(Side A) Ironton Tanks
Semi-professional football began in Ironton in 1893 with a team known as the Irontonians. The Ironton Tanks, founded in 1919, was a combination of two Ironton cross-town rival football clubs known as the Irish Town Rags and the Lombards. The Ironton Tanks, perhaps one of the most appropriate athletic nicknames of the period and one that evidently no other team in the nation adopted, is fitting because team members returning from World War I and new players likened themselves to battlefield tanks that flattened the opposition. Ironton, a city heavily dependent on the iron industry, adopted the Tanks name with gusto. On April 16, 1926, a group called the Beechwood Stadium Corporation was formed to raise money to build the Tanks a permanent home. Six months later, the stadium was completed. The Tanks innovative plays in 1930, looping and angle charges, are still being used today by teams of the National Football League.
(Side B) Tanks Memorial Stadium
Opened in 1926, Tanks Memorial Stadium became the home of the Ironton Tanks semi-professional football team. The Tanks were formed in 1919 and through the years played other semi-professional teams as well as teams from the American Professional Football Association that became the National Football League in 1930. In twelve seasons the Tanks had a record of 85 wins, 19 losses, and 14 ties, including wins against the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. The Tanks disbanded in 1931, but five players moved on to the Portsmouth Spartans, which became the Detroit Lions, and other NFL teams picked up four other players. Tanks Memorial Stadium is one of the few remaining roofed high school football stadiums in the country.