Chester

Lookers Vauxhall (Deva) Stadium

Capacity: 5,126 (4,500 seated)
Address: Bumpers Lane, Chester, CH1 4LT
Telephone: 01244 371 376
Pitch Size: 112 x 71.5m
Club Nickname: The Blues
Year Ground Opened: 1992
Home Kit: Blue and White

External View
External View
Exacta Main Stand
Exacta Main Stand
Centurion Community Stand
Centurion Community Stand
Swansway Stand
Swansway Stand
Harry McNally Terrace
Harry McNally Terrace

This tidy looking ground was opened in 1992. All four sides are covered and are roughly the same height, making the stadium look quite tidy. Each stand has perspex windshields to each side, whilst the corners of the ground are open. The stadium is a small, fairly simple affair with three sides being seated and the home end being terrace. The Main (East) Stand is slightly taller than the facing Centurion Community Stand, having a few more rows of seating and some enclosed glassed viewing areas at the back of it. The home end is the only terraced area at the stadium and is called the Harry McNally Terrace after a former manager. The stadium is completed with a set of four thin modern floodlight pylons. One interesting fact about the ground is that most of it (apart from the club offices and front car park) is in actually situated in Wales.

In June 2015 the stadium was renamed the Lookers Vauxhall (Deva) Stadium in a two year corporate sponsorship deal.

Away fans are normally housed in part of the Centurion Community Stand on one side of the pitch. For teams with a larger following then the Swansway Chester Stand at one end of the stadium can also be allocated. This former covered terrace is now all seated having a capacity of 400. The facilities and view of the playing action are okay. Food on offer inside the ground includes a range of Holland's Pies (Peppered Steak, Meat and Potato, Cheese and Onion, all £3), Rollover Burgers (£3) and Rollover Hot Dogs (£2.50). Normally a friendly, relaxed day out and a good atmosphere can be created inside the stadium. Please note that Under 18's paying on the turnstile may be asked for proof of age if required. 

There is a Social Club at the ground that does admit away supporters, for an entrance fee of £1. However the Club is on the small size (having a capacity of 120 people) so can quickly get full. There are not many drinking outlets near to the ground so it may be advisable to drink in Chester City Centre before the match, although this is a good 20 minute walk away from the ground. Ben Trasler a visiting Northampton Town fan informs me; 'The nearby Megabowl has a bar inside, which was popular with Cobblers fans on our last visit'. 

Lee Wilcox informs me; 'Near to the train station down by the canal is the excellent Old Harkers Arms which also serves good food and ale'. Whilst Mark Pilling adds; 'Also worth a visit are the 'Ship Victory' on George Street and the Mill Hotel, which is also canalside. The latter serves a large selection of real ales'. Also in the City Centre on Northgate Street is the Pied Bull, which along with the Old Harkers Arms and the Mill Hotel is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Whilst on Foregate is a Wetherspoon pub called the Square Bottle.

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The ground is located out of town on an industrial estate. Stay on the M56 until its end and then continue along the A494 towards Queensferry and North Wales. Take the A548 turn off towards Chester & Flint and at the roundabout take the first exit towards Chester (A548).

At the next roundabout again go left continuing along the A548 towards Chester. Head straight through the first set of traffic lights and after passing a Vauxhall and then a Renault garage on your left, turn right at the next lights (there is a Volvo & Jaguar delaership on the corner) into Sovereign Way. Continue to the end of Sovereign Way and then turn right into Bumpers Lane and the entrance to the Club car park is just down on the right. If you team is bringing a large following then allow some more time for your journey as the roads around the stadium can quickly become jammed.

There is plenty of car parking available at the ground, at a cost of £2 per car. However if you use the club car park, it can be quite difficult to get away easily after the match. Henry Willard a visiting Yeovil fan adds; 'It may be an idea if you can plan an appropriate route, to stay in the left hand lane as you leave the car park and head westwards away from the city centre, as most of the traffic after the game seems to go towards town'.

Chester Railway Station is over two miles from the ground, so it is probably best to jump in a taxi which will cost around £6. Leave the station by the main exit opposite the Town Crier, and turn right into Station Road. Head between the Egerton Arms and the Railway Inn, and at the end of the street enter the underpass. In the underpass look for the first exit and then steps signed for Frodsham Street. Head towards the Oddfellows Arms but just before the bridge turn right into Gorse Stacks. When reaching the crossroads by the Bull & Stirrup go straight over into Canal Street and on under the dual carriageway ring road. At the next junction turn left, past Telford's Warehouse on the right hand side, and over the canal. The road then divides. Take the right hand option, South View Road. At the T-junction at the end of South View Road turn right. You are now in Sealand Road. Carry along Sealand Road for half a mile or so until you see Bumpers Lane on your left. Around half a mile down Bumpers Lane you'll reach the stadium.

Paul Williams adds; 'If you want to go by public transport then take the Railink bus to the bus exchange and then the No. 10 which runs along Sealand Road'

Thanks to David Lucas for providing the above directions.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Seating
Adults £18, Concessions £12, Under 21's £10, Under 21's £10, Under 18's £5, Under 16's £3, Under 5's Free

Terrace
Adults £15, Concessions £10, Under 21's £10, Under 18's £5, Under 16's £3, Under 5's Free 

Concessions apply to Senior Citizens, Students with a valid NUS card, Members of the Armed Forces and the Unemployed.

Chester FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Official Programme £2.50.

Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

For Chester FC:
5,009 v Northwich Victoria
Northern Premier League, 9th April 2002

For the stadium:
5,987 Chester City v Scarborough
Conference League, 17th April 2004

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 2,031 (National League)
2015-2016: 2,199 (National League)
2014-2015: 2,189 (National League)

Laterooms Banner

If you require hotel accommodation in Chester then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the centre of Chester Town Centre.

Access their Chester Hotels and Guest Houses pages.

Chester is a very historic town and has some great looking black and white timbered buildings in it's centre. It is well worth getting there a bit earlier and having a wander around the centre, having a couple of drinks and some lunch before the game.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Chester v Gateshead
National League
Saturday 20th January 2018, 3pm
Callum Pattison (Gateshead fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Deva Stadium?
 
I was looking forward to my visit to Chester because it was a new ground for me to tick off and a city I've heard good things about.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
With me living in Wolverhampton, the journey was not as bad or as far as what it would be for most other Gateshead fans living in the North East. We were on trains for roughly just over an hour with one change at Crewe. The Deva Stadium is situated quite a distance from the train station so we decided to get a taxi which cost about £6.50. We used a taxi rank called 'Abbey Taxis' which was located outside one of the pubs we visited.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We arrived in Chester at about 11.45am so went straight into a pub opposite the station called the 'Town Crier'. We then moved onto another pub which was about a 5 minute walk from the Town Crier called the 'Old Queens Head' - the taxi rank was opposite (slightly to the left once leaving the pub). Once getting to the ground at about 1.15pm, we went into the clubhouse which had a mix of both Chester and 'Heed' fans inside, there was no trouble and it seemed welcoming. They even had the Sutton United v Dagenham & Redbridge game on the TV screens.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Deva Stadium?
 
I really liked the ground, it was neat and tidy. We brought 72 fans (not bad for a club of our size) and were located in the far corner in one stand along the side of the pitch.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
About 40 minutes into the game I said this game has 0-0 written all over it. We went in at half time 0-2 up! Two goals in a minute from Paddy McLaughlin and Jordan Burrow. We kicked on second half against a very poor Chester side and scored a third in the 52nd minute through Wes York. We arguably should have been 6 or 7-0 up but it wasn't to be and Chester scored a consolation and the full time result was 1-3 to Gateshead. The food at the ground was good too, I had a cracking cheese and onion pie at half time!
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
We got a taxi at full time and just managed to catch our train. The traffic after the game however was horrendous considering the crowd was about 1,600..
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Absolutely class day, the scoreline helping of course. I am hoping that Chester can stay up even though it will be tough for them as it is a ground I would love to visit again next season.

Chester v Torquay United
National Conference League
Saturday 19th December 2015, 3pm
Maxwell Meadows (Ground hopper)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Deva Stadium?    

Having visited the old Sealand Road ground many years ago, a visit to the 'new' ground was long overdue.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?  

It was very easy to find the Deva Stadium. We came in from the west (A548). The ground is located just at the back of a business park. The lights are just visible from the main road. We went to the Sealand Road Park and Ride car park. It is about 15 minutes walk from the ground on clear, open and well-lit footpaths. Prior to the game, for £2 per adult, we took the bus into the city centre to look around. The ride was about 15 minutes each way.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We went into Chester city centre to have a look around. It was well worth it despite the Christmas shoppers as a big part of it is pedestrianized. Chester is noted for a couple of real pubs but in view of the later long drive home decided to skip this. I will definitely visit the city again.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Deva Stadium?    

The Deva Stadium is of a uniform structure and fairly basic in its layout. The term I have coined for this type of ground is 'breezeblock'. However, credit to the home fans as they had festooned the place with various flags indicating their support. We were behind an Irish Tricolour that had the club crest in the centre panel. We went in the home end which was terraced. A welcome change from the ubiquitous seating in most League grounds. The view was excellent. It was a filthy wet day but the cover did its job. The away fans were seated at the end of stand opposite the Main Stand. To their credit, despite being drubbed in the game, they kept up a good degree of support and seemed to enjoy themselves.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

Chester started the game with a bang. They were 1-0 up after a couple of minutes when their forward ran onto a through-ball, out paced the central defenders and curled it passed the keeper. A couple of minutes later the same move saw Chester hit the post. The Gulls rallied but my impression was they struggled upfront. Shortly before half-time they were hit by two further goals. A great one-two on the edge of the area after excellent approach work saw a wonderful curled shot inside the far post. Subsequently a free kick, again on the edge of the area, was rifled into the top corner. My feeling is that the Gulls young keeper had little chance with any of these goals due to the skill with which they were dispatched. In the second half Gulls came back into it with a lucky goal that seemed more a cross than a shot. It's scorer stood in mock shock after it went in. Chester fought back a regained their 3 goal cushion before fluffing a chance to make it five. Gulls keeper made a fine save from a late penalty. Given the comfortable win the atmosphere amongst the home fans was buoyant. The team showed what they could do. They also clearly shared their elation with the fans by coming to stand behind the goal in mutual applause at the end of the game. Refreshments were provided by kiosks under the end of the stands. My potato, cheese & onion pie was good and hot being served by friendly staff. Stewarding at the ground appeared to me to be relaxed and effective.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The club car park appeared full for this game. My suspicion is that it would have taken sometime to clear the area. Some people had parked in adjacent roads in the business park. As we were at the park and ride it was just a case of walking back to the vehicle and then making a quick get-a-way. Although we were due to travel south-east we initially drove west before going around Chester on an outer main road. The centre of the city appeared congested so was best avoided.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Despite the foul weather, and an appalling stench that enveloped us mid-way through the second half, it was a good visit. Although the ground is not particularly interesting the fans attempts to personalise it were effective. The game was excellent and the city of Chester also worth a visit too.

Overall my evaluation of the day was 8 out of 10.

Chester v Bristol Rovers
Conference Premier
Saturday, November 22nd 2014, 3pm
William Powell (Bristol Rovers fan)

I was looking forward to visiting the stadium because it was one that I had never visited. We were driving to this match, leaving Bristol at around 10:30am. The journey to Chester went smoothly and we did not get stuck in any traffic on the way up making the drive quite pleasant. It took around three hours, arriving at the stadium at 1.30pm. We parked up in the industrial estate near to the ground, only around five minutes walk from the turnstiles.

On arriving at the turnstiles, we discovered that they didn't open until 2pm, So we stood around and waited. By two o'clock there was a bit of a queue at the turnstiles but, credit to the staff, as soon as it opened, the queue moved quickly.

My first impressions of the ground were that it was very neat and tidy.As we had got in early we were able to fully appreciate it, as it filled up. In my opinion the ground is a perfect fit for Chester, the crowd of almost three thousand appeared to leave little empty room. The atmosphere was excellent with around 500 away fans contributing greatly. Chesters home fans are a very passionate group and a credit to their football club, creating noise throughout an entertaining game which finished 2-2. Rovers took the lead early in the second half and doubled it shortly afterwards but Chester clawed their way back into the game and were level ten minutes later. The game was very open and a great advert for the league.

Getting away from the ground after the match had finished, was fairly quick, taking around ten minutes to get back onto the main road. All of the fans walked along the road through the industrial estate and lots of them had parked there so there was a slight queue. Chester has been one of my favourite days out in the conference, the ground is easily of football league standard and the fans were excellent. Unfortunately, after being 2-0 up, the final result felt like a defeat!

Why not write your own review of the Deva Stadium Chester and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 22nd January 2018

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