobby Roberts, beat European giants Porto 1-0 at the Racecourse in the European Cup. In a terrifying match, the Red Devils will lose 4-3 in the first leg away to Portugal, meaning they have to concede a goal away.

The victory became all the more impressive because Porto would win the European Cup just two years later.



Stadium for the logo of the Northern campaign

Wales 3-0 Spain (1985)



Mark Hughes trezles Spain
Mark Hughes trezles Spain

Spain head to North Wales as contenders for this World Cup qualifying clash but Wales had a great track record at the Racecourse and went into the match full of confidence. Ian Rush put the hosts ahead before local boy Mark Hughes scored one of the finest goals in Welsh football history, a scissor kick from 18 yards that nearly missed the net.

Rush finished scoring late in the game to seal a great victory. It would be another 28 years before Spain would lose another competitive match by such a margin.

Wrexham 3-1 Boston United (2007)



Chris Llewelyn celebrates scoring against Boston
Chris Llewelyn celebrates scoring against Boston

It may not be relevant in the end, as the Dragons will eventually go down next season, but this final day relegation decision is an incredible opportunity and will live long in the memory. 12,374 people gathered on the famous old grounds to watch the Dragons defeat despite conceding a goal.

Goals from Ryan Valentine, Chris Llewellyn and Michael Proctor canceled out Francis Green’s opening goal and there were jubilant scenes at Cae Ras, goals like these usually reserved for the winners of the promotion. This matchup was also notable as it was the last time The Kop stands to fill up for a match, which hopefully – with your help – will be fixed in the near future.

Northern Campaign Stadium