History


  • 1940 Stoke Mandeville Hospital built as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Hospital.
  • 1944 1st February Dr.Ludwig Guttmann came to Stoke Mandeville Hospital to set up a new spinal unit to deal with war casualties suffering from spinal cord injuries. By the end of 1944 the Unit had increased to over 60 beds. By the time of Dr. Guttmann’s retirement in 1966 the number of beds stood at 190.
  • 1945 After the end of the war, the spinal unit at Barnsley Hall, Basingstoke, Leatherhead, Llandrindod Wells and Winwick were closed and their patients transferred to Stoke Mandeville.
  • 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games founded with 16 ex-members of the British forces.
  • 1950 14 teams competed at the games with a total of 60 competitors.
  • 1952 The first overseas team from the Netherlands competed at the Games.
  • 1954 14 nations were represented at the Games.
  • 1960 First Paralympic Games in Rome.
  • 1961 Guttmann founded British Sports Association for the Disabled, introducing organised sport to men, women and children with disabilities other than spinal paraplegia.
  • 1968 Work started on Stoke Mandeville Sports Stadium, built on hospital land leased by the Ministry of Health at a cost of £350,000. Organisation of the Games passed to the Paraplegic Sports Endowment Fund (later British Paraplegic Sports Society and then British Wheelchair Sports Foundation).
  • 1969 2nd August, HRH Queen Elizabeth performed the official opening ceremony of the Stadium. 1969 was also the 21st Anniversary of the International Stoke Mandeville Games.
  • 1979 400-metre outdoor running track added to the facilities.
  • 1974 The Lady Guttmann Indoor Bowls Centre built.
  • 1980 18th March Sir Ludwig Guttmann died aged 80, subsequently the Stadium complex was renamed the Ludwig Guttmann Sports Centre for the Disabled – Stoke Mandeville.
  • 1981 The Olympic Village was opened by the BPSS President, The Right Hon. Lord Porritt.
  • 2000 Centre closed for major £10million refurbishment.
  • 2003 1st March, newly named ‘Stoke Mandeville Stadium’ re-opens.
  • 2003 8th April, HRH The Prince of Wales officially re-opens Stadium.
  • 2008 Lord Coe launches the Official London 2012 Training Camp Programme at Stoke Mandeville Stadium
  • 2008 Tennis Courts Opened
  • 2008 Sept 17th, Beijing Handover Celebrations hosted at Stoke Mandeville Stadium to mark the start of the London Paralympiad
  • 2009 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships Hosted & 25th Anniversary of 1984 Paralympic Games Celebrated
  • 2010 Paralympic Shooting World Cup Hosted