Burton Albion

Pirelli Stadium

Capacity: 6,912 (2,034 Seated)
Address: Burton Upon Trent, Staffs, DE13 0AR
Telephone: 01283 565 938
Fax: 01283 523 199
Pitch Size: 110 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Brewers
Year Ground Opened: 2005
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: Tempobet
Kit Manufacturer: TAG
Home Kit: Yellow and Black Stripes
Away Kit: Sky Blue With White Trim

Main Stand External View
Main Stand External View
Main Stand
Main Stand
Popular Side
Popular Side
East Terrace
East Terrace
West Terrace
West Terrace
Main Stand and East Terrace
Main Stand and East Terrace

In 2005 the Club left their Eton Park ground, which had been their home since 1958 and moved to a new £6.5m purpose built stadium nearby (well almost across the road to be exact!). On one side is the attractive looking Main Stand, which is covered and all seated. The Clubs administration offices and corporate facilities are located in this stand and so at the back of the seated area is a row of windows running across it. Above this glassed area is white paneling, which gives the stand an interesting look. The other three sides are small, steep covered terraces. They are a little ugly looking as they each have a large visible back wall. Each of these terraced stands has solid windshields to either side, apart from one side of the South Stand where there is a Police Control Box present. The stadium is completed with a set of four tall looking floodlights.

Away fans are predominantly housed in the Coors East Stand Terrace at one end of the ground, where just over 1,400 fans can be accommodated. In addition 400 seats are also made available to visiting supporters in the Main Stand. As you would expect from a modern stadium, the view of the playing action (there are no supporting pillars) and facilities are good. The atmosphere is not bad too (although there is a bit of a monotonous drummer in the home end), as well as the grub available including the legendary Faggots & Mushy peas (£3.20). Other food on offer includes; Double Cheeseburgers (£4.50), Double Burgers (£4), Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Burgers (£3.20), Pukka Pies (£3.50), Sausage Rolls (£1.80), Hot Dogs (£3.20), Chip Butties in crusty bread (£2.90) and Chips (£2.50). There is also a bar for away fans in which you can sit inside, There are TV screens showing Sky Sports News and then live coverage of the match itself. The bar is open until 15 minutes after the second half has started.

Also look out for the cumbersome looking 'Billy Brewer Mascot', who is a bit of a character. On one visit the announcer reminded younger supporters that they shouldn't forget to obtain Billy Brewer's autograph! 

On the whole Burton is one of the better days out in the league, with excellent pubs, a good stadium with good facilities, atmosphere and virtually hassle free.

The nearest pub is probably the 'The Beech Inn' which is around a ten minute walk, up the A5121 Derby Road (going in the opposite direction to Burton town centre) on the left. You can also park your car there at a cost of £5. Further on past the Beech pub on the same side of the road is a McDonalds outlet. Otherwise there is the Great Northern pub, which serves Burton Bridge Beers, along with a guest ale. This pub is located on Wetmore Road, which leads off the roundabout near to the stadium entrance, go up and over the railway bridge and the pub is on the left. If you particularly like your real ale then just under a half a mile away from the stadium is the Burton Town Brewery. Situated in a small industrial unit in Falcon Close (off Hawkins Lane, which itself also runs off the main roundabout by the ground), it opens its doors before matches and has available real and craft ales, lagers, cider and wine. Also in the area is the fabulous Tower Brewery on Glensyl Way. Featuring a cosy snug room it also has a large function area that looks out onto the brewing vessels. However it is not always open before matches so check with them first via their website.

Near to the railway station are the Roebuck, Devonshire, the Last Heretic micropub and the Cooper's Tavern which are all recommended. The Last Heretic opens from 11am and has a large beer garden. If you walk from the station to the ground, you will pass the Albert Ale House on your left which also serves well kept Burton Bridge Beers. Alcohol is also served within the stadium, with away fans being 'treated' to their own little inside bar/refreshment area. Beer costs £4 a pint. 

Fuggle & Nugget Micropub - 81 High Street

Fuggle & Nugget Micropub SignThe Fuggle & Nugget is a popular micropub located on the High Street. The pub which welcomes visiting supporters, normally offers 3 or 4 real ales, which are served straight from the cask. In addition there are real ciders, wine, spirits, Samuel Smith Organic bottled fruit beers and Samuel Smith Organic bottled lager..Plus snacks are available such as organic pork pies, scotch eggs, cheese boards, and vegetarian pies. The pub is around a 15 minute walk away from the Pirelli Stadium and Burton Railway Station (come out of the station and turn right. Follow the road until the very end where you turn left onto the High Street. The micropub is along the High Street on the left). Opens: From 12 noon on Saturdays.  Address: 81 High Street, Burton-upon-Trent  DE14 1LD (Location MapTelephone: 07805526322. Twitter: @the_fuggleFacebook Page.

Alex Winter a visiting Cheltenham Town fan adds; 'In the town centre just off the end of the High Street is the Burton Bridge Inn. Not only does it serve the excellent Burton Bridge Beers (the pub is also known as the Brewery Tap for the nearby Burton Bridge Brewery) but great pub grub too.' Also not far away on the High Street is a micropub called the Fuggle & Nugget (see above).

Terry Doran a visiting Oldham Athletic supporter adds; 'When in Burton-on-Trent, described by Molson Coors as the “Global Brewing Capital”, it is worth while allowing time to visit a few of the local pubs before and/or after the match to sample the town‘s brewing delights:

If arriving at Burton Railway Station, then turn right for the Roebuck (Burton Ale House) which has a good selection of beers plus televised sports. Continue heading down the right-hand side of Station Street to the Last Heretic micropub and then onto the Devonshire Arms on the corner of Milton Street. The ‘Devvie’ has a large range of Burton Bridge beers, guest ales and an extensive food menu. Also has a range of continental bottled beers as well as traditional fruit wines.

Turn right into Milton Street, cross over and you will see a narrow entry to the Cooper’s Tavern. This gem of a pub is pretty unique, with an interior unchanged since the 19th Century. A small bar and lounge with beers poured straight from the barrel in the cosy back bar. Very friendly local with good value food.

Retracing your route back to the railway station, continue past it and cross over, turning right into Derby Street, which eventually becomes Derby Road and leads direct to the Pirelli Stadium. Along Derby Street on your left is the Alfred Ale House which serves Burton Bridge beers with at least one guest ale and has an extensive food menu.

At the roundabout in front of the Pirelli Stadium turn right and walk for two minutes over the railway to the Great Northern on the left in Wetmore Road. Burton Bridge beers and a guest ale are served, along with the usual keg beers associated with Burton-on-Trent. The pub has a big screen showing Sky Sports.

Returning to the roundabout and heading past the stadium along the busy Derby Road you come to the Beech Inn pub on your left between the Pirelli factory and McDonald’s. This is a Marston’s local with a bar on the front, a smaller lounge at the rear and a beer garden.

Continuing along Derby Road going away from the stadium and turning left at Ian Shipton Cars you come to The Mill House, part of a national chain of family bar/restaurants and situated by the canal between Stretton church and Derby Road. It is at least a 10 minute walk from the ground (one minute in the car) and is very handy for people approaching from the A38 - just turn right at the island by Ian Shipton Cars. The food is good, but not cheap, and beers include Bass, Marston’s and Theakston‘s. Children welcome with both indoor and outdoor play areas'.

If you require hotel accommodation in Burton upon Trent then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Burton upon Trent Hotel pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

The ground is situated in North Burton, just off the A5121 (Derby Road). This is about a mile from the A38 which runs across the Midlands. 

From the North (M1)

Leave the M1 at junction 28 and join the A38 towards Derby. Continue on the A38 through Derby towards Burton. Leave the A38 at the Burton North exit and follow the A5121 towards Burton. Go straight across a roundabout and you will then pass a McDonalds on your right. Just before the next roundabout you will see the stadium on your right. Turn right at the roundabout into Princess Way. A short distance along Princess Way on the right, is the entrance to the Club Car Park. 

From the South (M1)

Leave the M1 at junction 22 and join the A511 towards Coalville/Burton. Turn right at the junction of the A5121, towards Burton North. As you come into the outskirts of Burton you will pass a McDonalds on your right. Just before the next roundabout you will see the stadium on your right. Turn right at the roundabout into Princess Way. A short distance along Princess Way on the right, is the entrance to the Club Car Park.

Car Parking

There is a large car park at the ground which costs £5, however this gets full pretty quickly. Alternatively car parking is available at the Ryknild Trading Estate (also costing £5), just off the roundabout right by the stadium. Otherwise street parking. 

Post Code for Sat-Nav: DE13 0AR

Burton Railway Station is around a mile and a half away from the Pirelli Stadium. As you come out of the station turn left and go down the hill. Turn right into Derby Road and from there it is a straight road up to the stadium. It should take about 25 minutes to walk. Otherwise there is a taxi rank at the station and the cost up to the ground is around £6.

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 £24
Over 65's and Under 23's £22
Under 17's £14

Terrace
Adults £20
Over 65's £18
Under 23's £15
Under 17's £7

Official Programme £3

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

Derby County and from a bit further afield Port Vale.

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

Record Attendance

6,746 v Derby County, Championship League, August 26th 2016.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 5,228 (Championship League)
2015-2016: 4,089 (League One)
2014-2015: 3,237 (League Two)

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

Burton Albion v Reading
Football Championship League
Sunday 7th May 2017, 12 noon
Luke Rogan (Reading fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

Being the last game of the regular season and as we had already secured a promotion slot, I was mostly looking forward to the day out rather than the game itself. Being my first visit to the Pirelli Stadium, I was looking forward to visiting a new ground – and as the Pirelli still has some terracing, there was an added allure to the visit.

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

Our journey from Berkshire was incredibly simple and easy - albeit a Sunday morning - breezing up the A34 and M40. Being a Sunday lunch time, we planned to park up in the much recommended Beech Inn Hotel and stay for a drink before the match. There was ample parking when we got there, and for a fiver it was handy as it's only a five minute walk to the Pirelli Stadium.

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

Due to the early kick off, we didn't do much before the game. The pub staff welcomed us and had a quick chat with us before we headed to the ground. We stayed for another drink after the game and had a chat with the local supporters who were incredibly friendly - as too were the pub staff.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is a small ground, you don't really see it until you're right there - but in no way is that intended as an insult. In fact, quite the opposite. It was a nice throwback to grounds of the past - but with a modern touch. Inside the ground, it was great to be standing on a terrace and despite the view ultimately lacking compared to being higher up in bigger stands - it was great to be so close to the action.

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

The atmosphere early on was great. The stewards did a fine job as the terrace was heaving with fans, all throwing around the traditional final away game inflatables to cause more distraction to the staff - and it's worth noting they kept their cool despite numerous plastic inflatables being launched at them throughout the game! Burton's Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater reacted brilliantly to an onslaught of stick and ended up winning the away end over, to the chant of 'Stephen is a Royal'. The game itself was scrappy and low quality - but included six goals (2-4 final score) so all in all a good 90 minutes.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Couldn't have been an easier five minute walk back to the Beech Inn. We opted to stay for a drink after the game, but the traffic queue getting out was so light, it had completely dissipated by the time we finished our drinks.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The Pirelli Stadium is a must for all away supporters. A local, friendly club who are welcoming. Really enjoyed our visit. And seeing half the stewards in the pub 20 minutes after the game goes to show just how tight knit the club is to the town! If we ever get the chance to go again I'll cross my fingers for a traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off to tick off the much-recommended town centre pubs.

Burton Albion v Leeds United.
Football Championship League
Saturday 22nd April 2017, 3pm
Thomas Inglis (Dundee United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

I was anticipating a good game for my 71st English ground visit, as both teams needed the points at either end of the league.

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

I got an overnight Megabus to Birmingham, then the train from New Street to Burton. I arrived before 9am. so I had plenty of time to walk to the ground, but it is quite a distance from the town centre. The route is not too well signposted and I had to ask directions on a couple of occasions.

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

I had time to look around the shopping malls, church, parks and gardens in the town centre. I put on a couple of football bets, studying my coupon as I had lunch and a pint in the 'Lord Burton'. I also had a pint in the pub next door the 'Prince of Brewers'. I chatted to a couple of Burton fans, who were hoping for at least a draw. Also spoke to some Leeds boys, who were convinced that their team couldn't lose today. I then set off on the walk towards the Pirelli Stadium.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is a tidy little ground. With three sides being terraces, it gave me the chance to stand at a ground. I was just on the half way line amongst all the 'Brewers' fans. The singing contingents were behind both goals, Burton to the right and a good couple of thousand Leeds fans to the left.

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

The first half was a bit flat, with not too much goalmouth action, or even chances from either team. The second period did get better, with a couple of half chances but getting towards the 75th minute I couldn't see one goal coming. But then there were three in a six minute spell. Leeds gave away possession in midfield and the ball was played to Sordell with his back to goal, from around 20 yards he swivelled and fired in. A couple of minutes later Kightly broke free and slotted in a second for Albion The home fans were going crazy by this point. Another couple of minutes on the clock and Bartley knocked in a Wood cross goal header for Leeds from about 4 inches. The rousing atmosphere continued to the end, and a much needed 2-1 win for Burton, which should see them safe. I would give a minus point to the steward who, when I asked if I could get into the stadium bar (this was at 1pm) said it doesn't open until 1.30pm. I then asked if there was another bar nearby he said "you have a home ticket, why don't you know where the pub is?". Explaining I had never been here, and had just came as a neutral to support his team. The next steward on hearing this conversation pointed me towards 'The Beech', just five minutes walk away.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problems coming away from the ground, just the long walk back into town for a few beers in some of Burtons good bars. 'The Locomotive', 'The Dog', 'Devonshire Arms' and 'The Roebuck'.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out :

Burton (the town) is a great wee place for a weekend round the 'boozers'. Hopefully Albion stay up and defy the odds (6,073 crowd today in the smallest capacity stadium in the division). I didn't let the grumpy steward spoil my day at the Pirelli Stadium!

Burton Albion v Reading
Football Championship League
Sunday 7th May 2017, 12 noon
Luke Rogan (Reading fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

Being the last game of the regular season and as we had already secured a promotion slot, I was mostly looking forward to the day out rather than the game itself. Being my first visit to the Pirelli Stadium, I was looking forward to visiting a new ground – and as the Pirelli still has some terracing, there was an added allure to the visit.

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

Our journey from Berkshire was incredibly simple and easy - albeit a Sunday morning - breezing up the A34 and M40. Being a Sunday lunch time, we planned to park up in the much recommended Beech Inn Hotel and stay for a drink before the match. There was ample parking when we got there, and for a fiver it was handy as it's only a five minute walk to the Pirelli Stadium.

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

Due to the early kick off, we didn't do much before the game. The pub staff welcomed us and had a quick chat with us before we headed to the ground. We stayed for another drink after the game and had a chat with the local supporters who were incredibly friendly - as too were the pub staff.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is a small ground, you don't really see it until you're right there - but in no way is that intended as an insult. In fact, quite the opposite. It was a nice throwback to grounds of the past - but with a modern touch. Inside the ground, it was great to be standing on a terrace and despite the view ultimately lacking compared to being higher up in bigger stands - it was great to be so close to the action.

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

The atmosphere early on was great. The stewards did a fine job as the terrace was heaving with fans, all throwing around the traditional final away game inflatables to cause more distraction to the staff - and it's worth noting they kept their cool despite numerous plastic inflatables being launched at them throughout the game! Burton's Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater reacted brilliantly to an onslaught of stick and ended up winning the away end over, to the chant of 'Stephen is a Royal'. The game itself was scrappy and low quality - but included six goals (2-4 final score) so all in all a good 90 minutes.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Couldn't have been an easier five minute walk back to the Beech Inn. We opted to stay for a drink after the game, but the traffic queue getting out was so light, it had completely dissipated by the time we finished our drinks.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The Pirelli Stadium is a must for all away supporters. A local, friendly club who are welcoming. Really enjoyed our visit. And seeing half the stewards in the pub 20 minutes after the game goes to show just how tight knit the club is to the town! If we ever get the chance to go again I'll cross my fingers for a traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off to tick off the much-recommended town centre pubs.

Burton Albion v Brentford
Football Championship League
Saturday 18th March 2017, 3pm
Fred Martin (Brentford fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

Brentford had never played at Burton Albion before so it was a new one for Bees supporters.

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

Driving up from Surrey and following the directions given in this guide, the Pirelli Stadium was easy to find and we were fortunate that the traffic for our 160 mile journey was incredibly light.We parked at the Ryknild Industrial Estate opposite the ground for £5,which was handy and and easy to get away from after the game.

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

We went to a Subway outlet about 10 minutes walk from the Pirelli Stadium. We saw very few home fans.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away en d then other sides of the Pirelli Stadium?

The Pirelli is a smart clean stadium but very small for a Championship club ( and that's coming from a Bees fan :) It really had a non-league feel about it.The away all standing end is very reminiscent of our own Ealing Road home end. Especially as it was packed with Bees fans.

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

It was an incredible game.The Brentford I have loved and supported for many years was encapsulated in this match. Brentford were absolutely pathetic for the first 45 minutes and going in 3-1 down after gifting the home side three preventable goals. After the break we transformed from non - league standard to Champions League standard as we tore Burton apart and ran in four goals to end up 5-3 winners! Burton had been undefeated in their previous six games. The stewards seemed friendly enough and were very well turned out in white shirts and club ties. The toilet facilities were good and very clean. We did not use the food outlets.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Very easy from the Industrial Park located across the road from the Pirelli Stadium.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Easy journey there. Incredible result. My wife and I stayed the night in Burton and we made a planned visit on Sunday to the National Memorial Arboretum which is only about 25 minutes drive away. I would say to any visiting fans of any club, if you do stay an extra night please find time to visit this remarkable place (Admission is free). There is even a memorial to the First World War 1914 Christmas truce.when both sides stopped fighting for a short while and had a game of football. Puts everything into perspective.

Burton Albion v Norwich City
Football Championship League
Saturday 18th February 2017, 3pm
Ryan (Norwich City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

It was only the second time Norwich City had ever played Burton Albion (after our 3-1 win at home a few months earlier) and our first ever visit to the Pirelli Stadium. So I would be visiting a ground that I'd never been to. Plus the chance to be standing on a terrace sounded too good to miss, as opposed to constantly being forced to sit down everywhere else!

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

I travelled on one of the clubs official supporters coaches, so all I had to do was be at Carrow Road for 9:15am to be picked up and let the driver do the rest! We had one stop at a service station near Leicester and then got dropped off right outside the Pirelli Stadium at 1pm, so very good!

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

Me and my mate found a local pub called the Beech Inn, about a five minute walk from the ground. It was full of Norwich fans, which created a good atmosphere. There were two bars, including an outside bar, which made it quick and easy to be served. We didn't see a single home fan before the game!

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

Although the Pirelli Stadium is small small modem ground, it still had the feel of a "proper" football ground. Fans are housed close to the pitch and the ground had a bit of character. The away end terrace held 1400 of our fans, which was quite tight. The Norwich fans made quite a decent amount of noise (until we realised the team weren't so bothered to repay us with such a good performance!).

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

The game was very poor. Neither side created much in the first half, but after a horrendous bit of defending by our Swiss international, Timm Klose, Burton took the lead. We equalised early in the second half but within minutes were behind again. The second half was similar to the first, Burton deserved it more than us, but neither side were great on the day. The atmosphere was a little flat, like the performance. The stewards seemed very helpful and friendly, and seemed interested in asking me questions about NCFC! The facilities were basic, as expected, but nothing to complain about.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We got on the coach about 15 minutes after the game ended and once every one was on board, we got away very quickly.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The Pirelli Stadium is a decent little ground, a good day out and a good experience on the terraces. The match tickets were cheap which was a nice change, just a shame that the game was so poor and yet another away defeat, but as a Norwich fan, I'm used to that!

Burton Albion v Preston North End
Football Championship League
Monday January 2nd 2017, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

Pirelli Stadium FloodlightThis for me was a fixture I’d been looking out for as soon as they were released.  One of the benefits of the opening up of the non-league pyramid to the promised land of milk and honey was that the former diet of ‘the same old’ fayre in the bottom division started to get freshened up with some new blood.  One of the more recent arrivals at the Football League glamour ball has been Burton Albion, who having settled into the groove with a good few solid years in the basement division then sent their supporters into untold raptures with two promotions in consecutive seasons.

Thus on a bitterly cold morning, our eldest lad and myself trotted out to defrost the car and head up to the Midlands for what was to be our first ever competitive visit to play the Brewers from Burton-on-Trent. I think any game to be played at a ‘new’ ground engenders a certain degree of excitement, especially one where you can look forward to standing on a terrace. But this was tempered on the other hand by mild concerns that the weather may throw a spanner in the works and that other pang of concern that a ‘little’ club such as Burton Albion could prove to be a banana skin.  Although they were struggling a little at the lower reaches of the table, they had proved already this season that they had not turned up to be the whipping boys of the division, despite the fact that they were probably by some margin the smallest club in the second tier of domestic football in the country.

The bank holiday provided us with fairly empty motorways to rattle along, so we made good time as we drove around the M25 and on up the M1 from our starting point in Kent.  After discussing the footballing issues of the day, we tuned in to the radio to listen to the early kick-off of the day which was Middlesbrough v Leicester City which quite frankly sounded like an absolute bore, both on and off the pitch.  It made me glad we were going to an honest Championship match where there was likely going to be far more endeavour and atmosphere. Indeed , the scenery from the A511 that we traversed upon leaving the M1 was by some margin more entertaining than the radio commentary of the match. Once again though, some angels of doubt started to fly around as we noticed that there was some still some large areas of frost untouched by sunlight.

Upon arrival in Burton, despite a small navigational error, we soon spotted the floodlights of the little ground and ditched the car in the industrial units opposite the stadium and started to wrap up for the afternoon ahead that we sensed would be a rather cold one. The Pirelli Stadium is a tidy, neat looking little ground that appears well cared for from the outside, and as already mentioned, has a set of four modern floodlight pylons.  It is testament to what has been achieved on the pitch with the club that this little ground is during the course of the current season being graced by the likes of Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Birmingham City and other big fishes.

Once we’d had a brief look around, we opted to enter the ground to plump for an optimum spot on the terrace. There was a fairly heavy stewarding presence outside the away end, but the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, and once we’d entered the turnstiles, the numerous and highly visible stewards were very welcoming and keen to explain the different entrances and exits to the viewing area, toilets, and food kiosk. We took advantage of the food outlet ; my eldest opted for the chips and hot dog, which with hindsight I’d have plumped for as it looked good, whereas the cheeseburger I’d gone for was average. If the Cheeseburger merited a 6/10, then I’m afraid the toilets at best scratch a 5/10.  Although I’ve seen far worse down the years, I think it’s fair to say that in the modern age we expect a little better these days, and the cleanliness of the facilities at the Pirelli Stadium left a fair bit to be desired.

Even before the match got underway, the atmosphere was building nicely in the ground, helped I’m sure by the small terraces for both the home and away fans.  Only the Main Stand is seated here at Burton, the other three sides are small but modern concrete terraces. The match itself was poor on quality it must be said, but that in no way dampened the atmosphere. The home fans I sense are simply enjoying this season especially as they are proving that they can hold their own at this level whilst for many a Northender I sensed it was a chance to enjoy being on a terrace and the spontaneity that it generates.  In fact, it must be said the atmosphere never let up all afternoon.

View From The Away Terrace

View From The Away Terrace

Over the 90 minutes, the ball only found the back of the net once, and the fact that was a cross from one of our defenders and skipper Tom Clarke that somehow evaded the Burton keeper probably sums up the quality of the afternoon’s fayre, although no-one could question the effort, desire, and commitment of either team.  As daylight faded, that wonderful crispness of winter football under the floodlights helped increase the magic of a lovely away day, and there was quite a celebration when the final whistle heralded the securing of the win. Burton Albion had made us work very hard to get those three points.

And thus we returned to our car promptly and were soon heading out of Burton towards the M1 and back south reflecting on another happy day supporting our team. As a reflection, I hope Burton do stay up come the end of season shakedown. Their’s is an honest hard-working team and the club and its ground is testament to why it was a good idea to rejuvenate football by allowing promotion to and from the non-league world.

Plus points for the Pirelli Stadium

1 Easy to find, even without sat-nav
2 Tidy compact ground that generates great atmosphere

Minus points for the Pirelli Stadium

1 Toilets at the away end really could do with a more rigorous deep-clean schedule

Burton Albion v Preston North End
Football Championship League
Monday 2nd January 2017, 3pm
Martin Atherton (Preston North End fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

It was the first ever game for Preston North End at the Pirelli Stadium, so an historic occasion. I visited Burton's previous Eton park ground as a neutral some 25 years ago and I have always followed Albion's fortunes since.

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

The journey by motorway was awful (59 miles in two hours thanks to roadworks in Cheshire) but finding the ground from the A38 is simple enough. We parked in a small pay and display behind Costa/Subway - £1.60 for up to ten hours so a real bargain only five minutes from the ground.

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

Last minute arrival after a three hour journey meant straight in, only 20 minutes before kick off. Some very friendly locals in the Main Stand directed me to free food in a lounge so something of a result there! Stewards were relaxed and were happy to have a conversation with the visitors.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is a decent little ground that is about right for Burton's needs but is a bit of an anachronism at Championship level with three sides of terracing. All views are quite low down and the bevel on the pitch makes it hard to see the far edges. The Main Stand has good sight lines and reasonable leg room. The ground looked pretty full with 5,100 in it or so. Looking at it I don't know where the other 1,800 fans would fit in, considering the Pirelli Stadium has a capacity of 6,900.

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

To be honest, there was almost nothing memorable about the game other than Tom Clarke's goal for Preston (a terrific blindside run and lob from our captain and centre half) and the three points. North End fans summed up the atmosphere after 20 minutes with a chant of 'Is this a library?'. I have never been at a quieter league game in almost 50 years of watching. Burton players were poor but their supporters couldn't even be bothered criticising them. Very strange.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy get away after the short walk back to the car - unlike the fans who parked on the grass verge on the main road past the ground, who found themselves blocked in by the visiting coaches! M6 was mercifully clear on the way home as well.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Not a game that will live in the memory but the Pirelli Stadium was a pleasant enough visit to a friendly and welcoming club with a decent lower league ground.

Burton Albion v Newcastle United
Football Championship League
Saturday 17th December 2016, 3pm
Ged Barker (Newcastle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

When we dropped down into the championship at the end of 2015/16 season it was time to check out one or two new grounds and a few old ones as well! Burton Albion had to be o n the list of must visit.

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

I travelled with three friends by train from Newcastle leaving on the morning of the match at 7.30am. We did have a bit of luck in that the day before travelling instead of having one planned change our train took us directly to Burton. We arrived at Burton train station not long after 10am and headed straight towards town to a Wetherspoons we knew would be open. We had a fair idea that the Pirelli Stadium was a bit away from the town centre but decided to worry about getting there later.

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

A visit to the pub was always on the cards for a few beers. And as mentioned Wetherspoons in the town centre was our first stop off. It was already open when we got there soon after 10am. After breakfast and a couple of pints it was off to find some other watering holes! As you head back towards the train station you will pass a number of pubs and bars most of which I can't remember but really that's irrelevant as every single one was more than welcoming to away fans, This can be a novelty to us Toon army fans as many other places in the country are the exact opposite. Thanks Burton!

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

We set off for the Pirelli Stadium around 2.15pm. We were at first going to get a taxi until a friendly local pointed out that a bus passing outside our bar would drop us off outside the ground. It took the same route and would get stuck in the same traffic and be much cheaper so that's what we did. Arriving at the ground in plenty of time before kick off first impressions were quite good. Yes it's smaller than we are really used to but it looked modern and the away section was well signposted.

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

The game was a hard fought three points for us and proved that we can't take it for granted that promotion is guaranteed. Being in such a small ground we were much closer to the pitch but I enjoyed that we were lucky enough to get seats but that didn't matter as we stand anyway..As usual the Toon fans created most of the atmosphere and as for the stewards they were mostly young and inexperienced but we didn't cause any problems so they had very little to do. Plenty of space on the concourse at half time and people seemed to be getting served pretty easily at the counters.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We stayed in the ground for a few minutes after the final whistle while the players applauded the sell out following. On leaving the ground we headed to the bus stop we had been dropped off at but as there was no bus due we were lucky to flag down a passing taxi who took us back into town. Our train home wasn't due until 7pm so what else for it ..a few pints to celebrate our win!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Over all this was one of my best trips away for a long time. Friendly pubs decent ground even if it is on the small side and a win to take home. Definitely a place to visit only fingers crossed we gain promotion and don't need to. Well done Burton and good luck!

Burton Albion v Newcastle United
Football Championship League
Saturday 17th December 2016, 3pm
Chris Wright (Newcastle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

I was looking forward to it for three reasons. First is that this was the first time that Newcastle had played Burton. Second the Pirelli Stadium its a ground that I have never been to before and third it was my birthday!

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

Left Newcastle at 8am and got to the ground for about 12.30 and that's with a 45 minute stop at Woodall Services (First Services on the M1 from the M18 for those who didn't know).

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

Since we past the Beech Hotel Pub on the way to the ground. I went there. Great Pub for away fans and there is a van out back that also sells beer (pints not cans) and there was a television showing the early kick off between Crystal Palace and Chelsea. So they had everything us Toon fans needed.

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

The Pirelli Stadium looks a bit like Newcastle Falcons Rugby Ground (Kingston Park) Any Newcastle fans who where at the game will have to agree with me on that one. I had a ticket for the standing terrace. The stand itself is basic, but least it had a bar at the back of it.

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

The game was good in the first half and least the two Newcastle goals were scored right in front of us Toon fans. The second half wasn't that good but least we won 2-1 and I could go home happy.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game I just got back on the bus and only had to wait 15 minutes before we left. We got home for about 8.40pm and that;s with a 15  minute stop at Wetherby for a toilet break.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great Day Out 10/10

Burton Albion v Rotherham United
Football Championship League
Saturday 3rd December 2016, 3pm
Neil Walker (Rotherham United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

Its not very often you have the opportunity to stand at football matches these days so that was something to look forward too and the price of the match tickets are very reasonable too.

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

We travelled down on one of the official supporters coaches but all seemed fine with the journey and parking.

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

We were dropped off at a pub called The Beech Inn. We were told by door staff we could not go into the pub but to use the outside bar with the one portaloo!. After we got our drinks we saw some away fans going into the pub so decided to see if we could get in and indeed we did with no questions asked by the door staff so not sure why we couldn't go in initially. It was a lot warmer than being stood outside plus the toilets were available and not only one. Home fans - no issues with them at all. The plan was to wait until half time to get a pie and a drink inside the ground.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is a nice tidy little ground from the outside and inside was good also, small but decent. You did feel that you were your almost on the pitch, as it is that close. Surprisingly there was no clock or video screen, or certainly a clock that the away fans can see which in this day and age you would expect to see at any football ground now.

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

Rotherham started quite lively having a couple of decent attempts at goal but then on 15 minutes we fell behind to a rather simple goal. Our heads did drop a little and Burton started to look lively. Half time came thankfully as we were ready for our hot drink and pie as we made our to the food stand to be told by stewards that it was closed! No food or drinks available. That is not good at all. This is the first time I've ever known where you can't get any food or drink. Someone mentioned they had been an incident but they decided to penalise everyone. No problem with the stewards seemed friendly enough even to a lot of disgruntled supporters that couldn't get anything to eat or drink.

The second half was not much better really, a well finished goal from Burton to make it 2-0 we were dead and buried by then. We scored a nicely worked consolation goal right at the death. All in all it wasn't a great display by either team and sadly some of our idiots thought it was clever to throw smoke bombs onto the pitch. No disrespect to Burton but this sadly is not a Championship ground.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No issues getting away from the ground at all. The Club were well organised in getting the away coaches off and on their way.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A really good day out even though we didn't get the result we wanted but sadly very disappointed with the issues I have mentioned. This is my first experience at The Pirelli Stadium and not a good one sadly.

Burton Albion v Barnsley
Football Championship League
Saturday 5th November 2016, 3pm
Tom Bellamy (Barnsley fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

This would be the first time I have been to the Pirelli Stadium. I missed this fixture last season because I was away on holiday. This would only be the fourth time that both these teams have played each other, with Barnsley yet to lose.

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

I travelled down to Burton by car which only took 1 hour 20 minutes down the M1, then the A35, and A5121. I parked on the main road just past the Stadium, although street parking was difficult to find because there were a lot of restrictions with signs saying " No football parking- Residents only". I noticed there was parking at the ground for £5. There was also some parking on the grass verges on both sides of the road just before the ground on the A 5121.

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

The only pub I saw was The Beech inn, which is on the right hand side on the A 5121 just before the Stadium. It was full with both sets of supporters, and with a very friendly atmosphere. There was a burger stand immediately outside the pub, although I didn't have one myself. The Pirelli Stadium is then only a 5 minute walk from the pub.

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

Although the Pirelli Stadium is only small I was impressed with the facilities. The Barnsley fans were split in two stands, one being a terrace behind the goals with standing room only, and the other was a seated stand adjacent to it. I believe the club have been given notice from the FA to either make the Stadium all seated or build another one close by.

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

Although there were no goals, which was the same as last seasons fixture, it was a very entertaining game, with Barnsley being the better team in the first half, and Burton being the best team in the second half. It could have ended up 5-3 to Burton if it wasn't for a string of brilliant saves from the Barnsley keeper. The end result was a good away point for Barnsley and 1700 travelling supporters.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It took about 20 minutes to get away from the ground with there being a good away following, but when the traffic eventually thinned out it was okay.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed the day at the Pirelli Stadium and our teams performance on the whole.

Burton Albion v Cardiff City
Football Championship League
Saturday 1st October 2016, 3pm
David (Cardiff City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

I was looking forward to visiting Burton's unique ground and watch my team Cardiff play.

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

It's a pretty straight forward journey from Cardiff. It take about two hours or so, obviously longer with a stop at the Services.

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

I left it a bit late so had to go straight into the found. Strangely they stopped serving beer before the game but opened up the bar before half time. The away fans bar is near the away turnstiles. The home fans were fine. There weren't many of them to be honest. The Crowd was 4,400 and Cardiff had brought quite a few.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is really small for a Championship League venue. The capacity is under 7,000 and it seemed to be mainly terracing. I don't how Burton survive financially. It's quite remarkable that they have done so well.

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

The weather was terrible, it rained the whole game and the referee must have been close to calling it off as parts of the pitch were like a lake. As for the game Cardiff then we were poor, really poor. The squad contains some League 2 players. One of our sub's who I shall not mention by name, was visibly shying away from any tackle and he's over 6 feet tall! Embarrassing. It was good to see Ben Turner, ex Cardiff player, doing so well for Burton. Why we let him go is beyond me. He bossed the game at the back. Also see Lloyd Dyer playing was good, he had the energy of a 21 year old. It was no surprise Cardiff lost 2-0. The fans were mocking Paul Trollope our Manager.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

For some reason my Sat Nav took me round in circles on the way home so it took me a while to find the dual carriageway.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Apart from the weather and the result going against Cardiff it was a good day out. It was good fun. Shame the Bar wasn't open leading up to kick off. I should add the Bar is also quite small so be prepared to wait.

Burton Albion v Bradford City
Football League One
Saturday 6th February 2016, 3pm
David Oliver (Bradford City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?    

I have lived in the Midlands for the past 20 years so a nearby away game is always welcome. With Burton top of the table and us struggling for goals I was not expecting the result to go our way. However the chance for a pint, pie and a match close to home is usually a good way to spend the afternoon.

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

Burton is about a 30 minute drive from my home. I have been to Burton numerous times through work and previous matches so I knew my way, even without local knowledge I imagine it is easy enough to find. There is a large car park opposite the ground which charges £3 and there is plenty of on street parking if you don't mind a few minutes walk.

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

There is a great pub near the Pirelli Stadium called 'The Great Northern'. Inside there was a friendly mix of both home and away fans, bar snacks were available and they served excellent beer. I can thoroughly recommend the locally brewed Burton Bridge Bitter. The Leicester v Manchester City game was being shown on a large screen in the pub with both sets celebrating as the Leicester goals went in. Leicester possibly winning the Premier League was the topic of conversation as we headed towards the ground.

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

Burton have a very tidy little stadium which reminds you of their recent non-league past. Although fairly new it is terraced on three sides. It struck me that for a club of this size to be knocking on the door of the Championship is a superb achievement which draws comparison to Leicester's involvement in the race for the Premier League title. Burton comes across as a well run club which has steadily improved it's status incrementally rather than through any boom or bust strategy/gamble. I would presume that plans are in place for ground expansion if promotion to the Championship happens.

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

Burton were better than us in every department on the field. It was clear to see why they are deservedly top of the table. Other than a ten minute purple patch from Bradford at the start of the second half Burton dominated throughout. Although their first goal took a deflection on the way in, our late consolation goal probably flattered us with a final score of 3-1.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy enough to get away from the ground, the car park emptied relatively quickly and we were on our way. The attendance was only about 3,700, from which I guess around 500 would have been away fans. I was surprised it was so low considering Burton's league position and it does make you wonder how long life in the Championship could be sustained.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Disappointing from the point of view of the result and our performance, but otherwise a pleasant afternoon out. Despite my concerns about sustainability in the Championship I hope Burton gain promotion this season, unless of course in the unlikely event of us meeting in the play offs! It is the success stories of the underdogs; Leicester winning the Premier league, Burton promoted to the Championship and Bradford beating Chelsea that keeps our national game interesting.

Burton Albion v Shrewsbury Town
Football League One
Saturday 23rd January 2016, 3pm
Ian Bradley (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Pirelli Stadium?    

Another ground to be ticked off for me, being my 72nd of the 92 visited. Also as the Brewers were top of League One, so it seemed a good time to assess whether their promotion aspirations were genuine.

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

I travelled by train from Rotherham where I live. The journey from station to station took around an hour and a quarter. The Pirelli Stadium is located about a mile and a half to two miles from Burton town centre. Luckily I was in good time to enjoy a brisk half hour walk to the Pirelli Stadium.

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

I ate in Burton Town Centre before walking to the ground. I chatted to a few home fans explaining that I was a neutral and they came across as a very friendly and welcoming bunch.

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

The Pirelli Stadium is a neat, functional ground but way too small for the Championship League with it's low capacity. Also the stadium is predominantly standing terracing which was lovely for me. I stood on the Popular Terrace and it took me back to the days of old. However this would not be to the liking of the Football League if Burton were to reach the Championship, where all seated stadiums are a league requirement.

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

Firstly the catering. good food with a wide variety and more importantly very reasonably priced. As for the game, Burton started well and deservedly took the lead early on. They seemed in control of the first half and missed some reasonable chances to extend their lead. However in the second period, the wheels seemed to come off as far as the home team was concerned. Shrewsbury came more into the game and equalised from a mistake from the Burton keeper at a corner. From then on, Burton tried to force the game but were leaving gaps at the back and from a fast Shrewsbury break in injury time, Shrews forward Whalley gave them the three points with a well placed first time effort. The atmosphere inside the ground was good to start with, but turned a little subdued as the game went against the home side. 

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:    

Quite easy to get away after the game, just a half hour walk back to the train station and back home again.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I had a very enjoyable day out at the Pirelli Stadium and I wish Albion and their friendly fans the best of luck.

Burton Albion v Blackpool
Football League One
Saturday 2nd January 2016, 3pm
John Robertson-Begg (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Pirelli Stadium?    

Family interest on my wife's side was the reason for her first ever visit to a football match. Her cousin's son, Clark Robertson, signed for Blackpool last year after many years with Aberdeen (he is only 22) and against my advice of going to my boyhood club (Preston North End - local rivals of Blackpool). Clark's father follows his son from Aberdeen, is a frequent visitor South of the border nowadays, and was coming to the match so we thought it we be good to meet up. Clark managed to get us tickets. Even though it was Blackpool and I would have to watch amongst their supporters I fancied a day out as the last match I attended was the 2014 Championship play-off final - Derby against QPR at Wembley. As we live in Derby it was only a short hop to Burton. The cousin did not even know where Burton was so had not realised we were so close. It was hastily arranged only the week before when I realised the fixture was on.

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

As I am fairly local to Burton I knew where the ground was but did consult the Football Ground Guide for parking advice. It listed three options:the ground itself, a nearby trading estate, or street parking. I tried the ground first at just before 2pm but the full signs were already up. The second option of the trading estate was fine (£3 per car). Many local residents are irked by the notion of street parking judging by the number of announcements prior to the match starting.

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

Clark's father flew into Manchester and hired a car for the remainder of the journey. I suggested we meet at the intersection of the A50/A38 (Toyota Island) just North of Burton where there is a service area. We agreed to meet at the Cherry Tree Farm pub in the service area. It was busy, obviously a popular meeting point, but we parked easily and found a table. There was only one football shirt visible - Wolverhampton Wanderers but at 12.30 I decided it was too far for them to get to Brighton for a 3pm kick-off. The pub was pleasant enough and because of a 40 minute wait for food items on the menu we all opted for the reasonably priced medium size carvery option at £7.95 per head. This was good although there were complaints about no roast potatoes being available by some of the clientele. From here it is less than 10 minutes to the ground.

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

There was a pleasant atmosphere with home and away fans mixing outside the ground. We picked tickets up from the collection window behind the Main Stand. We had our bags searched before entry. My wife had not had a turnstile experience before and it was not pleasant for her - felt like being confined in a cage but once through that and into the ground she was fine. We had seating tickets in the main stand, next to the away end. We were conscious of being watched from the police surveillance team all through the match. This was the smallest ground I had ever been in but at kick off there were over 4300 fans assembled there. My first impressions were that it was a tidy ground. I did wonder about how well supported the team would be given the proximity of Derby and Birmingham. I suppose it was a bit like Wigan Athletic and their proximity to Manchester and Liverpool but they do have a dedicated following as do Burton. I did not know much about Burton apart from their relatively famous manager Nigel Clough being back at the club after spells at Derby and Sheffield United. My son informed me beforehand that Burton trained at the National Football Centre nearby and thought they were in line for promotion. I was impressed by the levels of community involvement by the club and much was in evidence before the kick off - ball boys from a local football team for instance. The programmes are very well produced nowadays and we were delighted to see Clark being identified as Blackpool's star player. We were seated by just after 2pm and there was lots to see. I have not been a regular match attendee since the 1970s at Deepdale but lots has changed since then. The warm up sequences are a lot longer these days and quite intense. Even the officials have a warm up.

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

I did sample a cup of gourmet hot chocolate which was very good. I did not feel the need to indulge in a pie so soon after lunch but they looked good. They had a good build up to the kick off with increased music and the announcer did his best to gee up the home supporters encouraging them to get behind their team. The match was played at at fast pace and the visiting supporters had plenty shout about including the first real chance. Burton are a well drilled team and spent a lot of time attacking down the right so a lot of the game was played just in front of use, about five rows back from the touchline. Duffy (on loan from Birmingham) impressed with his work rate.

The Blackpool supporters were in good voice and there was the usual chants against Preston which I tried to ignore. They were particularly vocal when it came to the sending of of Weir after two yellow cards. A draw must be on the cards at least I told my wife. The second half began with an impressive all out attacking display by Burton at their supporters end. You could sense the anticipation of a gall and Duffy duly delivered with a well taken shot from inside the penalty area. The home crowd erupted. Shortly afterwards there was disappointment in our party when Clark sustained an injury. It looked like the recurrence of an old problem and he had to go off. His dad texted furiously to find out more. As the match went on both sides had opportunities to score. The Blackpool fans became increasing frustrated with the team's performance against ten men and even questioned the players fitness to were the tangerine shirt. The "Oyston Out" banner was seen and they gave the players verbal abuse after the whistle had gone. Several players and Clark's father were visibly upset about this. There is clearly some deep-rooted stuff going on at Bloomfield Road.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground was easy. We waited by the players entrance to see Clark who was philosophical about the injury. At least six weeks to recover he thought. It was interesting to see behind the scenes activities like delivery of pizzas for the return coach journey - they need their carbohydrates after all those exertions said Clark's dad. We were the last car left in the car park at the trading estate so it was easy to get away.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

This was a pleasant day out and nice introduction for my wife. The atmosphere was non-confrontational. I would like to see both teams doing well. Burton look better placed at the moment and impressed with their speed, fitness and work rate. Blackpool have a bit to do on current form but I will follow their progress with interest. Duffy deserved his man of the match.

Burton Albion v Coventry City
League One
Sunday 6th September 2015, 2.30pm
Russ Moore (Coventry City fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

It was the first ever league meeting between these two clubs and only a short trip for the mass of travelling Sky Blues fans.

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

Traveled by train and caught a taxi up to the Beech Inn just down the road from the ground. The taxi cost £6.50.

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

Went to the Beech Inn pub. It was very reasonable at £3 for a pint of Carling. It also sold cold filled cobs at £2 each and in the car park was also a burger van with cheese burgers priced at £3. No home fans in the pub but met a few walking towards the ground and they were very friendly.

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

Tidy little ground with terracing and seating for away fans which in my opinion is the best way to watch footy.

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

Atmosphere was electric as there was 6,433 fans inside and with Coventry selling out there allocation made the day even better. Even with the game being shown on television it was a good turn out.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Walked back to the train station which took roughly twenty five minutes and didn't see any trouble with both sets of fans mixing well

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great first visit to the Pirelli Stadium, especially as Coventry won the game 2-1. This took the Sky Blues above Burton in the league and into second place.


Burton Albion v Peterborough United
League One
Saturday 22nd August 2015, 3pm
Kevin Chestney (Peterborough United fan)

Why were you looking forward to going to the Pirelli Stadium?

I have previously visited the Pirelli Stadium some years before when Burton were in the Conference. We had the misfortune of going there for an FA Cup Replay and lost 1-0. I remembered it was a modern compact stadium.

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

Finding the ground was very simple. We came off the A50 and Burton was signposted, the route taking you past the ground. Car Parking is at the stadium cost £3.

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

We visited the 'Burton Bridge Inn' in the centre of Burton to sample some nice real ales and in an old traditional pub. The pub has many alcoves and some fans were already in there on our arrival at 12 noon. The locals were very friendly. We opted for a Ploughmans at £6.50. When it came it was a lot more than cheese, bread and pickle. It also came with ham off the bone, half a pork pie, homemade coleslaw and a warm ciabatta bread with butter. Probably one of the best I've had!

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

The ground looked modern and tidy. We opted to stand on the terrace as there are not many grounds left nowadays that have terracing for away fans.

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

We had about 850 away fans of the 3,500 crowd and the away end enabled a lot of atmosphere to be generated. We played with a 4-3-3 instead of or normal 4-4-2 due to injuries. We conceded in the first half and again early in the second. Then to make matters worse we went down to 10 men after one of our centre halves was red carded. This kick started a revival and we got a goal back and then in the dying seconds of the game had a goal disallowed for no apparent reason. We consoled ourself with the local faggots and peas from the food outlet in the away end.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was easy and we were back on the road withing 10 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The real ale pub experience was brilliant along with the Ploughmans, but the game was disappointing as was the result. Hopefully back next season to do it again!

Burton Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 18th July 2015, 1pm
Aimee Henry (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to visiting the Pirelli Stadium?

FOOTBALL IS BACK! After two and a bit months of pretending to like cricket, then tennis for a fortnight, I could finally go back and watch my beloved Wolves. Following a week of training in France, the boys in Old Gold were kicking off their domestic  friendlies in Staffordshire. The opponents were last season’s League Two Champions Burton Albion, managed by the former Chelsea and Leeds striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. It was also the first day of my six week summer holiday (I knew there was a reason for being a teacher!), so it was a no brainer. 

Main Glass Fronted Entrance

Buron Albion Main Entrance

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

Me, my brother, my dad and my ‘Uncle’ Tony (he’s not really my uncle, we just call him that) decided to go on the train to this one. The 1pm kick off meant a reasonably early start, but after a few bacon butties, we got on the train to Birmingham just after half 9. We changed at New Street, getting  the train to Nottingham at twenty past ten, and arrived in Burton just before ten to eleven. The ground is pretty easy to find from the station, take a left after leaving the station, then a right, and it’s then a straight road to the Pirelli. The only problem is it is a very long road. It’s a good fifteen, twenty minute walk. The ground is signposted though. The walk itself is pleasant enough, past various shops, some imposing Victorian factory buildings, and rows of houses. We were also serenaded at one point by a passing car playing that popular mid-July anthem, “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly”. Only in England.

The Away Terrace

Away Terrace

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

As the arduous train journey had tired out my Uncle Tony (ahem), we stopped for ‘rehydration’ in The Alfred, a friendly little pub located on Derby Road, the long road we were walking along anyway. There were a few away fans in their already, and they were happy to accommodate us. They also had food on offer. We then made our way to the ground, in time to greet the players off the coach. It was good seeing them again. I went for a quick look in the club shop. It was pretty small, but had all the usual things you’d expect- replica shirts, hoodies, badges/keyrings etc. There was a nice moment too when one of the Burton players, resplendent with lush blonde hair and tattoos aplenty, walked in, to say hello to the staff. He was also excited as he and his wife had just found out they’re expecting a baby. A nice reminder that amongst all the money, footballers are still real people. 

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

As you arrive at the Pirelli along the main road, the first thing you see is the glass fronted entrance. It seems to me, from my travels, that more and more grounds have these. I think they’re nice, but they’re not very ‘footballish’, if that’s even a word. More like an office block. The ground is very smart looking though. Feeling flush, we decided to fork out the extra £3 to sit in the seated area to the side, rather than the terrace. The seats were comfortable enough, but there was not much legroom. I was alright, but my Uncle Tony struggled. He often describes himself as having an athletic body, though I do think the athlete in question is a sumo wrestler…

North Terrace

North Terrace

You get a pretty good view of the game, as there are no obstructions, and the ground is quite tight. It’s fair to say that the Pirelli won’t be the biggest ground in League One, but I can imagine if it’s full, there’s a fair amount of noise. 

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

Burton were unlucky not to take the lead in the first couple of minutes. A speculative long range effort was spilled by Carl Ikeme, and it fell for Burton striker Lucas Akins. Perhaps caught by surprise, he could only stab the shot onto the post. Wolves took the lead in the 10th minute, when Benik Afobe intercepted a loose pass, before slipping Nouha Dicko in on goal with a lovely pass. The Malian striker, fresh from signing a new contract, advanced on Brewers keeper Jon McLaughlin before rifling a shot into the far corner. Wolves enjoyed a good spell of pressure immediately after, with winger Michael Jacobs fizzing a shot just wide, and Afobe denied a good chance on goal by a late offside flag. At the other end, Ikeme had to be alert to snaffle a first time strike from Calum Butcher, the stopper holding onto the well struck shot at the first time of asking. The only Wolves new boy on show, £2m signing Conor Coady, was impressing, showing plenty of composure on the ball, and plenty of tenacity off it. Dicko was just crowded out when well placed, and Afobe racing onto Tommy Rowe’s clever cut back, only to miss the ball completely. The half time whistle came with Wolves looking decent value for the 1-0 lead, though Burton had had their chances. 

The second half began with Burton’s Stuart Beavon testing substitute keeper Jon Flatt, the youngster equal to Beavon’s low drive. At the other end, Michael Jacobs jinked and jived past two or three challenges before being brought crashing down by Robbie Weir. Jacobs himself took the free kick, but his curled effort floated just wide. Wolves then had a chance to double the lead. Again, some hesitancy in the Brewers backline allowed Afobe to snaffle possession. This time he went on alone, swerving a desperate late challenge, before firing past McLaughlin. The shot thudded against the post, and bounced agonisingly away from Lee Evans, who was following up. At the other end, Burton did have the ball in the net following a scrambled corner, only to be denied by an offside flag, whilst Flatt made one more comfortable save, this time low to his left. The flurry of substitutions did disrupt the flow of the game, but did allow Wolves fans a glimpse of two potential stars of the future. Nigerian striker Bright Enobakhare showed some nice pace and skill, whilst diminutive midfielder Connor Ronan, who looked about 14, did not look out of place either. The game petered out, and whilst the 1-0 score line perhaps doesn’t dazzle or excite, it represented a good 90 minutes for Wolves in the build up to another Championship season. 

There was a very relaxed atmosphere, with it being a friendly. I would say the Burton stands were around a third full, whilst Wolves fans packed out the terrace behind the goal, as well as a good section of the seated area to the side too. The PA system did its best to get the atmosphere going before the game, including playing Britpop classic “Life of Riley” by the Lightning Seeds. Though, at one point the system seemed to be stuck on Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”. We heard the intro at least four times, when once is more than enough…

Home End Terrace

Burton Albion Home Terrace End

Burton’s mascot, who I later found out was called ‘Billy Brewer’, is a rather strange fellow. He’s a sort of cross between Dennis the Menace and one of the Tweenies, and spent most of the game walking round with a selfie stick. 
The food on offer inside the ground was very reasonably priced, and I was surprised to see that the menu offered Faggots and Chips. Not seen that at a football ground before. In the end I played it safe and had a cheeseburger. The concourse was small but well organised, and there was a programme seller inside. I paid £1.50 for the programme, which, as is the case with friendlies, was fairly plain, with just a few pages on each team and the usual articles from chairman and manager. 

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

Very straightforward, out of the exit and back onto Derby Road. From what I saw, many Wolves fans who had driven up to Burton had parked on Derby Road, rather than at the ground. We were back on the train for about half three, where we bumped into a rather inebriated Wolves fan, who was good fun. He did inform us that the game had in fact kicked off so early so as to accommodate a wedding taking place at the stadium later in the day. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Really enjoyed my trip to Burton. The weather was nice, the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, it was a really nice way to kick off another season of ups and downs following the Wolves…

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

Updated 19th July 2017

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