1. Why you were looking forward to going to the
ground (or not as the case may be):
I have been wanting to visit
Turf Moor for some time. Previous attempts were thwarted by a game
being moved to a Friday night for SKY and a postponement due to high
winds. I had heard reports it was a ground you would go to once and not go
back, especially as I know someone who had a very unpleasant experience after one match there. Therefore, this was a chance to tick it
off the list!
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car
High winds in Norfolk and then heavy rain across the
Pennines led to a hazardous journey but arrived in Burnley around 12.30.
Instead of heading to the cricket club car park, we parked in a pay and display next to Tesco's for £3.50. It was a 5 minute walk from here
to the ground.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home
As we had heard many negative things about the pubs
around the ground we headed for Burnley Cricket Club which is directly
behind the away end. This was a great place to grab a drink (I was driving
so cannot comment on the selection of ales!) and some food. I ordered a
plate of chips but regretted my choice as the lads on the table next to me
had a large Yorkshire pudding stuffed full of chips, beans and
sausages.....all the for bargain price of £3.50! The food in here was good
value and the atmosphere was friendly. A good place to head for away supporters, especially as most away fans seemed to
park here too.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
appears nothing special from the outside. The rear of the away end (Jimmy
Fishwick) looks uninviting and the two new stands tower above the Bob Lord
stand. The away end was infact better than I expected, although the wooden
seats were cold but not uncomfortable. I also managed to sit directly
below one of the many holes in the roof and got dripped on sporadically.
The view of the action was good from my seat (about 10 rows from the
front) but there are some supporting pillars that may impede the view of
those further towards the rear of the stand.
The concourse was
more than large enough for the 1,000 odd City fans who had made the
journey and the food and drink was of the normal standard with alcohol
being available from the bar at the far end of the stand. One annoying
part was the volume of the PA system that was pumping out goal commentary
from Burnely's recent win over Burton. After 20 minutes it became really
annoying as I was having to shout to speak to the person next to me.
Turf Moor is a 50/50 split between old and New. The Bob Lord stand
is an old, single tiered affair which runs the length of the pitch and was
pretty much full. The other two home stands are new, two-tiered
structures. Both stands top tiers seemed full, whilst the bottom tiers were half full. Obviously Burnley fans enjoy a good view
of the action.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game ended in a 2-1 defeat (the
first away since Cardiff in October) however a much improved second half
performance had given us the impression we would leave with all 3 points.
We should have known better as Norwich have apparently only ever won twice
at Turf Moor! The atmosphere was flat amongst the Norwich fans which was a
shame considering the good accoustics that the Jimmy Fishwick stand can
create. With a crowd of 14,500 the Burnley fans got behind their team and
made a fair bit of noise. I would love to visit when one of their
neighbours are in town as I can imagine the sound would be deafening.
As you would expect of a stand with wooden seats, the facilities
were basic but didn't become cramped. The stewards seemed helpful and let the majority of the Norwich
fans stand throughout the game.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
Getting away from the ground was easy. We were back to
the car in 5 minutes and out of Burnley in 10. Probably one of the
quickest escapes in the league (unlike Cardiff or Reading!). I doubt those
that parked in the Cricket club would have had such a quick escape as part
of the road was closed off after the game to let the fans leave. We headed
back via Halifax and I was home by 9.15pm. I would recommend parking next to Tesco's as the escape
was very quick.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day
Even though we lost, I really enjoyed my trip to Turf Moor and
would actually like to go back. However, I can imagine that it could be
one of the most imtimidating away games in the football league were the
stakes a little higher. The area the ground is located in isn't great and
some Burnley fans are pretty "passionate" about their club so I would
advise caution around the ground. I'm not so sure I would feel that safe
had we just had beaten them in the playoffs on a Tuesday night. Overall though, my expectations were
more than exceeded.