Bromley

Hayes Lane

Capacity: 5,000
Address: Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9EF
Telephone: 020 8460 5291
Club Nickname: The Lillywhites or Ravens
Year Ground Opened: 1938
Home Kit: White and Black

John Fiorini Stand
John Fiorini Stand
Norman Park End
Norman Park End
North Terrace
North Terrace
Cricket Club Side
Cricket Club Side

An interesting ground that has a mix of new and old. The old look is from the two partly covered stands (to the rear) located at each end of the ground. They both have by modern standards a disproportionate amount of supporting pillars running across the front of them. One end is a terrace that has also some classic looking crowd barriers dotted around it, whilst the other, the Norman Park End, has surprisingly been fitted out with benches, (although these are slowly being replaced with seats) I doubt very much if anyone actually sits on them. I presume that these were fitted at some point to fulfil some league regulation for the number of seated spectators, as otherwise they don’t really make sense. At one side is the modern looking John Fiorini (Main) Stand. This covered all seated stand doesn’t have any supporting pillars and sits astride the half way line. Opened in 1993, it has a capacity of around 400 seats. Opposite is a reasonable sized open terrace that has a cricket pitch behind it. I hope that the batsmen can’t hit a ‘six’ that far!  The ground is shared with Cray Wanderers. Who having been formed in 1860 are the oldest association football club in London and the joint second oldest in the world!

The Club are seeking planning permission to redevelop the Norman Park End of Hayes Lane. If successful the Club will build a new covered seated stand with a capacity of 1,485 seats. The stand will also include corporate facilities.

For most games fans are not segregated. However for bigger games where segregation is put in place then away fans are housed on part (or sometimes all) of the Cricket Club Side Terrace. Visiting supporters on these occasions use turnstiles located on the far side of the North Terrace. Although this Side Terrace is of a reasonable height being 12 steps high, it does have a row of floodlight pylons running across the front of it, which could hinder your view. The terrace is also open to the elements so hope it doesn't rain. Most fans enjoy their visits to Bromley as it is a proper old fashioned ground with plenty of character.

There is a quite a spacious and comfortable Social Club at the stadium, called Ravens Bar. It boasts a number of screens showing televised BT and Sky Sport and serves real ale, normally provided by a micro brewery. The Bar also serves fresh Pizzas and Cornish Pasties are available (£3). Visiting fans are welcome to use Ravens Bar unless segregation is in force for that particular match. On those occasions away fans have a temporary bar facility set-up inside the ground near to the turnstiles. Otherwise Bromley High Street which is about a 15 minute walk away, has plenty of eating and drinking establishments to be found, including a Wetherspoons pub called the Greyhound.

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If you require hotel accommodation in Bromley or London 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 Bromley Football Club.

Access their Bromley and London Hotels and Guest Houses pages.

Leave the M25 at Junction 4 and take the A21 towards Bromley and London. After five miles for left at the traffic lights onto the A232 towards Croydon/Sutton. At the 2nd set of traffic lights turn right into Baston Road (B265). Continue straight on this road through Hayes. The road becomes Hayes Lane and after the mini roundabout the entrance to the ground is down on the right. There is a small car park at the ground which costs £2, otherwise street parking.

Bromley South Railway Station is located around a mile away from the ground. It is served by trains from London Victoria. It is around a 15-20 minute walk. 

On exiting the main entrance, turn left and walk down the High Street. On reaching a set of trafic lights, turn right into Westmoreland Road. Just after passing a church on the left, turn left into Hayes Road. Follow Hayes Road until your each its end (about half a mile) where you will reach a junction that has a mini roundabout. Turn right here into Hayes Lane. The entrance to the ground is a little further up Hayes Lane on the left.

Paul Willott informs me; 'You can get the number 119 bus (towards Croydon) from Bromley South Station that goes right past the ground. It runs every 10 minutes or so.'

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Adults £15
Over 65's £10
Concessions £10
Students £5
Under 16's Free when accompanied by a full paying Adult, otherwise £5

Concessions apply to members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Services (ID required).

Official Programme £2.50

Sutton United, Welling United and Dartford.

Bromley FC Fixtures (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Record Attendance
10,798 v Nigeria, September 1949

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 1,398 (Conference Premier)
2014-2015: 1,077 (Conference South)

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

Special thanks to Myles Munsey for providing the photo of the Norman Park End.

Bromley v Tranmere Rovers
National League
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm
Jim McClenning (Tranmere Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hayes Lane Ground?

I have never been to Bromley FC before, and my team QPR were not playing until the day after. Tranmere Rovers are my "second team" having lived in Birkenhead for a time as a boy,  so I thought I would go and watch a game of football. Plus I have been to quite a few non league grounds in the London area, of which there are lots.

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

I live in Notting Hill (Ladbroke Grove), I thought it would take me over hour and half, but no it took just over a hour, so easy to get to.

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

I got to the Hayes Lane Ground about 12.30pm and was told the bar doesn't open until 1.30pm I did ask about the nearest pub, but as I turned around to go, I was told to come in, result, I must have had a lucky visage!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Hayes Lane Ground?

First thoughts were of a compact tidy ground.

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

The game was a game of two halves, Tranmere won the first and scored two goals (after the first, a bloke in a hot dog costume ran onto the pitch, something I have not seen before) Bromley won the second half (just) and defended better than they did in the first half. The bar was clean and tidy and had numerous TV's. My one concern were dire burgers, which I think were microwaved.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I didn't have to wait long for travel connections.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed the day, I sat in the Main Stand near to the bloke videoing the game, I will go again given the chance to see a good match.

Bromley v Boreham Wood
Saturday, April 4th, 2015, 3pm
National Conference South League
Paul Willott (Neutral fan)

What do two Preston North End fans living in exile in the south-east of England do for their Easter footy fix?  That’s right! They scour the fixture list of non-league action for something juicy to watch. In truth, I can claim no credit for this as I was contemplating nothing more exciting than a trip to the gym until my friend suggested this fixture and everything that could ride on the result so it was immediately a no-brainer. Any league encounter with a top versus second encounter is tasty in prospect, even more so when the gap is a mere  point with only less than a handful of games of the regular season remaining. Even the usual Easter diet of public transport disruption didn’t deter or disappoint; I simply jumped on a rail replacement bus from Chatham to Maidstone and took a direct train to Bromley South. Upon arrival there I opted for the lazy option and jumped a 119 bus going towards Croydon as it takes only a few minutes to reach Hayes Lane where the football club lives. The ground could easily be missed; Hayes Lane is very much a model of residential suburbia with not a pub or a shop in sight on that stretch of road, and but for the “Bromley Arena” logo on the brickwork surrounding the entrance you could be forgiven for thinking that the track led to nothing other than a set of stables, as the Bromley FC logo is much lower and obscured by parked cars to passing traffic.

That 'Low Key' Entrance

Bromley Arena Entrance

My friend and I paid £12 a head for our tickets and entered the ground through lovely old-fashioned turnstiles and opted to take a few beers from the quite modern looking bar before kick-off. As one may have expected, the bar was already quite well populated for such a key fixture, but the club had wisely prepared for this with an efficient queuing arrangement and plenty of staff which meant we could quench thirst and discuss football within seconds of arriving  as opposed to minutes. The bar area itself is quite spacious and well stocked with big TV screens where sporting action could be viewed from just about any location. Plenty of people wanted to chat with us and the atmosphere was very friendly indeed. Once the match was due to get underway, we drifted out and took a spot on the long terrace that runs opposite the main John Fiorini Stand. This really was a lovely old terrace with a few primitive crush barriers on it. We commented on how the two ends of the ground contrasted; although both were partly covered, they had enough supporting pillars to resemble the wing structure of a Sopwith Camel but were all the more attractive for it. One however was a pure terrace, the other had an eclectic mix of wooden benches and white plastic seats. 

Terraced End

Terraced End

Worthy of comment is the “Playzone” that sits the other side of the John Fiorini Stand to the bar and social club; this consists of a marquee emblazoned with the title of “playzone” so we mused whether the club in some way runs a crèche style play area for youngsters whilst their Dads are watching footy! If the facility is nothing to do with the club, one can only comment that it really is situated almost on top of the pitch! We guesstimated the crowd to be 1,500+ which was a little less than I might have expected given that there were not many games in the professional leagues on the Saturday, and given the profile of the fixture itself (I having previously witnessed a 4,500+ crowd at what was then Gravesend & Northfleet when they entertained Canvey Island for a similar 1st v 2nd fixture). That said, the atmosphere inside the little ground was lively enough with the home fans giving plenty of vocal support. That vocal home support was challenged after an early soft goal was conceded, but that was as good as it got for the small army of travelling Boreham Wood supporters, as the Lillywhites as they can be known (nice link for Preston NE fans) gradually imposed themselves on the game in the midfield without making any breakthrough until a very dubious penalty was given in the second half. Now lets be clear; we were there unashamedly to cheer the home side on, but we could not deny that the penalty award was a soft one. Was the referee fooled a little? Overall the ref wasn’t particularly brilliant, but he was in fairness equally bizarre to both sides with interpretations of some of the basics such as the advantage rule. On the subject of officials it was worthy of note that one of the “linesmen” was a young woman who put in a reliable shift and more pleasingly wasn’t subjected to any taunting or unkind behaviour that has been the subject of debate recently. Football IS changing.

Main Stand

Main Stand

The referee himself stole the show with an incident the likes of which I’ve never seen before when he decided to order one of the “official” photographers away from the playing area. The photographer in question had drawn attention to himself by deliberately booting the ball as far upfield as he could twice in quick succession instead of rolling it to the Bromley keeper, and given as each time he did this it was to rapturous applause and cheers from the away support in front of whom he was camped, one could deduce that this “official” photographer may have been with the Boreham Wood delegation. However, the ref had seen enough and decided to strut across and brandish a red card and order the photographer away. Much to the irritation/amusement of whichever team you were rooting for, the photographer just sat down and started to fiddle with his equipment whilst engaging in backchat with the referee. He may as well have been sat there like a naughty five year old sticking his tongue out. But, our comical little ref wasn’t going to be deterred, and after standing there prone for several minutes pointing out of the ground, a triumvirate of security gentlemen in orange hi-vis vests arrived on scene and “encouraged” the photographer nicely to shuffle along rather quickly which he duly did.   I’ve never seen the like of it before...

It merely delayed what seemed inevitable. Bromley were clearly in the ascendancy, and when late on in the second half Bradley Goldberg, the managers son, broke clear of the offside trap and slotted the ball in the back of the net with precise glee, the natives erupted with contentment. I must add at this point, that if anyone wants to cast any digs at the managers son being in the team, he was in my judgement one of the best players on the park that afternoon, fully deserving his goal as the home side deserved the three points.

As a footnote to the match, the actual attendance was given as 2,000+ which was higher than our guesstimate and I couldn’t comment on the quality of the food as by the time the queue had subsided sufficiently for me to want to join it, they’d run out of all food. 

The result effectively put the Lillywhites in the driving seat for the place at the top table of non-league football next season with a two point cushion over the afternoons opponents with only 4 games left to play and more crucially, a game in hand over said opponents. 

My friend and I happily trundled off on foot to Bromley town centre to grab a few more beers and discuss that important issue that is football having thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon. Despite the enjoyment, I would point out two issues that the club may need to look at. Firstly, the PA system is pitiful; all it consists of is , CLICK “haw hee haw hee haw hee hee haw to be replaced by hee haw hee haw haw” etc etc…….. if you get my drift. Nothing can be audibly interpreted, almost like the good old days of the 1980's on a railway station platform when all you could glean was some nasal drone and were none the wiser as to which train was arriving on which platform……  Ee by gum them were the days…

Secondly, the matchday programme really is arguably the least inspirational I think I have ever bought ( and I’ve done some real non-league in my time ), nothing at all of any interest, and the bare basics themselves weren’t exactly well written. Boys, save yourselves the cash and buy a beer instead.

We made ourselves a promise that we’ll be back for more next season, and since our visit the club can look forward to pitting themselves against names such as Lincoln City, Wrexham, and Tranmere Rovers as they duly sealed the deal on automatic promotion.

Plus points for Hayes Lane:
1 Very friendly and welcoming supporters on the terraces.
2 Fantastic bar and social club that would put many a league facility to shame.
3 Ground has a good character and feel about it.

Minus points for Hayes Lane:
1 PA system is truly awful.
2 Match day programme; don’t bother buying it and save yourself £2:50.

Bromley v Boreham Wood
Saturday, April 4th, 2015, 3pm
National Conference South League
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)

Reason for going:
Besides looking like an interesting ground, my friend from Portsmouth and I had picked this game out several weeks ago as being a reasonably near one to visit with a potential table-topping decider on offer. As it turned out (with the season drawing to a close) when it came to the day of the game Bromley lay in second place, a point behind Boreham Wood and with a game in hand. The set up was perfect.

Getting there:
Because of extensive railway engineering work around Reading, my route had to be from Newbury to Reading, Clapham Junction, Victoria and down. My friend had the convenience of a direct train from Cosham to Victoria so we were able to meet there. Once we met up it was a simple 20 minute ride down to Bromley South, followed by a number 119 bus down to the ground.  

First impressions:
For the groundhopper like me (and the traditionalist) this ground was full of interesting curios. My first impression as I turned into the access road was one of intrigue. Nestling in leafy suburbia amongst posh residences and positioned next to a horses’ rest home the location of this ground is strange. But you can forget all that as you saunter up the road as a lovely old turnstile block greets you. If it was ‘breath in’ at Maidenhead it was ‘breathe even more in’ at Bromley. These have to be the narrowest turnstile entrances in football!

Main Entrance

Bromley Football Club Turnstiles

Once inside, the ground has a very nice ambience. A big bank of trees rises above the Norman Park End, whilst the metal sheds at both ends with their spindly supports are wonderful. The uneven concrete terracing as denoted on the crash barriers of the North Terrace was another nostalgic feature. At the stadium entrance and around the ground there were lots of Bromley FC signs – the one by the Main Stand being a rather nice mosaic.

Before the game:
We had a very nice fish and chip lunch in Bromley town centre before taking the bus down to the ground. Once inside the stadium I took the requisite pictures, for this guide, bought a programme and set about selecting seats in the John Florini Stand. It is a £1 surcharge to sit and this was arranged by a young boy dispensing tickets from a wooden box with a turning handle. Another blast from the past. A good job we got seated early though, as large crowd materialised (2,035) and unsurprisingly the seats ran out very quickly and were all gone by 2.40pm. There was no need for food as we had eaten earlier but a selection of catering prices at the Main Stand kiosk were noted:

Meal deal – Burger+chips+drink £5
Burger- plain, cheese or chicken £3
Cornish pasty, sausage rolls, pies or jacket potato £3
Coke, lemonade £1.50 Tea, coffee, Bovril £1  

The game:
A hugely entertaining game, full of action and quite a bit of passion resulting in a number of yellow cards.  A bit feisty at times with the atmosphere ramped up by a large crowd for this top of the table clash. Boreham Wood went ahead following a corner in the 14th minute, Josh Hill angling a header into the top left-hand corner. The home side then started to turn the screw with chances coming and going but were unable to score. Russell in the ‘Wood’ goal with one hand brilliantly saved a pile driver from Ali Fuseini just before the break so at half-time it was still 0-1.

Norman Park End

Norman Park End

In the 63rd minute Bromley won a rather contentious penalty. Anthony Cook who had caused problems to the ‘Wood’ defence all afternoon was supposedly fouled in the box. The decision looked harsh as contact looked minimal.  Anyway he dusted himself down to score with aplomb. And with just 9 minutes remaining Bradley Goldberg latched onto a threaded pass from Jack Holland to tuck the ball past James Russell for a priceless three points. A note on the officials. This was an extremely well-refereed game. The referee was very much in charge and stopped any nonsense, whilst letting the game flow when necessary. And it was nice to see a lady running the line on the near side. She too performed excellently and was spot on with her flag.

Getting away:
My friend decided to take the bus back to Croydon whilst I managed to walk from the ground to Bromley South station in just 13 minutes. It was a somewhat protracted journey home but this mattered not as I had one of the best football days out I had had in a long time.

Overall:
This was an excellent choice of match. Interesting ground, good game, terrific atmosphere and no bother whatsoever – all for £13. A good standard of football as well. The result makes the title run in look as though it will go to the wire. I would recommend this ground to anyone and if Bromley gain promotion (and I wish both them and Boreham Wood well) it will of course be at a higher level. 

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

Updated 23rd August 2016

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