Sheffield Wednesday

Hillsborough

Capacity: 39,812 (all seated)
Address: Address: Hillsborough, Sheffield, S6 1SW
Telephone: 0871 995 1867
Fax: 0114 221 2122
Ticket Office: 0871 230 1867
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Owls
Year Ground Opened: 1899
Shirt Sponsors: Wandisco
Away Shirt Sponsors: Azerbijan Land of Fire
Kit Manufacturer: Sondico
Home Kit: Blue and White Stripes
Away Kit: Yellow with Blue Trim

Kop Stand External View
Kop Stand External View
Looking Towards The Kop Stand
Looking Towards The Kop Stand
South Stand
South Stand
North Stand
North Stand
Leppings Lane End
Leppings Lane End
Kop Stand
Kop Stand

Although the ground has not had the level of new investment some other clubs have recently received, it is still a beautiful ground oozing character. It has four large separate stands, all of which are all covered and are roughly the same height, giving a uniform feel to the stadium. On one side is the North Stand. This large single tiered stand was opened in 1961. It was hailed as an architectural marvel, as at the time it was the largest cantilever stand ever built in Britain and only the second such type of stand to have been constructed (the first was at the Old Showground in Scunthorpe). The two tiered South Stand on one side of the ground is the largest of the stands and is superb looking. It was originally opened in 1914 and was designed by the famous football ground architect Archibald Leitch. A second tier and new roof were added in 1996, to expand capacity for the European Championships, for which Hillsborough was a host venue. In keeping with the original look of the stand, a triangular gable incorporating a clock adorned with a copper football was placed on the new roof. The stand has a large lower tier with a small upper tier above. At the back of the lower tier is a row of executive boxes. The team dugouts and Directors Box are located on this side.

At one end is the Spion Kop. This was previously a huge open bank of terrace that was at one time the largest in Britain. It gained a roof in 1986 and was made all seated in 1993. Opposite is the West Stand or Leppings Lane End. This two tiered stand was opened in 1966, in time for the Club to host some World Cup games played that year. Like the Kop, it has a number of large supporting pillars. One corner of the ground is filled with seating between the North & West Stand, this area is uncovered. On the other side of the West Stand is an electric scoreboard, under which is tucked a Police Control Box. Unusually for such an old ground, it doesn't have a set of floodlight pylons. Instead the stadium is illuminated by lights running across the front of the stand roofs.

Outside the ground near the main entrance is a memorial to the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough in 1989, at the FA Cup Semi Final between Liverpool & Nottingham Forest. 

The Club had previously announced plans to increase the capacity at Hillsborough to almost 45,000. This was primarily through the proposed expansion of the Leppings Lane End, including the building of an additional tier and the 'filling in' of the corner between this and the South Stand. This was in the hope that England would win the bid to stage the 2018 World Cup (Hillsborough was listed as one of the potential venues). However the failure of this bid, means that plans have been shelved for the time being. They may be 'dusted off' if the Club gain promotion to the Premier League.

Away fans are normally placed in the upper tier of the West Stand (the Leppings Lane) end of the ground, where up to 3,700 away supporters can be accommodated. If there is a particularly large following (or for an FA Cup Tie) then the corner described above may also be made available, plus the lower tier of the West Stand. This can take the allocation up to 8,000. Alternatively if a small away support is expected then the open corner between the Leppings Lane & North Stand is only made available. There are a number of supporting pillars in the West Stand, which could impede your view. On the concourse food on sale includes; A range of Pies (£3), Sausage Rolls (£2.60), Burgers (£3.80) and Hot Dogs (£3.80). The refreshments are served from behind a metal mesh, which gives the area a prison like feel.  I had an enjoyable day out at Hillsborough, where I found the atmosphere around the ground to be relaxed. I thought the ground was certainly one of the best in the League, if not the country, in terms of setting and attractiveness. Lee Hicklin adds; 'About a hundred yards down Leppings Lane there is a programme and football memorabilia shop, which is worth a visit'.

A pub that admits away supporters is the Railway Hotel on Penniston Road, which is the main A61 that runs by the stadium. Walk up the A61 in the opposite direction to Sheffield City Centre (Meadowhall & M1), passing a Burger King and Garage on your left, and you will reach the pub on the right, just before a railway bridge.    Also I did pass a couple of pubs (the Norfolk Arms & The Red Lion) on the way into Sheffield on the A61 from the M1, where away fans were drinking. Bill Harris a visiting Millwall fan adds; 'I found an excellent Pub called The New Barrack Tavern on the A61 just before McDonalds on the way to the ground, from the city centre. Forget the exterior, inside the pub has some excellent decor and no juke boxes or fruit machines. Although on my own I was made to feel very welcome and spent a good couple of hours talking football to the locals'. Craig Murray a visiting Bournemouth fan also enjoyed the New Barrack Tavern; 'It's a 'proper' pub, serving a great selection of real ales and imported lagers at reasonable prices. They also had really tasty, locally-made pork pies behind the bar. I wasn't wearing colours but the locals were very friendly and happy to chat footy once I opened my  mouth and they realised I was an away fan. The pub's roughly 15-20 minutes walk from the ground.' This pub is owned by the Castle Rock Brewery and is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It normally has seven beers on handpull, plus one cider polypin. It is also serves food. Please note that this is a home pub that welcomes small numbers of visiting supporters who appreciate their real ale, not a pub specifically for away fans.

For those with a little bit more time on their hands or planning to travel to the ground by Supertram, then the Hillsborough Hotel near the Langsett/Primrose View tram stop (two stops from Hillsborough going towards Meadowhall/Halfway) is worth a visit. This CAMRA Good Beer Guide listed pub, has a range of real ales available, hot food and is home to the Crown Brewery, whose beers it also has on offer. In fact on my last visit, a lovely smell of hops wafted throughout the bar. Also from the outside area at the back you can see people descending down the artificial ski slope in the distance. John Piper adds; 'From the Langsett/Primrose view stop. Cross over the road and walk back about 50 metres, in the direction of the city centre and the Hotel is on the corner. Afterwards just hop back on the tram (Yellow route - destination Middlewood) and get off at the Leppings Lane stop. An all day ticket for the Supertram and is currently £3.70 and can be bought on board'. In Hillsborough itself (and conveniently situated by the tram stop, so much so that you can literally get straight off the tram and walk through the doors of the pub) is a Wetherspoons called the Rawson Spring. This pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and is about a 12-15 minute walk to the ground, or you can go back on the tram and up to the Leppings Lane stop. If you do go into this pub, then try to guess what the building was used for, before becoming a pub. 

Nick Palfreyman informs me; 'With regard to where to drink, pubs close to the ground are normally pretty crammed full on matchdays and not easy to park by. The tram route, which can be boarded at Sheffield Station, out to Hillsborough (tram stop for ground is' Leppings Lane') passes a good few excellent pubs. It is the Yellow Route with 'Middlewood' on the destination board. In the city centre near the West Street Tram stop is the Red Deer pub, which serbes several real ales. By the University stop is the Harley, by the Shalesmoor stop is the Wellington, again real ales. and five minutes walk from that stop, by Kelham Island Museum (Alma Street) are the Fat Cat and Kelham Island Tavern, both jammed with real ale, and CAMRA Award winning pubs. If in a car you can park near these pubs and then use the tram to reach Hillsborough  An all day tram ticket allows you to hop on and off as you choose. See the Supertram website for more information. If arriving in Sheffield by train then as Joe Oates a visiting West Ham United fan suggests; 'The Howard pub, on Howard street opposite Sheffield Railway Station. I found it to be a very warm and welcoming place for away fans to visit. A reasonable selection of the usual draught beers/lagers and three ales on the pump. Prices were very reasonable and a good selection of pub grub, including chicken curry and chips for £2.50. It is then a ten minute walk to Castle Square Tram station for the Yellow route'.

Otherwise alcohol is available to visiting supporters in the away section of the ground. Jo Evans-Stolt a visiting Bolton Wanderers fan adds; '500ml bottles of Carling were on sale at the not so cheap price of £3.50 a bottle. You also have to queue separately for beer or food, which wasn't great.' Cans of John Smith's Bitter (£3.30), Guinness (£3.80), plus bottles of Kingston Press (£3.70) and Bulmers Cider (£3.80) are also available as well as minature bottles of wine (£4.50) and spirits (£4.50). 

Leave the M1 at Junction 36 and follow the A61 into Sheffield. Continue along the A61 for approximately eight miles. You will see Hillsborough Stadium on your right. This is not the shortest route to the ground, but this is definitely the easiest and avoids Sheffield City Centre. There is some street parking to be had if you arrive early, although some roads near to Hillsborough are permit only, so make sure to check for warning signs before you park. Otherwise there are some unofficial car parks along the A61 that charge in the region of £4. Gary Rickett-Ambrose adds; 'There is a car park directly behind the Kop and the Wednesday Club shop. It is called the Wednesdayite car park and is open to fans of both teams. It costs £5 for visitors'. 

Alternatively, you may find it easier to park at Meadowhall Railway Station, near to the well known Shopping Centre (unless of course it is in the run up to Christmas or the January sales, when the shopping centre is very busy), just by Junction 34 of the M1, where you can park for free and then take a yellow tram to Leppings lane, which costs £3 return and takes about 35 minutes.

Post Code for SAT NAV: S6 1SW

Sheffield Railway Station is located over three miles away from the ground. Either get a taxi up to the ground, or bus from the bus station which is a one minute walk away (as you leave the railway station entrance turn right. Cross over at the pedestrian crossing, and follow the signs). Head for the far side of the terminus. Bus No.53 to Ecclesfield runs regularly to the ground (every ten minutes), the journey time is about 30 minutes. Jeremy Dawson informs me; 'if arriving by train, by far the easiest way to get to the ground is by tram, which run every ten minutes during the day. Leaving the station on a blue tram, you can either change to a yellow one in the city centre, which takes you to Leppings Lane (right by the ground), or stay on the blue one to Hillsborough, which is 10 minutes walk to the ground'. The journey time of the tram is around 20 minutes. Matt Wilcock adds; 'on matchdays regular shuttle buses run from the road at the far side of the bus station They are marked football'.

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

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Like a number of Clubs, Sheffield Wednesday operate a category system (A, B & C), whereby the most popular games cost more to watch. Category A ticket prices are shown below, with Categories B & C in brackets:

Home Fans*:
South Stand: 
Adults £32 (B £29) (C £10) Over 65's/Under 21's £22 (B £19) (C £5), Under 11's £10 (B £8) (C £5) 
North Stand: 
Adults £30 (B £27) (C £10) Over 65's/Under 21's £20 (B £17) (C £5), Under 11's £10 (B £8) (C £5)
Hallam FM Kop: 
Adults £28 (B £25) (C £10) Over 65's/Under 21's £18 (B £15) (C £5)

Away Fans:
West Stand (Leppings Lane End): 
Adults £28 (B £25) (C £10) Over 65's/Under 21's £18 (B £15) (C £5)

* A discount of up to £2 per adult and up to £3 per junior ticket can be gained if you are a Club member, for Category A & B matches.

In addition current members of the Armed Forces can qualify for the concessionary ticket price.

 

Official Programme £3

Sheffield United, Leeds United, Rotherham United, Barnsley, Chesterfield and  Doncaster Rovers.

Record Attendance:

72,841 v Manchester City, FA Cup 5th Round, February 17th, 1934.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:

39,640 v Manchester United Premier League, February 2nd, 2000.

Average Attendance:

2013-2014: 21,239 (Championship League) 
2012-2013: 24,078 (Championship League)
2011-2012: 21,336 (League One)

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

Sheffield Wednesday FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

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Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United
Pre-Season Friendly
Wednesday July 30th 2014, 7.45pm
Matty Desforges (Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had visited Hillsborough two occasions before as a neutral fan, usually to watch a higher division of football than Sheffield United (my local club). I was itching to get to a match after the Summer break and with the prospect of a Premier League side in town, I decided to go. 

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

I caught the 53 bus from the city centre straight to Hillsborough (stopping directly outside the Kop Stand entrance). However it was very slow, due to a large amount of traffic on Penistone Road. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Due to the slow bus, I arrived later at the stadium later than anticipated. There was just enough time to buy my ticket and get inside the stadium to watch the teams come out. I have to say that the queue the tickets moved very quickly, however I would recommended for league games to buy a ticket in advance, as it is cheaper than paying on the day.

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

I sat in the South Stand and Hillsborough itself is a very nicely set out stadium, with plenty of character. However parts of it are showing their age and it could do with some refurbishment in  parts. As expected Newcastle fans came in their hordes to watch the game and as expected, made more noise than the home supporters. 

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

The game finished in a 1-0 victory to Newcastle, with a goal coming from the counter attack mid way through the second half. The away fans caused a bit of bother by setting off a flare within 5 minutes of the kick off. This resulted in a few Newcastle fans being chucked out, but other than there were no other problems. Massive respect to both sets of fans who gave a standing ovation in the 17th minute for the two Newcastle fans that died in the recent Ukranian plane crash.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was fairly easy, however the bus again took a bit of time back along Penistone Road before entering the city centre.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good to get a game in before the season started, and watch a Premier League side too (unfortunately they don’t come to Sheffield  much anymore!).  I would recommend Hillsborough as a good away day! 

Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton Wanderers
Championship League
Saturday April 26th 2014, 3pm
Cameron Ormerod (Bolton Wanderers fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

This game was the penultimate game of the season. With both teams having nothing to play for, I was expecting a drab affair. 

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

We got on a train from Bolton, changed at Manchester Oxford Road and got on the train to Sheffield. The journey itself wasn't too boring or long, relatively fine. Hillsborough itself is located 3 miles from the railway station so we got on the supertram which is popular with all fans judging from the amount of football shirts being worn by people on board. The tram journey is around 20-30 minutes and you get off at Leppings lane, a 2 minute walk from the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

On exiting Sheffield railway station there are 2 pubs named the Howard and the Globe, both admit away supporters. We went in both but out of the two I would recommend the Howard as it is much bigger and can accommodate lots of fans without you feeling cramped. Near the tram stop there is a number of food establishments which were all packed out so we decided eating in the ground would be the best course of action. 

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

The ground itself looks huge compared to other Championship grounds. However it does look a little aged and could do with a revamp. I also thought the surrounding areas of the ground were not pleasing to the eye. 

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

The game, which I was expecting to be quite boring, was actually a great game (from us Bolton fans's perspective) 3 goals in 30 minutes sealed the fate of the game, however Sheffield Wednesday did pull one back in the second half. The atmosphere in the away end sounded electric however talking to some Sheffield Wednesday fans after the game, it seemed we didn't sound so loud to the other fans. The home crowd didn't make much noise. The food on offer was average.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The tram stop is quite busy after the game however the trams which are used by fans are virtually empty so the ques are normally gone as everyone can fit on one tram. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Sheffield Wednesday is a good away game and I would recommend anyone who has not taken an away trip to Hillsborough to do so. However I do think the prices are a bit high, £27 is a lot for a Championship club, no matter how big the club or its ground is.

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton Athletic
Championship League
Monday April 21st 2014, 3pm
Anthony Earl (Charlton Athletic fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

To be honest I was not really looking forward to our visit to Hillsborough much due to us being in a relegation battle and the fear of losing and dropping into the bottom 3 playing on my mind. 

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

Being a bank Holiday Monday the traffic was pretty light and we made good time after setting off from sunny Southend we arrived in Sheffield in less than 4 hours with a quick stop for breakfast. The ground was very easy to find after leaving the M1 with plenty of signs and parking available opposite the ground at a cost of £5. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We got there fairly early with a few hours to spare so we visited The New Barrack Tavern which was a 10 minute walk away from the ground in the direction of the City Centre. The Pub was very welcoming and we had no problems getting served although we were not in colours.

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

This was my third trip to Hillsborough but it still has that charm that the older grounds do. We had a quick drink and hot dog on the concourse before taking our seats. Our seats were in the upper tier of the stand and due to a very small travelling fans we was allowed to sit or stand where we wished. 

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

The game started off in explosive fashion with Wednesday racing into a 2 nil lead within 8 minutes and looking like they would score every time they entered our half. We managed to pull on goal back to make it 2 - 1 after just 10 minutes. They game settled down after this as we managed to bring the scores level at 2 - 2 just before half time. We started the second half much brighter and the comeback was complete on the hour mark as Marvin Sordell fired home for the Addicks, his third goal of the day for the match ball. We managed to hold on to take a vital three points.
 
The atmosphere in the home end was a bit flat but to be fair for them it was a nothing end of season game. The 200 odd Charlton fans made a bit of noise as you would expect with a comeback.
 
I found the stewards helpful and friendly as I always have at Hillsborough.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As we was parked in a car park opposite the ground we was in our car and on the road within 15 minutes of the full time whistle and after a bit of heavy traffic getting onto the M1 we was away and happy with 3 points. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall a very enjoyable trip to Hillsborough which is one of the great old grounds with History which is always worth a visit. 

Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United
Championship League
Friday October 19th 2012, 7.45pm
Josh Grainger (Leeds United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

This was my first away trip of the season, and was particularly looking forward to it for a number of reasons. Since I did a project at school on the Hillsbrough disaster, I've always been interested in this tragedy. I often visit family in Sheffield, and drive past the ground every time I visit the city, however have never been inside, and was looking forward to doing so. Also this was probably Leeds' biggest derby of the season and I was looking forward to the atmosphere that me and 5,000 other Leeds fans would make.

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

The game had been moved to a Friday night for policing/television reasons, and so the traffic was particularly bad on my drive from my home in Newcastle to the ground itself, this traffic worsened as we got closer to the stadium, however still made it to the seats, half an hour before kick off. The ground itself is fairly easy to find, it's quite a bit out of Sheffield city centre, unlike Bramall Lane however there are plenty of signposts as you approach it.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We jumped out the car on the main road in front of the stadium, and walked towards the away end (Leppings Lane), despite our Leeds shirts being on full show, there were no problems with the home fans. As we entered the ground, I saw some fans being turned away as they didn't have their membership cards as well as their tickets, they were told to bring both, however I still felt it was slightly harsh to turn them away.

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

The ground is quite big from the outside, and is one of the more traditional stadiums in English football, we walked through the turnstiles in the Leppings Lane (away end) and we entered another outside area/pen. This was quite surreal and emotional as this was the very area where Liverpool fans had passed through on that fateful day in 1989. I noticed that a Liverpool scarf was tied to a pillar, which was a poignant note. 

We walked up the stairs to our seats and despite the outside of the away end looking very old, the inside was slightly more modern. Our seats were in the upper tier of the stand next to an empty corner occupied by police, and fairly close to the Wednesday fans. The view was partly obstructed by a number of pillars. The rest of the ground seemed massive from the inside, and it was nice to see such an old fashioned ground similar Elland Road.

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

The game itself was as you'd expect a local derby to be, tackles flying in etc. The Leeds fans as ever made a constant noise, however credit to the home support who also sang fairly loudly, however helped by the presence of a drummer (shouldn't allow them into the ground if you ask me).  Wednesday scored toward the end of the first half, which quietened the away support slightly. 10 minutes or so into the second half, things turned unsavoury with coins, bottles and even some seats being thrown at a group of Wednesday fans who had been baiting the away support. Several riot police were brought in to separate the fans and as this going on, Leeds scored a late equaliser which stimulated more scenes in the away end. A few Leeds fans ran onto the pitch, one even hit the Wednesday keeper, more missiles were thrown toward the home end, and in truth the police and stewards were overwhelmed. It took a while for order to be restored.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were let out the ground almost straight away after the game and there was a heavy police presence outside to greet us. I didn't get any hassle from the home fans as I walked back to the car.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Some of the scenes were unsavoury to say the least. However it was a great atmosphere and at the end of the day no-one was seriously hurt. It was a more memorable away trip, however one I thoroughly enjoyed, and won't be forgetting in a hurry. 

Sheffield Wednesday v Wycombe Wanderers
League One
Saturday May 5th 2012, 3pm
Mark Tills (Wycombe fan)

With it being the last game of the season and Wycombe unfortunately already down, I travelled to Hillsborough simply to experience the ground and most probably a promotion party!
 
Having travelled to Bramall Lane earlier on in the season, I have to say I was amazed at how far from the city centre the stadium is. We took the train from High Wycombe (changing at Banbury) and I have to say the prices were extortionate - however you travel, do not go by train as it's not worth it. Once into Sheffield, I'd recommend going by Supertram - it's relatively cheap, I think it cost me £3.50 return, and takes you directly into Hillsborough. 
 
There was a real carnival atmosphere and it felt, to be honest, as if we were all supporting the same cause. I went to a burger van outside the away stand - cheap, cheerful, good enough.
 
The away stand, from the outside, looks terrible. It's looking horribly run down and Wednesday could really do with knocking it down and starting again. We did take a look around the ground and although not the nicest looking from the outside, it's size is astonishing and standing under the South Stand was a great experience with the ground looming over you. We were placed in the North-west Corner and, in all honesty, the concourse was minimal but was adequate - I assume the 'normal' facilities on the West Stand were much better. The rest of the ground is huge - showing its age, with a few supporting pillars, but nonetheless incredibly big. It's hard to appreciate such a big ground until you've visited it, really.
 
The game itself was crazy. Wednesday won 2-0 and I have to admit that I've never felt an atmosphere like it. The ground was rocking, and most Wycombe fans joined in the party. It was nice to see a good club like Wednesday do well and the fans were clearly enjoying themselves. I didn't feel intimidated by 38,000 fans at all - they all seemed friendly and cared little about us in the corner. The ground isn't perfect and I don't think is the nicest ground to look at in terms of individual stands as none of the four are particularly beautiful, but it is the size of the ground that makes it special. Wycombe were predictably woeful but a result wasn't really what anyone expected in the away end. I would argue the atmosphere is probably nothing like this normally, but if you attend a game like this one it is really something special, and I can only go on what I have felt.
 
Obviously the ground was packed but we left earlier (most home fans waited for their lap of honour) and so we got to the Supertram early and we were away without any trouble at all. 
 
A special day. Not nice seeing promotion happen to any other team normally, but I enjoyed seeing Wednesday go up. Hillsborough is a magnificent stadium fit for Premiership football without doubt, and I hope Wednesday fans can continue to put 38,000 in it. When it's full, like it was, it is a truly spectacular stadium and worth a visit every day of the week.    

Sheffield Wednesday v Blackpool
FA Cup 3rd Round
Tuesday February 7th 2012, 7.45pm
Dom Bickerton (Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

I was really excited for this game mainly because I'm a big fan of the FA Cup and Hillsborough has to be one of my favourite grounds. I'm actually a Stoke City fan, but I have been at University in Sheffield for the last four years and in that time I've developed a soft spot for Sheffield Wednesday, so on the odd occasion I'll go and watch the Owls and take in the great atmosphere. Me and a mate (who's also a Stokie and at Uni in Sheffield) decided to take advantage of the £10 ticket price for this game and made a really good night out of it.

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

Having lived in Sheffield for some time, getting to the ground was no problem for me. I got the tram (£3 return) from the city centre up to Leppings Lane and made the short walk to the Kop. For anyone that has never been to Hillsborough or the city of Sheffield, the tram system is very easy to understand and shouldn't cause you any problems. (Oh, and you pay for your ticket on the tram, so don't worry about being stopped without a ticket)

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

Due to my poor timekeeping, I got to the ground about 15 minutes before kick off but still had plenty of time to go and get a quick pint from the bar at the back of the Kop end. Service was quick and luckily for me I knew one of the bar staff, so managed to get a free pint! I've been told that alcohol isn't available to away fans, but there are plenty of pubs within walking distance of the ground, so I shouldn't think that it would be too hard for away fans to find a nice watering hole somewhere.

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

Going to Hillsborough is like stepping back in time. From the old-fashioned turnstiles to the general design of the ground, everything just oozes character. The Kop is absolutely massive and I can imagine that it would create a very imposing atmosphere if it was sold out. The ground has a lot of history and it's hard not be impressed by the individuality and sheer size of the place - a special mention goes to the fantastic looking gable on top of the Main Stand. There's also a somewhat eerie feel to Hillsborough - it's very hard not to look over at the Leppings Lane end and be reminded of the terrible events that occurred in 1989. Overall the ground is a spectacular, moving place to visit and without doubt one of the best grounds in the UK.

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

This match was understandably never going to have the best atmosphere and attendance due it being televised, Wednesday putting out a very weak team (promotion to the Championship is their obvious priority this season) and the sub zero temperature. Despite these factors the Wednesday fans in the upper part of the Kop were in good voice and it clearly spurred the team on in the opening minutes of the game. Wednesday had two very good chances early on, but were caught out on the break and Matt Phillips struck his 10th goal in 10 games to put Blackpool 1-0 up after seven minutes. This early goal seemed to drain the confidence of the Wednesday players and fans alike. Seven minutes later the somewhat goal shy striker Lomana LuaLua curled in an absolute peach of a goal which pretty much sealed the win for Blackpool within the first 15 minutes of the match. Wednesday were fairly fortunate to get to half time 2-0 down. 

At half time I stayed in my seat and tried to keep warm, like many others I wasn't prepared to venture out of the back of the stand to queue for refreshments in the freezing cold. Blackpool continued to dominate in the second half and on 54 minutes Sylvestre scored an absolute cracker into the goal in front of the 600 or so Blackpool fans who had the made the trip - they were in good voice all game and I take my hat off to them. 

I was a bit disappointed with the home fans towards the end of the game; many left very early on in order to get a tram away from the ground quickly - during weeknights the tram runs less often than normal, so there's usually a procession of fans leaving early, desperate to get to the tram before it gets too crowded at the tram stop - me and my mate found it quite funny once we realised that after the 75 minute mark there were more Stoke fans than Wednesday fans on our row! Despite the large number of home fans leaving early the game was still a good spectacle and Blackpool ran out worthy 3-0 winners. 

After the final whistle the stewards, who kept a low profile throughout the game, helped to direct fans out of the ground through the exits in the corner of the stands and did a good job of calming down some rather daft, young Wednesday fans who'd clearly been watching too many films about football hooligans.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After leaving the ground we walked back to the Leppings Lane tram stop which was very crowded, so me and my mate went and got some food from a nearby takeaway while we waited for a later tram that wouldn't be so busy. For anyone that doesn't fancy trying to get onto a stuffed tram or wait in the cold, there is a KFC and a few takeaways next to the tram stop, so there's no need to brave the crowds and the elements.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, it was a great night out that only cost £13 for the ticket and transport which is an absolute bargain. The match was good to watch and Hillsborough is always well worth a visit to go and take in some proper grass roots football. I would advise any big football fan to go and visit this great stadium, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. 

Sheffield Wednesday v Colchester United
League One
Saturday October 22nd 2011, 3pm
Philip John Williams (Colchester United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I’ve lived in Thailand for over 20 years and obviously I rarely get the chance to see my beloved Colchester United play. However, I was back in the UK for a couple of weeks visiting the family in Birmingham and a day out at Hillsborough was too good an opportunity to miss. 

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

I was on something of a ‘tour of the north’ and had actually spent the previous night in Chesterfield. As an interesting aside, I stayed in a B&B in the shadow of Chesterfield’s old ground, Saltergate. I walked around the old place and it was very sad to see it in such a dilapidated condition. They obviously haven’t managed to sell the land yet.

Sheffield is only a dozen miles from Chesterfield so getting to Hillsborough took barely 20 minutes. There are plenty of places to park near the ground itself and I ended up sticking the car in Hillsborough Leisure Centre for a fiver. A tad pricey I suppose but with a boot full of luggage, I needed somewhere secure. 
   
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I asked the security guard at the car-park to recommend a place for a pint and some pub grub and he pointed us in the direction of at least two pubs. However, upon further inspection, they were both full of home fans and didn’t look particularly welcoming. So we ended up in a KFC. It was either that or something from a burger van because we just couldn’t be bothered to stray too far from the ground having already parked the car up.

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

As this website rightly says – Hillsborough is a beautiful traditional old football ground and I hadn’t been there for over 20 years. It was so great to see it again. We went and had a look at the football memorial and we also chatted to the lovely guy who runs the football programme shop near the away end. Then at 2.30pm we eventually took our seats in the stadium. The 200-300 travelling Colchester fans had been given the bottom section of the South Stand. I thought the view of the pitch was okay but partly obscured by the goal-net and being a six-footer, I could have done with a little more leg-room to be honest.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Sheffield Wednesday were lying third in the division having played six and won six at home. Colchester were lying in twelfth. On paper it was a banker home win, but Colchester have been something of a bogey side to the Owls down the years and have got some good results at Hillsborough. After we had dominated the first 20 minutes, I was left wondering whether today was going to be our day again. We managed to get to half-time goal-less but Wednesday came out in the second half a different team and we were 2-0 down with barely 65 minutes gone. Then it became a case of damage limitation. Final whistle and 2-0 to Wednesday was a very fair result.

There were only 17,000 people there, which technically meant that the stadium was half empty – but it didn’t look or feel that way.

The crowd did manage to create some noise at times but you got the distinct feeling that the Wednesday supporters felt all they had to do was turn up in order to get the three points. In contrast, the Colchester away support was pretty pathetic in terms of getting behind their own team.

The stewards were fantastic! We had a great natter with them before the game and they filled us in on what it had been like to be a Wednesday supporter for the last twenty years or so. They were obviously very proud of their club despite the fact they were languishing one or two divisions lower than where they should be. Yes, a friendlier bunch of stewards you would be hard pushed to meet.

The half-time refreshments were okay (usual fayre) and the toilet facilities were fine.   

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Straight back to the car after the game and we were on the M1 south back to Birmingham within 15 minutes. Very easy journey home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Fantastic day out. OK, we lost - but the result didn’t seem to matter. It was the chance to see a decent football match on a gorgeous sunny October day at one of Britain’s greatest football grounds, a stadium steeped in football history.   


Sheffield Wednesday v Exeter City
League One
Saturday May 7th 2011, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?
 
I was looking forward to going to this ground as it is one of those places with a big but also infamous history, but also after a good season with Exeter I was hoping to see them sign off in style.
 
2. How easy was your journey and finding the ground?
 
I travelled up by train, leaving Exeter at 6.20am, arriving in Sheffield about 4hours later. Finding the ground was very easy as it was a short tram ride from the city centre up to the Leppings Lane End. 
 
3. What did you do before the game, pub, chippy....home fans friendly?
 
Arriving early I was able to book into my hotel before going up to the ground. After having had a drink at The Bankers Draft, a Wetherspoons pub which was reasonably priced, I then took tram up to Leppings Lane, where there was another Wetherspoons, called the Rawson Spring which again was reasonably priced and also seemed to be the local for many Owls supporters, all of who were very friendly. Away fans would probably be okay in this pub, if they aren't wearing visiting colours or red and white!. I also met some familiar faces from those that travelled down to Exeter for the reverse fixture earlier in the season. From there I headed up to the ground where I also found the memorial and paid my respects to the 96 Liverpool fans.
 
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,  first impressions of away end and then other sides of ground?
 
On arriving at the stadium it is easy to see how old it is and how much work needs to be done, but get inside the age does not show that bad. Yes it is a very tight ground where the stands are almost on the pitch but that itself adds to the atmosphere.
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, refreshments etc.
 
Once the game started the atmosphere was buzzing from both sets of supporters, a real end of season party feel was about the game. Stewards were helpful and for a football ground refreshments were averagely priced and toilets were clean. After going 1-0 down we (Exeter) won the game 2-1 with goals from Danny Nardiello and a spectacular first of the season to Troy Archibald-Henville, then to raptious cheers the City manager came on to end his career as a player.
At the end of the game City fans paid tribute to striker Adam Stansfield who died from cancer at the start of the season and it was good to hear the owls fans also joining in that tribute.
 
6. Comments on getting away from the ground after the game.
 
Getting away after the game was easy as it was  the return tram ride back to the city then a short walk back to my hotel to prepare for the night out. Overall what turned out to be a great day, turned into a great weekend too!

Updated 3rd December 2014

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