Vox Pop: Should Wembley's Twin Towers be preserved in plans for a new national stadium?

Click to follow
The Independent Online
KEN LIVINGSTONE

MP for Brent

I can't understand why they can't move the towers to a similar position in the new stadium. I would certainly like to see them preserved. I'm not aware of just how much it would cost, but they must be able to find somewhere, possibly around the main entrance to the new stadium. It's just a question of thinking of the best solution. There are buildings in London that are important to keep because they quite simply define the place, in the same way that red buses and black cabs do, and the towers undoubtedly fall into that category.

BILLY PERRY

Blackpool 1953 Cup winner

The towers are certainly a symbol of Wembley, part of football's rich heritage, and nobody really wants to see them go. In fact, a lot of people would imagine they could knock everything else down, leave the towers and build around them. They are a part of the whole Wembley experience and if they do go the new stadium really could be built anywhere. Having said that, progress has got to be made and if the new development is a better stadium with superior sports facilities, I'm afraid you have to move with the times.

EMLYN HUGHES

Former England captain

I think it's ridiculous what they are thinking. This is what Wembley is about, the Twin Towers. Even contemplating rebuilding without them would be disastrous because when you come down in the coach that is what you are looking for. You're not worried about the pitch, as soon as you see the towers you all think, 'We're nearly there now lads let's get out there today and get it right'. They are symbolic of Wembley, they must have them as some part of the new stadium. Getting to Wembley is what everyone dreams about.

JONATHAN DAVIES

Former rugby international

The twin towers have a great effect on you as you are travelling towards the ground and when you finally get near them you just think: "Oh God, I'm actually going to be playing at Wembley." It's an amazing feeling to play there, but the nearer you get, the less that becomes important and the playing surface is the main thing I remember. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of scoring a nice try there. It might not have the towers in the future, but Wembley is Wembley and the history of what's gone on there can never be taken away.

DAVID ROCK

Royal Institute of Architects

I was part of the jury that chose the architects and, as far as I'm concerned, it's a non-issue. Firstly, if the stadium is going to be up-to-date, the pitch is wrongly orientated by quite a few degrees, which means you can't have the Twin Towers - if you did one would be away from the stadium and one would be in the stands. Also they aren't that good in an architectural sense, and I believe once a spanking new stadium is there the memory of those towers will be less insistent. If we are to build the best stadium you simply can't keep those towers.

DAVID MELLOR

Task Force head

Wembley is an international brand and it seems silly to throw away a trademark like the Twin Towers unless it's absolutely necessary. The worry is that it will become one of those soulless modern stadiums where there isn't a lot of atmosphere and there isn't a lot to distinguish one from another. Given the amount of money they're spending, it is surely not too much to ask to have the comfort and amenities of a new stadium and some of the traditions carried forward from the old one.

INTERVIEWS: JASON GEE

Comments