Aston Villa

Villa Park

Capacity: 42,785 (all seated)
Address: Trinity Road Birmingham B6 6HE
Telephone: 0121 327 2299
Fax: 0121 328 5575
Ticket Office: 0800 0149346*
Pitch Size: 115 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Villans
Year Ground Opened: 1897
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: QuickBooks
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Home Kit: Claret and Blue
Away Kit: White & Blue With Claret Trim

Holte End External View
Holte End External View
Doug Ellis Stand
Doug Ellis Stand
Holte End
Holte End
Trinity Road Stand
Trinity Road Stand
North Stand
North Stand
Villa Park Birmingham
Southampton Away Fans At Villa Park
William McGregor Statue
William McGregor Statue
North Stand External View
North Stand External View

Although the stadium has been completely rebuilt since the late 1970's, it has some individuality, as the four stands each have their own design, making it one of the more interesting in the League. At one end is the Holte End. This is a large two tiered structure which replaced one of the largest covered terraces in the country. Opened in the 1994/95 season it has a capacity of 13,500 seated supporters. At the other end is the North Stand, which is older (being built in the late 1970's), but still modern looking. This is two tiered, with a double row of executive boxes running across the middle. On one side of the pitch is the Doug Ellis Stand, which again is two-tiered and is roughly the same height as the other two stands. This stand was opened prior to the 1996 European Championships, for which Villa Park was a host venue. Opposite is the latest edition, the impressive looking Trinity Road Stand. Opened in 2001 it is three tiered, with a small tier at the front and then two larger tiers above, which are separated by a row of executive boxes. Although at the time many fans were disappointed to see the old Trinity Road Stand demolished, I think its replacement gives the ground a more overall balanced look, because the new stand, although the largest at Villa Park, has roughly the same roof level as the other three sides. There are also two large video screens installed in opposite corners of the ground. 

An unusual feature is that between the Trinity Road & Holte End Stands is a pavilion type structure that was built at the same time as the Trinity Road. This three tiered building is used for corporate hospitality. On the other side of the Holte End is another similar looking structure that is used for police control. The only disappointment with Villa Park is that the corners of the ground are open, however there are plans to fill in the corners at some point, at the North Stand end of the ground.

Away supporters are located on one side of the Doug Ellis Stand, towards the North end of the stadium. Up to 2,972 fans can be accommodated in this area, split between both the upper and lower tiers of the stand. If only a small away following is expected then just the upper tier is allocated. The concourse at the back of the upper tier is particularly tight and easily becomes crowded, whereas there is more space behind the lower section. There is a fair selection of food available in the lower tier, but due to restricted space a limited offering is available in the upper tier; There are a selection of Pukka Pies and Pasties (all £3.30), Rollover Hot Dogs (£2.60) and then additionally in the lower tier; Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Fish & Chips (£6.50) and Chips (£2.80). There are wide screen televisions on the concourse, showing past encounters between the teams before kick off. There is also betting facilities available in the form of a BetBright outlet in the lower tier. Entrance to the stand is gained by entering your match ticket into an electronic reader. 

A visit to Villa Park is normally an enjoyable experience, with the stewards normally taking a relaxed and friendly attitude. One concern though, is that there is very little separating the home and away fans and this could lead to possible future crowd problems.

Now, as I support the other team in Birmingham (and no it isn't Solihull Moors!), it has been suggested that I am biased against Villa Park. Well all I can say that I have been to the ground on a number of occasions, in fact I can now claim to have sat in every stand, so that just shows you how unbiased I really am! Plus I have even been on the pitch. But that is another story...

The Club have received planning permission to re-develop the North Stand. This would involve building a new stand that would extend around the current open corners at that end of the stadium. However, there are currently no firm timescales as to when this will take place. When completed the capacity of Villa Park would be increased to 51,000. 

In another move the Club are exploring the possibility of a 'safe standing' area at Villa Park. This however is a much wider issue and would require a change to the existing law, for this to be allowed.

There are a number of pubs in the vicinity of Villa Park, but most of them on match days are either members only or have bouncers on the door. However, Dave Cooper recommends the following for away fans; 'The Witton Arms (formerly the Cap and Gown), is not a bad pub, to which half the pub is given to away fans (there is even a separate entrance for visiting fans). It is only two minutes walk from the away entrance, right on Witton Island, however it does charge £2 per person to gain entry'. Alex Alexander a visiting Norwich City fan adds; 'We found a pub approximately 15 minutes walk from the ground where away fans were made welcome. It is called the Yew Tree. Although they don’t serve real ale, they had a good range of beers and Magner’s on draught. It is on the same road as the Witton Arms, but with this pub on your left carry straight on up the road, passing Witton Railway Station on your right. After about half a mile you will see the pub on the right hand side'. Also around a 15 minute walk away near Birmingham City University is the 'Hare of the Dog' pub.

If you arrive a bit earlier then you may wish to visit the historic Bartons Arms, located about a 15 minute walk away on High Street Aston (A34). This Grade II listed building, is one of Birmingham's finest pubs, with superb Victorian decor, serving Oakham ales and Thai food is also on offer. It is a regular entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. 

Darren Williams a visiting Manchester City fan adds; 'We have always park at an entertainment complex called Star City. It is just off Junction 6 of the M6, going towards Villa Park. Huge free car park, plus plenty of food and drink outlets. It is then about a mile and half walk to the ground'. Alcohol is normally available to away supporters but only in the lower tier of the Doug Ellis Stand. This is in the form of Carlsberg (£3.80 a pint) and Somersby Cider (£3.70 500ml bottle). However for some high profile games the Club decide not sell alcohol to away fans.

If arriving by train into New Street Station then there are plenty of pubs to be found in the City Centre. Just outside the main entrance to the station, is the Shakespeare pub, which is popular with away fans, normally with the local Police keeping a watchful eye over proceedings. On Bennetts Hill, which is only a few minutes further walk away (pass the Shakespeare on your left, turn left at Tescos, then take the next right hand turn by Ask Italia onto Bennetts Hill) are a number of pubs including a Wetherspoons outlet called the Briar Rose, plus the 'Sun On The Hill' pub, which also shows televised sports. A little further up the hill is the Wellington pub which is a mecca for real ale drinkers. The Wellington does not provide food, but has no objections to you bringing in your own. There are a couple of taxi ranks nearby that you can use if you wish to get you to Villa Park, or hop back on the train. 

If you require hotel accommodation in the Birmingham area 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 Birmingham Hotels page.

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

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Villa Park can be seen from the M6, if you are coming from the North side of Birmingham. Leave the M6 at Junction 6 and take the slip road sign posted Birmingham (NE). At the roundabout below the motorway, turn right (the fourth exit), towards City Centre/Aston/Star City, Villa Park is well signposted from here. However to be on the safe side, turn right along Lichfield Road, at the second set of traffic lights on to Aston Hall Road. This road will take you down to the ground.

Car Parking
Mostly street parking (don't be surprised though if you are approached by kids wanting to 'mind your car'), although this is not as plentiful as it once was due to a local residents only parking scheme now in place in the streets around the Witton roundabout area. Street parking is also available in streets around Aston Railway Station (which you will pass if you continue along Lichfield Road towards the City Centre). Alternatively free parking is available, but around 1.5 miles away (or a 30 minute walk) at the Star City leisure complex which is also well signposted, on leaving the M6.

Post Code for SAT NAV: B6 6HE

Take the short train journey from Birmingham New Street (around 10-15 minutes) to either Aston or Witton station. Witton Railway Station is nearer to the away section and is only a few minutes walk from the ground. Turn left out of the station exit and continue down to a roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout into Witton Lane and the entrance to the away section is down this road on the right. Aston station is about a ten minute walk away from Villa Park. Extra trains are laid on to the ground on matchdays. 

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:

Like a number of other clubs a category scheme for ticket prices is in operation (A B & C), whereby the most popular games cost more to watch. Category A prices are shown belpw with Category B & C prices in brackets:

Away Fans (Doug Ellis Stand)
Adults £35 (B £30) (C £25)
Concessions £30 (B £20) (C £15)
Under 18's £20 (B £17) (C £15)
Under 8's £15 (B £10) (C £10)

Concessions apply to Over 65's, Under 21's. Full Time Students and Members of the Armed Forces.

Official Programme £3.50
Heroes & Villans Fanzine £2

Aston Villa FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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

 

Tours are available on Wednesdays, Fridays and some Sundays. However if any of these coincide with a matchday then tours will not be held on that day (plus the afternoon before and the morning after). The cost for the tour is £15 for adults and £10 for Under 18's. Family tickets are also available. On Sundays there is also the option to take lunch in the highly rates VMF restaurant overlooking the pitch. The cost of the tour plus Sunday lunch is; Adults £30 and Under 18's £20. Tours can be booked on 0333 323 5353 or can be booked online with the club.

Record Attendance

76,588 v Derby County FA Cup 6th Round, March 2nd, 1946.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

42,788 v Liverpool Premier League, December 29th, 2009.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 32,107 (Championship League)
2015-2016: 33,690 (Premier League)
2014-2015: 34,133 (Premier League)

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

Thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram.

Thanks to Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of Villa Park.

The Awaydays video of Southampton fans at Villa Park was produced by the UglyInside and made publicly available for distribution via YouTube.

Aston Villa v Reading
Football Championship League
Saturday 15th April 2017, 3pm
James Busby (Reading fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

I was looking forward to this game as I have never been to Villa Park before and from what I have read it is a ground you must visit. Also Reading have never won at Villa Park before and I was hoping we could change that today and go back up to fourth in the table.

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

We travelled on one of the official club coaches and the journey took just over two hours. It was a fairly simple journey and we arrived at Villa Park at around 1.30pm.

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

When we arrived. The first thing we did was go to the nearest away pub which is the Witton Arms and is only a five minute walk away. Simple to find with the away turnstiles behind you, then you turn left and go down Witton Lane. At the end of the road turn right and and the pub is across the road on the left. You will be asked if your home or away as the pub is shared with home fans, the away entrance is to the left and there is a £2 entry fee. Its bigger than it looks and around the back it has a burger van and three separate bar areas. Saw a few Villa fans on our way to the pub and they seemed friendly enough.

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

In one word Villa Park is beautiful and oozes character unlike the modern bowl like stadiums that are popping up over the country now days. The Holte End is very unique in design and if you have enough time take a walk around the ground, you will not regret it. Inside the ground is huge with the Holte End to our left and the North stand to our right. The Main Stand is opposite with the tunnel and team dugouts on this side. Between the Main Stand and the Holte End is where the executive boxes are and looks like a mini apartment block.

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

We were given both tiers in the Doug Ellis Stand (I was in the lower tier) and the view of the pitch was great. We stood the whole game and it did get a bit crammed at times with not much leg room. The stewards let us stand with no problems. The game was one of the best I have seen us play this season we took the lead after just six minutes when Joseph Mendes on his first league start ran through Villa's defence and slotted the ball past Johnstone to put us 1-0 up. Villa replied 8 minutes later when Chester headed the ball past Al Habsi from a poorly defended corner. The first half ended 1-1 and we decided to get a half time pint. The concourse isn't only dark and dull but it was tiny and no where near big enough for the 2,200 Reading fans. Service was slow too and and we missed the first five minutes of the second half and our second goal. Mendes was on the score sheet again with a simple tap in from McCleary's cross. The three points were confirmed when Grabban converted a 79th minute penalty to give us our first win at Villa Park.

The atmosphere was awful. Probably one of the worst home support I have seen on my travels, the Villa fans hardly made any noise and were completely outsung by the Reading faithful. There was a little bit of noise from the fans to the right but they seemed more interested in provoking the away fans rather than watch the game but after the penalty the ground practically emptied. Toilets are a bit on the small side but did the job.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were let out straight away and mixed with the few home fans who stayed till the end and there was no signs of trouble from what I could see. We got on the coach and were on our way within 20 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great game and fantastic stadium with three points to top it off. I would recommend a visit to Villa Park for any football fan who get the chance to go to and I will definitely go again. Just hope that the atmosphere is better next time.

Aston Villa v Barnsley
Football Championship League
Tuesday 14th February 2017, 7.45pm
Tom Bellamy (Barnsley fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

First of all let me just say that when I realised this fixture would be played on the 14th February 2017 which is of course Valentine's Day. I thought of the film "The St Valentine's Day Massacre" and that we were doomed to lose at Villa Park yet again. It is a ground I have never been to and I thought that because Villa had just been relegated to the Championship League that they would be one of the favourites to bounce right back up into the Premier League at their first attempt. Therefore it may be a while before I have the chance to see Barnsley play them at Villa Park. Also, on the negative side from a Barnsley point of view we have only beaten Villa the once in 17 matches since 1903. That was back in the 1997/98 season when we were both in the Premier League and Barnsley won 1-0 at Villa Park. However now that we are three quarters of the way through this season the situation going into this match is that Barnsley are sitting in 10th place whilst Villa are lying further down the table in 16th position. I was still determined to go to the game and felt more confident that we would upset the odds and get a result, especially with the way things were with both teams.

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

I travelled down to the Midlands by my now usual way in the car, but with the game being played on a Tuesday evening I gave myself plenty of time in order to allow for any traffic congestion during the peak time down the M1/M42/M6 Motorways. I set off at 4.15 pm and headed towards the area around Aston Railway Station having read the this website which suggested that there was some street parking available. I arrived at my destination at around 7pm and found a secure car park for £5 on Grosvenor Road which is just off Litchfield Road (A5127) immediately before Aston Railway Station. I then only had a 10-15min walk straight to the Doug Ellis Stand which was where all the Barnsley fans were.

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

I didn't have time to frequent any pubs but noticed quite a few food/drink stalls along the pavement towards the ground. I mingled with both sets of fans on my way to the ground and found everyone in good jovial spirits and friendly enough.

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

On my approach to the ground the first thing that came into view was the Holte End Stand at Villa Park which looked huge and somehow reminded me of a Shopping Mall that you see in many cities. Before I entered the Doug Ellis Stand, which is adjacent to the Holte End Stand, I was searched and frisked very thoroughly I thought by the Stewards. I then made my way up numerous flights of stairs to the Upper Tier. The 1,500 or so travelling Barnsley fans were allocated both the Lower and Upper Tiers of one side of the Stand. I don't know what the Lower Tier facilities were like but apart from the toilets there wasn't any food or drinks available in the Upper Tier. However, I wasn't too disappointed as I thought the seating inside the ground was very adequate with plenty of leg room and a good view of the pitch. Looking around the ground and taking it all in it was really impressive. The attendance tonight of almost 26,000 probably didn't do the ground any justice as it was only half full, and apparently the lowest gate of the season here at Villa Park. This probably is not acceptable with the home fans having been used to much larger attendances when they were languishing in the Premier League.

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

The game began with both teams looking to go forward and take the initiative, and although Villa created the better chances with more shots on goal than Barnsley the deadlock was broken midway through the first half when Marley Watkins for Barnsley went down in the box and the referee did not hesitate in awarding a Penalty. Adam Armstrong, currently on loan from Newcastle United, calmly scored from the spot. Barnsley then went on to double their lead when Tom Bradshaw. ( who's family by the way are ardent Villa fans). pounced onto the ball inside the box and tucked the ball into the bottom corner of the net. However, Barnsley were soon caught out themselves when Villa pulled a goal back almost immediately after the restart. The teams went in at half time with the score 2-1 in Barnsleys favour. To quote a popular cliche " there was everything to play for in the second half" and for Villa to keep in the game they would need to score first. Unfortunately for them it was Barnsley who increased their lead to 3-1 when Tom Bradshaw again scored his second goal of the night, and to the sheer delight of the Barnsley fan, slotting the ball home from 8 yards after sloppy defending from Villa. Towards the end of the game a lot of Villa fans had seen enough and began to wander away from the ground whilst the Barnsley fans were in full voice and singing their praises to the Barnsley team. And so it ended 3-1 to the Reds, but I must mention that although all the Barnsley fans were very disappointed in losing their captain Connor Hourihane to Villa during the " January Transfer Window" he didn't play like a £28,000 per week player today. I rest my case !!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was no trouble at all. Straight back to the car and the less than a mile to the M6 slip road and back up North via the M42/ M1.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a great evening from my point of view and having been to Villa Park for the first time to come away with three points was more than I ever expected. The game and occasion will no doubt be locked away in my memory for many years to come and although at the start of the season I thought we would be up against it at Villa Park and that I probably would not get many more chances to visit the ground it is looking more likely that both teams will battle it out in the Championship next season. I for one will certainly look forward to visiting Villa Park once again.

Aston Villa v Ipswich Town
Football Championship League
Saturday 11th February 2017, 3pm
Kieran B (Ipswich Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

I'd had this game saved in the diary from the day the fixtures came out. I follow Ipswich away as much as I can and Villa Park would be a new ground to tick off from my slowly rising 92 count.

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

Traveling from Suffolk we’re about 140 miles from the ground, but including a quick stop at Cambridge me and my mates did the journey in about 2 and a half hours. A steward directed us to the “Aston Villa Staff Parking” site on Witton Road (a five minute walk from Villa Park) which isn’t staff parking anymore (take note). We got parked up for an easy £5 charge. Considering we thought parking would be impossible that was a good surprise.

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

If you turn left out of that car park and follow Witton Road to the roundabout you’ll find the Witton Arms pub on your right. £2 entry charge but the away fans are welcomed around the back under a huge gazebo like tent serving Lagers/Ciders averaging about £4 a pint. The place was also screening Arsenal versus Hull. A very good atmosphere in there as it built up with more and more town fans. A couple of smoke bombs really got the place bouncing. We didn’t speak to any home fans as they were around the front of the pub, but the ones we did see tried to intimidate us with the whole “6 finger” gag. Wrong part of East Anglia fellas!

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

I’ve passed it on route to other games in the past when we’ve travelled up the M6 and I’ve always said how impressive it looks. The same goes when you drive right past it (as we did when looking for parking spaces). A huge ground with four tall stands each side, very impressive and with it mingling with the old Victorian streets it gives a good fell to the place unlike these modern stadiums you find on retail parks next to TGI Fridays or KFC. The away end is in the Northern side of the Doug Ellis Stand. Upper and lower tiers were allocated and my seat in the lower was very good. Very central and I was bordering the Villa fans almost – just a steward and a barrier separating us.

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

The game was good in all. It was a back to the walls job mainly in the first half as the ‘Unbeaten at home’ Villa rattled the bar and produced some fine saves out of our keeper Bialkowski. We lost two of our central defenders to injury in the first half so we had a makeshift defensive five for the second half – worrying. However the second half was much better. both teams had chances and should have scored. Spence missed from 7 yards for us and then Villa missed a free header and had one off the line. Thankfully for us our first shot on target resulted in the winner. Big up Emyr Huws – on loan from Cardiff who smashed a Mcgoldrick cross into the net on 83 minutes. A huge unexpected result for us and it didn’t help the home fans frustrations. The HolteEend (which was the only part of the home end that sung) vented angrily at full time whilst we celebrated with our players! Stewards were fine but were extremely overkill. You would have thought we were Birmingham City with the amount that were there. I had a Chicken Balti pie, which was very nice. However with a near sold out lower tier the facilities were cramped. One bar for food and drink and the o ther for Beers. Don’t do what I did and queue up at the Beer kiosk for ten minutes and ask for a pie.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were back at the car within five minutes of leaving the ground and we got out of the car park very quickly. Next Task – getting back onto the M6. That took about 50 minutes, as traffic was utter madness as our “Fastest Route” was through terraced streets. Apart from that it was a relatively straight forward route home and including a stop at Corley for dinner I was down the local bar by half 8 with a pint – cheers to a good day.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

If only all awaydays were like this. In what has been, a torrid year for Ipswich fans that awayday was certainly the best one of the season. I would defiantly be up for going to Villa again next season (if they stay up!). Late winners make it even sweeter and with it only being 150 miles it’s not an overly long journey for us town fans to make. 10/10

Aston Villa v Preston North End
Football Championship League
Saturday 21st January 2017, 3pm
Bob Davis (Preston North End fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

This was a fixture that we had penciled in from the start of the season as we had not played Villa in the League for a long long time due to our recent league status. Only recent visit being a cup game over 10/12 years ago that we got hammered 5-0 in so was hoping for better this time. We had managed to beat big spending Villa 2-0 in the home fixture earlier this season so we were not without hope.

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

We travelled by train in a group consisting of myself, 3 friends and my son Louis to Birmingham New Street taking advantage of the cheap tickets on offer from Virgin by booking well in advance (only risk being that if the game gets moved for TV that this may render the tickets useless). We also booked in advance the tickets for the local connection to Witton station on the advice of this website. It has to be said that Birmingham New Street certainly has had a facelift and has the feeling of an airport rather than a railway station complete with shopping centre. One criticism from me is that due to its size and poor signage it is not the easiest place to navigate.

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

After meeting up with two friends who had travelled up from London for the game we eventually found an exit and stumbled across a pub called the Railway on Hill Street, that was decent enough with a good selection of Ales and Ciders and a limited menu. We moved on from here to a pub called the Briar Rose which was a Wetherspoons outlet with standard fare on offer. Both pubs seemed friendly enough but we did pass the Shakespeare Pub that seemed to have been taken over by a noisy set of Preston fans that could be heard singing as we walked back to the station for the local connection.

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

After getting the local train to Witton Station we made the short walk to the ground passing the Witton Arms that again seemed to have noisy Preston fans in residence. Inside the Villa Park the away fans were located in the Doug Ellis Stand with Preston fans located in both the top and bottom tiers. We were in the bottom tier but even from row three we had a good view of the pitch. The ground itself is impressive and has the feeling of a proper football ground that has seen a lot of history in its day. The stands are large on all four sides have been modernised over the years becoming all seater and with a decent crowd in it was quite an impressive sight.

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

The game itself was the stereotypical game of two halves with Aston Villa storming into a 2-0 goal lead with two dubious referee assisted goals involving the keeper being clattered for the first and the referee awarding a penalty after what appeared at the time and was vindicated by television replays afterwards to be a perfectly clean tackle. Add to this the fact that the linesman appeared to agree it was a fair tackle but was overruled by the referee then you could imagine why the Preston fans were up in arms and the anger spilt over that much that at least half a dozen were ejected from the ground by the time the half time whistle blew. In truth Villa were so far superior in the first half that if they had gone in 2-3 nil up at half time without the referee's apparent help very few would have complained.

At the start of the second half Villa continued on the front foot and it looked like it could end up like the drubbing that we suffered the last time we visited but somehow out of nowhere Jordan Hugill picked up the ball just in side the Villa half, ran 30 yards beating three defenders and struck a beauty into the top corner to give Preston hope. At this point Preston seemed to grow and Villa visibly started to crumble and it came as no surprise when again Hugill was on the spot to out jump the Villa defence to nod Preston level at 2-2. The rest of the game was nip and tuck and on reflection a draw was probably the best result we could have hoped for but in a strange football sort of way it seemed like a win. As for the game as an event I have to say that considering Villa had nearly 30 thousand fans in the ground the atmosphere in the home ends was pretty dire and that on the stewarding front the stewards were maybe a little over zealous in there handling of a few of the away fans after the debatable decisions that had gone against their team.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game we headed back to Witton Station and had to queue for a few minutes before getting on a train back to Birmingham New Street. After reading a review from a Chelsea fan on here we were little concerned about the possible queues at this station but it has to be said it was well marshalled by the local Police and the queues quickly moved along. Perhaps a 10 minute wait is a lifetime to our fellow cockney tube orientated supporters but for our group it was fine giving us a enough time to get back to New Street have a toilet break (when we finally found them in the shopping area upstairs), grab a few 'provisions' for the journey north and say goodbye to our London bound friends.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out with Preston showing a real fighting spirit to grab a point against a club that has spent £50m + in there quest to get back to the Premier League. Villa Park is probably one of my favourite grounds and the way thing are going I may well be visiting again next season.

Aston Villa v Leeds United
Football Championship League
Thursday 29th December 2016, 7.45pm
Cameron (Leeds United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

I have never been to Villa Park before and I was looking forward to visiting an 'old school' type ground.

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

The journey was easy with little traffic. I travelled on a supporters club branch coach, so we arrived two hours early so we most likely missed any traffic. We also parked in the away car park near the away turnstiles.

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

We went to the Witton Arms, which seemed to be home and away pub with the away fans at the back and home fans near the front. But make sure you go to the correct entrance and also they were charging visiting supporters to enter. Overall there were no problems.

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

I thought Villa Park looked bigger than I had imagined and also quite dated, with some of the stand looking not like a football ground, and but more like a office block. The away end was small and compact in the corner of one side stand. Although not unsurprisingly there was lots of segregation between the home and away fans which potentially reduced our ticket allocation compared to other teams this season.

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

It was an entertaining game with the first half being more even but in the second half I though Leeds were dominate and creating better chances however no executing them, then conceding a sloppy penalty late on in the game making the game level 1-1. The atmosphere was great in the Leeds end all game however Villa fans didn't really get going until the scored but it was electric in the last 10 minutes with both teams pushing to find a winner. Stewards were slack with no help in the stadium and no getting in anyone's way in the ground. But make sure you arrive at the turnstiles early, as they do search you on entry and there were large queues. I thought the facilities were poor and outdated for a recently relegated Premier League team, the concourse was extremely cramped in the upper tier and their was no alcohol on offer.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was easy to get back to the away car park however it did seemed to get a bit heated between some home and away fans. Getting out of Birmingham was a big hassle with us being stuck in traffic for over an hour and a half to just get on the motorway.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Had a great day out and it was a great away day, hopefully we both can get promoted as neither club deserves to be in the Championship League, but I can't wait to visit Villa Park again in the future.

Aston Villa v Leeds United
Football Championship League
Thursday 29th December 2016, 7.45pm
Alex Honcoop (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

Ever since I'd planned my itinerary of football matches that I would see whilst visiting from Australia, this was probably the one I was most looking forward to. A very old school ground, and the two teams playing are renowned for having brilliant fans so it was shaping up to be a brilliant atmosphere! With Leeds doing well in recent weeks and Villa picking up form under Steve Bruce, it was looking like it would be brilliant on the pitch, as well as off it!

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

After arriving at Birmingham New Street from Glasgow at 6pm, it was a little bit of a rush. From New Street, I got a train to Aston, a cab to the hotel I was staying at which was fairly close but with large bags, was too far to walk. From there, I literally dropped my suitcase off and hopped back in he taxi to the ground. With a few complications, I only got there a few minutes before kick off!

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

As I was there very shortly before kick off, I grabbed a burger, got a programme and a pin badge and went straight in. The home fans were very friendly outside the stadium.

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

As I prefer 'Old school' stadiums, I've always been a massive fan of Villa Park and it didn't disappoint. The traditional outside design of the Holte End really was brilliant. The other sides were quite nice in particular the Trinity Road Stand

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

The game itself wasn't the most exciting but the atmosphere was brilliant. The travelling Leeds fans also made quite a lot of noise. I was sat in the Upper Holte in the corner towards the Doug Ellis and although the atmosphere was quite good there, I'd recommend going right in the middle of the Holte if you're a neutral looking for the best atmosphere.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I was originally planning to get a taxi back but the traffic was hardly moving around the ground so I decided to just walk the 30-35 minutes back to my hotel in Star City.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The overall day was brilliant. Not only was the match and atmosphere brilliant, I also got to see a bit of Glasgow in the early afternoon which was good! Another ground ticked off which is always a bonus!

Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth
Saturday 9th April 2016, 3pm
Premier League
Mark Newbury (AFC Bournemouth fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

This was an away day which should we win, would see us all but secure our Premier League safety with us getting over the magic forty point mark. Therefore an opportunity not to be missed! Villa Park had been host to some amazing games over the years (THAT Ryan Giggs FA Cup goal against Arsenal is just one!) and was one I really wanted to cross of the list!

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

The journey was surprisingly quick and easy taking just over two and a half hours. We parked at Star City which is about a 20 minute walk from Villa Park. This offered free, secure parking and loads of places to grab food. From Star City, there wasn't many signs to the ground so we had to use the sat nav on our phones. 

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

Grabbed a programme and had a good walk around the outside of the ground taking it all in. There was a nice mix of Villa and Bournemouth fans outside chatting, which was good to see!

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

Entry to the away end started with a friendly rub down from a particularly elderly steward,  then scanning my ticket in the bar code reader. The concourse was of a decent size and allowed plenty of fans to congregate before the match. Good job as we had sold out the full 3,000ish allocation. 

We made our way to our seats in the lower section of the Doug Ellis Stand. The inside of the ground certainly didn't disappoint, it's huge! The Holt End was particularly impressive. I've found that some grounds look a lot smaller in person than on television, but Villa Park didn't have this effect. The ground had a real sense of character to it opposed to the generic bowl designs which is becoming more popular these days.  

Our Impressive View From The Away Section

View From The Away Section

 

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

There was an arranged protest from some of the home fans meaning they wouldn't enter the ground until the seventh minute. They certainly made their feelings known during the game, booing particular players like Lescott and Ayew when they were on the ball. Other than that, they were fairly quiet leaving the Bournemouth fans to sing throughout. The first half was a fairly average performance from us, we controlled the ball well but didn't seem to have any answers in the final third. That is until centre half, Steve Cook, popped up with a sublime back heel to put us one up just before half time! 1-0

The second half started much brighter with the Villa fans suddenly bursting into song. It was great to hear as up to now they had been (understandably) quiet. They really know how to make some noise and a fantastic atmosphere when they get going! Bournemouth were pressing hard to extend their lead - this then came from a brilliant Josh King chip. 2-0. Villa responded well to our second goal and upped their game to pull a goal back with a smart finish. 2-1

Thankfully Bournemouth held on to take the three points and get pass the forty point mark. A special moment that all Bournemouth fans were really pleased to see was the return of Callum Wilson. He came on for the final five minutes after seven months out with a serious knee ligament injury - it's great to have him back! 

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We got out of the ground reasonably quickly, although it always seems to take Bournemouth fans longer to exit than any other fans (no age related jokes!) Walked straight back to Star City, grabbed some food and enjoyed an equally easy and quick journey home. 

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

My day out at Villa Park was great. The stadium is brilliant, one that I would recommend all away fans to visit if you get the opportunity. The staff and fans were friendly. Add to that the three points and it made a fantastic day out. I hope Villa bounce straight back up as they are an institution in the Premier League and their fans deserve to have a club which is run by people as passionate as them! All the best!

Aston Villa v Chelsea
Premier League
Saturday 2nd April 2016, 12.45pm
Chen (Chelsea fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

Villa looked to be on their way to relegation, so it didn't look like we were going to be playing them any time soon. Also it was only my second visit to Villa Park, as Chelsea tickets for this game are usually hard to get. This is due to Villa Park being a relatively easy journey from London, normally a good atmosphere and an impressive ground.

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

We traveled by train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street station. Getting there was fairly easy and journey was very quick. The ground is very close to Witton and Aston stations. You will find fans walking to the ground from the stations an hour or so before kick off, so it is hard to get lost.

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

We went to the Witton Pub which is close to Witton Railway Station. It was very spacey, as it had a large tent outside, so the actual pub doesn't get too overcrowded. They also served beer inside the tent as well as in the pub itself. However getting served still took an age. The queues weren't long but the person serving, really took their time. Beer was very nice and cold though and the pub really had an old school look about it. I would strongly recommend it if you want a good drink and a laugh with mates. Also it is only a few minutes walk from Villa Park.

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

Because it was our last time going there in a while, we had a quick walk around the ground and had a look at the entrance of the Holte End. It was overwhelmingly big and was old fashioned in design, giving it a very impressive look. It was hard to believe a ground like this is now going to have Championship crowds. The away 'end' is in fact on the side of the pitch. Away fans normally get both the upper tier and lower tier. Most seats gave very good views, especially the lower tier. However some seats in the upper tier give a severe restricted view, so bare that in mind when getting ticket there.

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

The atmosphere seemed to be extremely negative, as the Villa fans voiced there opinions on the ownership of the club and the performance (or lack of performance) of the players. There were many empty seats in the home sections due to a protest and there were a number of banners or improvised bedsheets with LERNER OUT written on them. Even the home fans chanting; "Joleon Lescott you've got a new car," was joined in by the Chelsea supporters!

Wasn't the best of ends as it normally is but was a good day out. Pato scoring his first ever goal for us was also amusing as he scored from the spot kick and "Were you there when Pato scored" was sung from the away end. Chelsea ran out easy 4-0 winners. The food in the ground was pretty good, burgers sand chips tasted good and beer was alright with a price of £3.50.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A nightmare. Witton station was absolutely crammed with queues. Many missed their trains back from Birmingham New Street to London, in fact we we only just about got on ours. I would suggest booking a later train back from New Street, to save you trouble and have a couple drinks near the ground after the game to avoid queuing for ages at Witton Station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The away section could have been better and trying to get back on a train after the match wasn't fun, but on the whole it was a top day out and I enjoyed a good laugh with my mates.

 

Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Sunday 13th March 2016, 4pm
John Scott (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

Villa Park is a very famous ground that I haven't been to before. It was also a great chance to see how good title chasing Tottenham Hotspur were......and how bad Aston Villa were!

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

I took the train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street. After having a pint in Birmingham City Centre, it was back on the train for the short journey to Witton Station. It was all very straightforward.

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

I had a pint at the Wellington on Bennetts Hill in the city centre (thanks to this website for the prompt). It was excellent, a great choice of ales and good service. On arriving at Villa Park, I also had a drink at the Witton Arms, which has separate rooms for home and away fans. I ended up with the Villa fans and everything was okay. 

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

It was as impressive as I thought it would be from outside, it is an iconic English ground after all. Access was easy , stewards were pleasant, although I now know there were issues near the end of the game with a Villa fan protest.

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

It was men against boys really, Spurs winning comfortably 2-0, could have been more. The Spurs fans made a great atmosphere. On the train, in the pub, and at the ground the villa fans I spoke to were very pleasant, but abjectly defeatist, I'm afraid understandably. I only had a bovril at the ground, there were plenty of outlets in the North Stand, service seemed quick.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

There was a train was waiting at Witton as I arrived at the platform, so I was back at New Street by 6.10pm. I think the Spurs fans were held back, as train was full of Villa Fans and very quiet!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I had a very enjoyable day, and I enjoyed the game greatly. Villa had a couple of attacking flurries but really there was an air of discontent, not intimidating, amongst the Villa fans. Some even booed their own team announcement . But I feel it's a lot to do with the club ownership . Now I know the layout, I'll maybe get to the Barton Arms before my next trip, and the Wellington, which is certainly recommended, after the game, before heading back to my home in Scotland.

Aston Villa v Stoke City
Premier League
Saturday 3rd October 2015, 3pm
Steve (Stoke City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

I tend to try to go to around 5 to 6 away games a season, and Aston Villa was one I wanted to tick off this season. Many friends recommended Villa Park too saying it was a very nice old ground.

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

As a Stoke fan living in Milton Keynes it was a little further to travel but still a piece of cake to find and get to. Found a car park about 10 minutes walk away. Costing only £3. Traffic afterwards was pretty congested though heading back towards the M6.

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

After we parked up we headed straight towards the ground whilst grabbing a burger felon one of the vans along the way. Then entered the ground and enjoyed a pint watching the early Premier League match on tv in the ground before the game. Home fans were no bother. Very friendly.

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

Villa Park is an old fashioned ground but a very nice one. It looks old on the outside but inside a very nice modern look to it for a big club. Facilities okay too.

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

Villa started the season pretty poorly so you could sense a tense atmosphere with Tim Sherwood in the firing line, but the away end was constant noise. As expected on an away day. Stoke won the game 1-0 to increase the pressure.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The only downfall. After the game traffic from the car park towards the M6 was manic. Took over an hour. With constant stop start movement.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great away day. With a 0-1 win too. Hoping they would survive relegation so I could go again but it wasn't to be. Anyone thinking of going the coming season in the Championship, I would definitely recommend. Easy to find. And a very nice ground.

Aston Villa v Sunderland
Premier League
Saturday 29th August 2015, 3pm
Stuart Griffin (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Villa Park?

I had heard great things about Villa Park, and was looking forward to watching two teams that would surely be in the relegation scrap all season.

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

I drove up via the A34, M40 and M6, parking for free at Star City which is about a 30 minute walk away. Unfortunately, due to traffic and poor time management, I arrived with only 20 minutes to go before the start of the game, and thus ran most of the way to get into the stadium just before kick off (not easy on a warm summers day).

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of a way end then other sides of Villa Park?

I had seen Villa Park from a distance whilst travelling along the M6, but to see it up close was another matter. It is a stunning stadium, steeped in history and is one of the few iconic grounds left in England. In particular, approaching from the east, it afforded me the luxury of first approaching the Holte End and its famous steps, adding to the experience. As I entered the stadium through the Trinity Road Stand, I had to climb a number of stairs, but when I entered the pitch side of the stand, the stadium was even more stunning than the outside.

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

The game itself was interesting, if technically poor. Sunderland took an early lead with a good free kick, but Villa equalised very soon afterwards from a penalty. Villa pressed from then on, as Sunderland floundered, but Villa themselves poor could not find a way to score until just before half time. The second half was a dull affair as Villa initially let Sunderland have the ball, eventually costing them as Sunderland equalised. From then on the game should have burst into life, but save a cross which Micah Richards which he should have scored from, the game had little going for it and it ended 2-2.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Carnage really. I needed to get fuel, but once I found a station I discovered there were road works on the slip road to join the M6, thus causing chaos trying to join the motorway, which eventually I did so by going to the next junction along. After that was easy going and 2 hours 45 minutes later I was home.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Left with a smile on my face, of seeing such a spectacular venue, if not tinged with sadness of how poor the team representing such a stadium was. Both Sunderland and Villa after the game I thought looked odds on for relegation (subsequently Big Sam's intervention later in the season saved Sunderland from the drop). Still anyone who wants to do the 92, you'll be hard pressed to find a better arena than Villa Park. 10/10

Aston Villa v Everton
Premier League
Saturday October 26th 2013, 3pm
By Rob Pierce (Everton fan)

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

Always wanted to visit Villa Park, and since they've been close to relegation in recent seasons (sorry Villains) thought the sooner the better.  

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

Opted against the train due to cost, so booked a National Express Fun Fare coach ticket (Google it). Booked a month before the game and only cost £6 altogether!

Got the train from Birmingham city centre to Aston for just a few quid return, followed by a 10 minute walk to the ground. 

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

Had a few drinks in town after speaking to local Policemen who suggested it was a bit safer than drinking near the ground. The Shakespeare near New Street station was full of away fans and served done good ales. Home fans on the train were friendly and didn't see shy bother at all.

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

The Holte End from the outside is very impressive, got a few pictures and chatted to some friendly Villains 

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

Brilliant view in the third row of the away section. Howard's penalty save livened up a somewhat quiet first half. The introduction of Osman in the second half brought the game alive after assisting Lukaku for the opener and bagging the second himself. 

Major sour point was when Lukaku ran towards us after scoring and the first few rows of Everton fans ran towards the advertising boards. This resulted in me being rather roughly man handled by  one of the stewards, another steward saw this and made sure I was okay. 

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

Only trouble was a few remarks from angry home fans, but overall not too bad.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Brilliant day, 3 points and another ground ticked off the list. Since Villa stayed up last season, almost certainly will be heading back to Birmingham next season.

Aston Villa v Wigan Athletic
Premier League
Saturday, December 29th 2012, 3pm
By Alan Parker  (Wigan Athletic fan)

My son and I are Wigan fans and we took my new son-in-law to see Wigan take on Aston Villa. This was a must-win game for both teams. Fortunately for us, the Latics played superbly to win 3-0, an early goal from Ramis and two in quick succession at the start of the second half by Boyce and Kone. 

Villa played with some spirit in the second part of the first half, but heads went down after the second goal, and heads were practically at knee-level after the third. Hundreds of Villa fans started streaming out of the ground after the third goal, despite there being more than half an hour left. I would be very worried if I were a Villa fan.

This was only our second visit to Villa Park, the other one being in 2003, to see the FA Trophy final, when my home village of Burscough amazingly beat Tamworth 2-1. Burscough’s player manager was Shaun Teale, an ex Villan. That was a wonderful day.

Villa Park is a great ground and very easy to get to. You can see it from the M6. We exited at Junction 6, drove down the A38(M) and followed signs for match day parking. We parked at the first one we saw and paid our £5. It was a filthy journey down with heavy rain and spray, and heavy traffic resulting in lots of concertinas, but it was easy to get away from at the end. Our walk to the ground took us through Aston Park and past Aston Hall and we fell into familiar conversation with some downbeat but friendly Villa fans who were still reeling from an 8-0 defeat to Chelsea and a 4-0 defeat to Spurs.

Villa Park looks magnificent from outside and inside. There is sufficient leg room. The stewards told us to sit where we wanted in our section, presumably because a lot of tickets were unsold, so we ignored the seat numbers and sat much more centrally, right by the line of stewards and the home fans. It was a good job we sat as far back as we could because the rain swept in and soaked those in the first few rows. There were no problems from the home fans before or after the game. We did not go for a drink before or after the game. We felt perfectly safe at all times. 

However, I do have one or two gripes. We were fore-warned about it, but there is no alcohol on sale in the away concourses. OK, no big deal, but why not? Then they managed to get the names of two Wigan players wrong on the big screen. Maynor Figueroa seems to have gone into politics, as he was ‘Mayor’. At Wigan (and, I hope, at most grounds) they have the courtesy to announce the away team, the visitors, first. I have been annoyed and disappointed at visits to Blackburn Rovers when they announce the home team first. Villa took it one step further by announcing the home team, subs and all, just before kick off, and not announcing Wigan at all. And the tickets were £35, which I think is a bit steep. Yes, I know you pay £40+ at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge and the like, but category C at Wigan is £20 (I have a season ticket, which cost £255)

Overall, a trip to Villa Park is a very enjoyable experience and highly recommended.

Aston Villa v Chelsea
Premier League
Saturday, March 31st 2012, 3pm
By Joe Fowler (Chelsea fan)

I had been to Villa Park last season, and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Also, Villa Park is one of the historic Premier League stadiums, which always adds to the attraction. In saying that, we travelled to a ground where we have taken all 3 points on just one occasion in the last 12 visits. 

The car journey to Birmingham was simple enough, however, once inside Birmingham, it becomes very hard to find your way. We had printed off a route planner, which was very helpful, but the stadium isn’t well sign posted. We parked the car in a match day car park for £4, about a 10 minute walk from the ground. 

We decided to go straight to the ground, where we’d have something to eat and a drink. Walking to the ground in a Chelsea shirt seemed a tad risky, but only 4 drunken Villa supporters were abusive towards us. Apart from them, the fans seemed friendly.

From the outside, the ground gives the impression of being old, with its red bricked walls, although it is all relatively modern stadium. The stadium on the inside looked quite impressive, with each stand looking different. Our tickets were in the lower tier of the Doug Ellis Stand, in the corner, next to the Villa fans in the North Stand. Chelsea took the full allocation, and so there were 3,000 of us, but it didn’t feel cramped. The concourse is huge, meaning that it doesn’t get too congested (unlike in the upper tier).  

The game itself was brilliant! In the first half, we could have been 3-0 up if not for some good Villa defending. There was a rapturous applause in the 19th minute for Stylian Petrov, where both sets of fans showed their respect. The second half was crazy. We went 2-0 up, and appeared to be costing. However, in the blink of an eye, they had pulled it back to 2-2. This was the first time in the entire match that the Villa fans seemed to make any noise (except for the ones next to us, who spent the entire game chanting at us). We then made it 3-2, and in the last minute, Fernando Torres’ hard work paid off as we sealed a 4-2 win. Us Chelsea fans sung non stop throughout the game, and even got applauded when singing “there’s only one team in Europe! The stewards did a decent job of keeping the fans apart, escorting one Villa fan out of the ground who threw a flare. A number of Chelsea fans got removed from the ground too, after ‘over’ celebrating Torres’ goal, which seemed a bit unfair. The food was alright. I had a burger, which without being terrible, was okay. Away fans should take note that Villa doesn’t sell alcohol to away fans. 

We walked out of the ground in good spirits, and except for a few clashes of fans, the Police made sure that there was no real trouble. We walked back to the car, but I thought it wise to cover up my Chelsea shirt, especially as we appeared to be the only Chelsea fans on the car park. We drove back, stopping at a service station for a drink. 

This has been my favourite away trip, and I found every aspect of it really enjoyable (except the walk to the ground). The team put in a great performance, as did the fans. Look forward to coming back next year, and hopefully, the same outcome!

Aston Villa v Queens Park Rangers
Premier League
Wednesday, February 1st 2012, 3pm
By Ben Buckingham (QPR fan) 

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

This was my third visit to Birmingham to see QPR take on Villa. I always regard Villa Park as one of the best grounds in the country for how it looks, its history and for its size. Originally QPR fans were asked to pay out £37 for this cold mid-week away day but that was reduced by Aston Villa’s pricing scheme to £25, which made the visit a fair bit cheaper for us all. This was our first mid-week away game this season (unlike in the Championship which are almost weekly!) so with it being only over 100 miles a few of us fancied it. It was another ‘Buckingham Boys’ only away day with Me, Ian and Mark. I was looking forward to the game also to see the new QPR players signed in the January transfer window.

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

Honestly this was a shocker! Mark decided to drive this one (my day off away-day driving) after debating whether he or Ian should drive. We left Ickenham around 4pm and had a very simple journey up the M40. Now the main problem was ‘Breaking the away-day Golden rule’... (find parking first!). We like to head to the Frankie and Benny’s restaurants and generally do a search online to see if one is near the ground were visiting. The Boston 7 pizza’s and few pints each is almost like a tradition now!!. We found one located in Birmingham and was very enjoyable (as always!) and we left there at 7pm to do a 3.5 mile journey via crossing the M6 at Spaghetti Junction onto Villa Park. Needless to say it took 40 minutes to get in the area we wanted to park in. Mark eventually ended dumping the car on a grassed area in the middle of some houses and we (regrettably) had to run 800m quickly to get in for around kick-off. I say regrettably, because for the 3 days after my shins were agonisingly painful (which the boys found very funny!). We grabbed a programme and got into the ground 3 minutes into the game – so not a bad effort!

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

As mentioned above we found our usual Frankie and Benny’s but there wasn’t any football fans in there. When we eventually ‘dumped’ the car a few Villa fans were helpful in pointing out the best way to the ground. When we crossed under the Aston expressway we were amazed by how many Villa fans were walking to the ground at 7.45. Is it really that bad watching them at the moment, or is the parking just awful around the ground? You felt like saying ‘hello... there’s a game on and its started’ we were the only three out of hundreds of people running to get into the ground.

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

Outside Villa Park the Holte End steps and exterior look is very different and pretty impressive. As it was a night game and we were running to the ground we didn’t take much notice of what it looked like outside but seemed ok. I have sat in 3 different places now at Villa Park, the lower North Stand (2004) the Upper North Stand (2008) and the Doug Ellis lower (2012). The view from the Doug Ellis Stand was pretty decent although probably better in the upper tier. From this side the Trinity Road Stand looks very impressive. I read that the North Stand Villa are looking to replace with a wrap around design. I think this is the only end that could be improved but Villa Park is one of my favourite away grounds.

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

I can’t comment on the opening 3 minutes but.....the first half QPR played pretty well and got into a 2-0 lead. Djibril Cisse scored a lovely goal on his debut after just 11 minutes. Before half time Warnock headed an own-goal to put us 2 up which led to lots of abuse from the home fans towards the manager and players. Chants of ‘embarrassing’ from the home fans were ringing out from all the home sections. Villa actually were playing ok though and on the stroke of half time Ireland crossed beautifully for Bent to slot home. That changed the game completely and Rangers endured wave after wave of Villa attacks in the 2nd half and finally couldn’t hold on with little over ten minutes to play. N’Zogbia levelling the game! 

Towards the end Rangers were very lucky to escape hand-ball appeals and had cleared 2 Villa efforts off the line. A great game of football but a shame we couldn’t hold on for the much needed 3 points. The attendance was around 32,000 which was very poor, that’s over 10,000 empty seats which were going for £25. Obviously the Villa fans aren’t a happy bunch right now! The facilities were reasonable enough but they weren’t selling any beers at half time (which I can never understand!!) Do you want our money or not??? At the end of the game, we found it very odd that there were green signs lit up saying ‘Exit, this match has now finished’ underneath the doors. Very pointless!

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

The nervous wait was over... the car wasn’t smashed in or towed away! It took ten minutes to make it back to the Aston Expressway onto the M6. The journey took 2 hours to get back with a 20 minute services stop (while Mark was deciding which Coffee to buy!). There wasn’t any trouble or any hassle leaving the ground and we were reasonably happy with the point gained.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was an enjoyable away day, my first Premiership experience at Villa Park. My brother Ian missed the 2004 and 2008 cup games but he said he enjoyed it at Villa Park and I’m sure we will all come back again. I would suggest to anyone travelling to Villa Park to get there early and park up, the traffic travelling through Birmingham isn’t particularly free flowing around the M6 areas. My advice is also to head to the other side of the Aston Expressway to that of Villa Park and look for parking off the A5127 Lichfield Road. The 2-2 draw would have been a great point had we have beaten Wolves at home the Saturday after but we threw it away and lost 2-1, now the pressure is on for Blackburn away (where I will be the designated driver... of course!)...you Rs! Please 3 points for QPR!!

Aston Villa v Swansea City
Premier League
Monday, January 2nd 2012, 3pm
By Joseph Thomas (Swansea City fan)

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

I’d gone to Villa Park a few years back with my father to watch Villa v Leeds, so when Swansea got promoted at the end of last season I set out Villa Park as an away trip I really wanted to do. A chance to go back and revisit it. Also, I was quietly confident that we’d finally pick up our first away win of the season here.

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

Travelling from Cardiff was very easy. Only really took about two hours (+ a half hour stop at Strensham Services). Easy enough. We parked about a mile away from the Ground as we arrived quite late and thought any car parks nearer would be packed out already. 

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

We arrived there and went straight into the ground really. I had a conversation with a few Villa fans after they asked me what I thought the score would be. They were all confident they’d win comfortably after they’d beaten Chelsea 1-3 at Stamford Bridge a couple of days before. I told them they’d need to be careful, and not complacent, because this game wouldn’t be easy!

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

Amazing ground, to be fair. Really nice. Old fashioned. I love how they’d designed it. I do have one complaint though, the stairways to the upper tier were so, so narrow. Upper tier holds probably about 1,000-1,500 away fans and that’s a lot of people to be crammed into the narrowest of stairways. It was okay with people coming in, in drips and drabs, but getting out was a nightmare!

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

Aston Villa 0-2 Swansea City. First away win in the Premier League and a chance to bring the Villa Boys back down to earth! Their supporters were absolutely awful, mind. Very disappointing. Sung ‘’Villa Villa Villa’ at the beginning then heard nothing of them until McLeish brought off Ireland and they all booed. Terrible support! Also, SHOCKING facilities! Amazing ground, but the concourses were terrible. No alcohol on sale for away supporters, one small vendor for pies and soft drinks. No where near big enough concourse for that many people. Something Villa really need to address!

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

As mentioned before, getting out of the ground itself was terrible. A real nightmare. Queued for about 30 minutes just to get down the stairs and outside. A mile walk back to the car and we did get away from the area without any queues at all, which was good. Raced back. Amazing doing an away day and being home, with three points, by 8pm!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out?

One of the best away days of the season so far! Mainly because of the result and the atmosphere generated by our supporters. No banter at all during the game with the Villa fans who were very quiet, but no surprise really considering the scoreline. Still I would recommend going to Villa Park, it’s a nice ground and an easy three points for your team!

Aston Villa v Norwich City
Premier League
Saturday, November 5th 2011, 3pm
By Thomas Ling (Norwich City fan)

Today me and some of my family embarked on the three hour journey from Norwich to Villa Park. We were traveling by coach, picking us up in Dereham, Norfolk, before heading for Birmingham. We progressed pretty well through the countryside, not encountering any hold ups. We stopped off at a nice pub near Kettering for some food and drink. The name off the Pub has slipped my mind but if you turn off the A14 onto the A509 and you will see and McDonald’s and Frankie’s and Bennies on the left the pub is on the right.  

We then carried onto Villa Park with no more stops to Birmingham. Again the journey was straightforward and as we came off the M6 onto the  A38 (M) we could clearly see the stadium. We were joined by a Police escort on motorbikes, which took us straight up to the ground. We parked with all the other coaches, as directed by the Police. 

We went straight into the ground, but we did just have time to get a match day programme priced at £3. I did not buy anything food or drink wise. The area inside the lower tier was very spacey, really good quality, with a televisions too.  

Now on to the match, Norwich started fantastically, scoring a goal early in the game from a free kick. But Villa hit back with an equaliser before half time. The atmosphere from the home fans was a little quiet but this soon changed with Villa scoring two goals to make it 3-1. Chants of  VILLA! VILLA! VILLA! now echoed around the ground. Norwich managed to pull one back to quieten the Villa fans and give them a nervy finish to the match. But Villa just managed to hang on for a 3-2 win.  

We walked out onto our coach and after a little while another Police escort soon has us on our way. Once we were moving we quickly got back to the motorway, thanks to the Police halting the traffic to make a clear route for us. As it was bonfire night, we had great fun watching the many firework displays on our journey back to Norfolk.  

I had enjoyed my day at Villa Park it was very enjoyable and I'd love to visit again. The Villa stewards were okay not being too harsh a tall. Villa Park is a great place to come and I would recommended it for anyone looking for a great day out! 

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

* If dialing from abroad: 00 44 121 326 1559

Updated 14th June 2017

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