Bloomfield Road - Blackpool
Saturday 6th December 2008
V Charlton Athletic, Championship League 3pm
By Scott Bowman
As a West Ham fan, then to be in the away end at Blackpool v Charlton probably has you scratching your chin? However, the chances to visit Bloomfield Road really wonít pop up often on West Hamís radar. Plus cold weekends away in places like Blackpool with nothing to protect you from the elements is what being a football fanís all about, right?
The night before the game I was at my works Christmas party and got a little worse for wear shall we say Ė What made it worse was the fact that I had to be in south London waiting for the coach at silly oíclock in the morning, which I just made thanks to my mate (a Charlton journalist & fan) and his wonderful girlfriend for picking me up at Cutty Sark DLR station.
I wasnít looking forward to the expected 6 hour coach trip to Blackpool, especially as I was running on adrenalin as I also decided not to sleep once Iíd arrived home from the Christmas party because I probably wouldnít have made the coach! Plus I could sleep on the journey up to the North West. A turn up for the books was the journey which was fairly comfortable despite an early rumble in my stomach of an impending cocktail burst of various different alcoholic beverages, Turkey and Jagerbombs! Iím happy to say that we arrived without incident, although I did look like a rougher/fatter version of Danny Dyer (Although Iím much better looking!)
Blackpool itself isnít the nicest of places on the earth (sorry natives, itís a bit of s tip), although the strip with the sea view was picturesque and I can imagine how nice is looks at night when all lit up, especially around the Christmas period. However I found that away from the seafront, it seemed like every alley, street and walkway was covered with an obstacle course of dog shit! I had to duck and dive, bob and weave just to keep my trainers clean.
After something to eat, it was off to the ground and the reason I came in the first place; Bloomfield Road.
If you were to look at
Bloomfield Road from behind the North Stand, youíd think it was your typical
modern British stadium, however once you work your way to the away end itís
a bit of a shock. I knew I was going to be seated in an area with no cover,
what I didnít realise is that the stand was knocked up with scaffolding and
rotting wood. One Charlton fan remarked about the holes in the stand.
The away facilities at Bloomfield Road are also to be expected considering they havenít finished the ground. The prices for a pie and quality are typical of football, but I was greeted with a smile and a thank you, which to me makes all the difference. The toilets were clean when I entered them and to be honest I was expecting a portaloo to squeeze into rather then a hut with decent/clean facilities.
The stewards were first class as well. Despite my criticism of the city and the ground, I found the stewards and people working within/with the club to be very helpful and they would also greet you with a smile. These touches from the people working for the club go a long way and as a fan following West Ham, Iíve been to many a ground getting treated like cattle (maybe that says more about West Hamís reputation then it does about the people who work for the clubs, I donít know.)
The game was woeful, especially from a neutral perspective. Charlton and Blackpool both had early chances and Charlton were unlucky not to take an early lead, but after a brief spell of possession, the games passed the Addicks by and Blackpool run away with a deserved win. I think Liam Dickinson could be a very nice addition to their squad and Kyle Reid put in a good performance, so thatís encouraging from mine and Iím sure Blackpool fans perspective.
The journey home was again nice and easy and the well made and insightful programme made the long trip back quite enjoyable.
Overall Iíd give Bloomfield Road a 6/10, but more on the basis that the employees of Blackpool FC were first class.
Are you an away or general football fan who has visited Bloomfield Road recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Click here to find out more.
Return To The Blackpool Page
Return To The Main Menu