1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
A new ground for me and unusually, I was going to
be on my own (other than in the company of 3500
other Leeds fans). I had seen Ewood Park many
times on television and had not been particularly
impressed, but the reality proved to be somewhat
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
The journey (M65 from West Yorkshire) was easy as
I have regularly passed the signs for Ewood - J4
from the M65 - and on the A666. From the motorway
junction the signage directs one down under the
motorway bridge and the ground is at the bottom of
the hill. Ewood Park is also within walking
distance from the railway station.
Other reviews of Ewood directed drivers to one of
a number of club-linked car parks or pub car
parks, all of which charge between £5-£10.
Personally, I think football is dear enough
without adding unnecessarily to the overall cost
(my ticket was £32, the price hiked by Blackburn
in tit-for-tat retaliation for what Ken Bates had
charged away fans at Elland Road). I was therefore
pleased to find early arrival gave me a choice of
on street parking: to the left of the Gold Cup pub
(immediately under the motorway bridge) or on the
main road after the traffic lights, leading down
to Ewood Park. The walk to the ground took no more
than 10 minutes.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
Having plenty of time before the game, I took the
opportunity to add to my collection of stadium
photographs. As kick-off approached there were
plenty of Leeds fans around wearing colours with
no suggestion of trouble. Watching the teams
arrive home fans were quite happy to engage in
conversation, perhaps partly due to the fact that
we have had similar experiences in recent years
(owners and managers we have not been happy with;
performances failing to live up to expectations
For those looking for a pub, the Golden Cup, just
off the motorway, is designated for away fans.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
A statue of Jack Walker stands outside the
Blackburn End and Ewood Park is now very much 'The
House That Jack Built'. I suppose he was the ideal
football club owner: a fan, with the money to
build a successful side and a ground to match.
As with many traditional football ground
locations, Ewood Park is flanked on one side by
terraced housing, but on the other by a small
river. The stand adjacent to the latter is
somewhat incongruous, being a single tiered affair
with pillars, whereas the other three stands are
modern steel-and-glass and bigger than I had
Inside, the ground is similarly modern: clean
concourses (at least in the away end), great lines
of sight and close to the pitch.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was reasonably entertaining, with Leeds
looking the more likely scorers. It was therefore
a surprise when it ended 0-0 - our first goalless
draw in 50-odd games. The 3500 Leeds supporters
easily outsang the 14500 home support who had
perhaps lost their collective voice having
eventually persuaded the owners that Steve Kean
was not the man to take the club forward.
Stewards were polite and unobtrusive. Refreshments
were typical unimaginative football fare and
overpriced (£2.20 for a cup of tea). Toilets were
clean but probably inadequate at half time after
the quantity of beer that was presumably consumed
before the game.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
The police had a well-rehearsed procedure for
handling the crowd after the game: much of the
road immediately outside the ground was cordoned
off to traffic. I had a ten minute walk back to
the car, which I had parked close to the motorway,
followed by a ten minute delay as departing
coaches were given priority over side roads. Once
on the motorway it was a clear run home on the
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Although the result was slightly disappointing,
this was a great day out. I liked the fact that
there was none of the faux atmosphere some clubs
(e.g. Wigan) create to try to cover for the lack
of noise coming from the crowd - we don't need
that sort of Americanisation in football. But the
main memory of the day was the people I came into
contact with at Blackburn: home fans, stewards,
programme sellers, ticket office- and catering
staff were friendly and unusually (in my
experience) courteous - a real credit to the club.