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Turf Moor
  Burnley v
Leicester City
Championship League
Saturday, February 5th 2011, 3pm
Richard Bland
(Leicester City fan)

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 parking?

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 fans friendly?

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?

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 in fact 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 Burnley'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 acoustics 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 the game:

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 out:

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 intimidating 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.

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