Moor - Burnley FC
Burnley v Barnsley
Division One, Saturday, October 20th 2001, 3pm
On Saturday October 20th my wife and I had to make
our way home to Southport in order to attend a family engagement party. This gave me the opportunity to combine the trip with a visit to one of the
few remaining grounds I had left to do in the North West. Turf Moor
was my chosen destination, for Burnley's home game with Barnsley. My
father-in-law, Steve, accompanied me for the afternoon and I drove
the short distance to the Lancashire town in no time.
Arriving on the outskirts of Burnley a couple of hours before kick-off we had planned to park the car, collect our tickets and spend some time in the pub. However, the ground was not signposted from the motorway and we soon got snarled up in the usual Saturday afternoon town centre traffic. By the time we got to the ground and found a car park it was almost too late to venture towards one of the local pubs, which by that time would have been full. As it was we collected our tickets for the upper tier of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand and spent a few minutes walking around the ground before making our way through the turnstiles. It was pleasing to see the advances that Burnley have made to not only the stadium itself, but also the building of a supporters' bar and restaurant behind the James Hargreaves (Longside) Stand, which is backed onto by an indoor sports hall which had put on plenty of pre-match entertainment for kids. That meant parents could enjoy a relaxing drink next door in the bar, and it was clear to see that the scheme is popular with the locals.
It was about half an hour to kick-off when we found our seats but the cold wind and drizzle made an appearance so we headed under the stand to the bar. The strong smell of coffee swayed our decision and instead of beer we both opted for pie and coffee - both equally appetizing and reasonably priced. Although there wasn't a great deal of room in the concourse the were plenty of facilities available to the supporters, including the obligatory TV screens showing recordings of previous matches, betting kiosks and more than enough refreshment outlets. The toilets were par for the course in what is a stand of only a couple of years of age.
We returned to our seats for the kick-off and both
gazed at the two sides to Turf Moor's appearance. I say that because on
two sides of the ground the stands have been left untouched in recent times,
whereas the remaining sides have seen major modernisation in the last couple
of seasons. The Jimmy McIlroy (the home fans stand behind one goal) and James
Hargreaves (which runs along one side of the pitch, and to our right) stands
are identical in design; double-deckered with claret and blue seating.
Both are of a fair size and I feel are better examples of modern stand
design than many others I could mention. The away fans are
housed in the Cricket Field Stand behind the opposite goal. This is a
single tiered stand with old wooden seats. Again it is of a decent
enough size but it looks terribly dated and unappealing in comparison to it's
newer neighbours. The Main - or Bob Lord - Stand to our left
is another older stand with wooden seats. Both of these stands have
obviously served Burnley well through the years and on their own are quite
adequate. However, it is impossible not to notice the clear difference
in the refreshing design of the other two stands and if the club mirror this redevelopment
throughout the rest of the stadium, it will be worthy of Premiership status.
The game itself was highly entertaining, resulting in a share of the points. However, it was clear to observe the frustration from the ever-demanding home fans who failed to share our enjoyment of the six goal thriller, especially when Barnsley cracked in a tremendous free-kick to equalise in stoppage time. By that time we had moved around to the lower tier of the Longside Stand - so that I could take some photos of the Jimmy McIlroy Stand - and that section of the stadium seemed to house the more vociferous and passionate home supporters.
The final whistle sounded and both Steve and I thanked our lucky stars that we'd witnessed such an entertaining game. The stadium is pleasant enough and the future looks exciting both on and off the field at Turf Moor."
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Last Updated: 21 January, 2009