West Bromwich Albion

The Hawthorns

Capacity: 26,500 (all seated)
Address: Halfords Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B71 4LF
Telephone: 0871 271 1100
Fax: 0871 271 9861
Ticket Office: 0121 227 2227
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards
Club Nickname: The Baggies
Year Ground Opened: 1900
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: TLCBET
Kit Manufacturer: Adidas
Home Kit: White and Navy
Away Kit: Red With White Trim

External View
External View
Looking Towards The Brummie Road End
Looking Towards The Brummie Road End
East Stand
East Stand
Halfords Lane Stand
Halfords Lane Stand
Birmingham Road End
Birmingham Road End
Smethwick End
Smethwick End
Jeff Astle Gates
Jeff Astle Gates
Tony
Tony "Bomber" Brown Statue

With the completion of the East Stand in 2001, the Club achieved its objective in completely re-building the Hawthorns and making it a modern stadium. Not only has the ground received a much needed face lift, but it is now totally enclosed and all seated. The East Stand is an impressive, large single tiered stand, which has been well integrated with the rest of the ground. It has a row of executive boxes running along the back, and to each side of the stand the previous open corners have been filled with corrugated sheeting. There is a thin supporting pillar on each side of the stand to support the corner structures. On the other side is the smaller Halfords Lane Stand. This stand which was opened in 1982 stretches around two corners of the ground. The home end, the Birmingham Road Stand is large, covered, and quite steep. At the other end away fans are housed in the Smethwick End. Both these ends were built in 1994/95. Two new video screens have been installed in opposite corners of the ground, one at the Smethwick End side of the East Stand and the other in the opposite corner of the Halfords Lane Stand.

An interesting feature of the ground is that in one corner of the ground (between the East Stand  & Birmingham Road End) you will notice perched up on a wall, a large Throstle standing on a football. This has been kept over from the previous stand (it used to sit above the clock on the half time scoreboard) and maintains the links with tradition. Outside the ground on the same corner are the 'Jeff Astle Memorial Gates' erected in tribute to the legendary striker. Whilst just beyond the East Stand Car Park is a Memorial Garden. 

One strange fact about the Hawthorns is that it is the highest ground in England (in terms of feet above sea level).

The Club are believed to be drawing up plans to expand the capacity of the Hawthorns to over 30,000 by either redeveloping or adding an additional tier to the Halfords Lane Stand.

Away fans are housed on one side of the Smethwick End, where the normal allocation is 3,000 seats. This means that this stand is shared with home supporters. For cup games, the whole of this stand can be allocated to away supporters, raising this figure to 5,200. The facilities and the view of the pitch in the Smethwick End are okay, although the leg room is a little cramped. I have been to the Hawthorns on a number of occasions and have always found it to be a fairly friendly place. The only thing against it, in terms of a day out is the lack of nearby pub for away fans, meaning that most elect to drink inside the ground instead. Considering that the concourse at the back of the Smethwick End is pretty small in comparison to its overall capacity, then it can have uncomfortable feel, especially when there is a capacity away support. Strangely I noticed that fans were not allowed to bring in take away food from the nearby McDonalds. Food available on the concourse includes; Cheeseburgers (£3.70), Burgers (£3.50), a range of Pukka Pies; Chicken Balti, Chicken & Mushroom, Cheese & Onion, Steak & Kidney (All £3), Sausage Rolls (£3) and Pasties (£3).

Look out for the West Brom Mascot called 'Baggie Bird', who does a good job of entertaining the away fans before the game. This even involves going in goal and challenging players to take a shot!

Greg Whitaker adds; 'I've been to the Hawthorns twice as an away fan and had a similar problem on both occasions. There is a huge metal gate, outside the stadium, next to the away fan section. On my first visit, this was closed before the game, meaning we had to walk in a big loop through a load of residential streets to get round to the other side of the gate.  On my most recent visit, the gate was closed after the game.  There are no signs to give you directions and, with it being an evening game, I ended up wandering deserted streets in the dark trying to find my way back to Rolfe Street station'. 

The main pub for away fans is 'The Vine' which is about a 15-20 minute walk from the ground. From Junction 1 of the M5 turn left towards West Bromwich town centre (opposite direction to the ground). Take the first left into Roebuck Street. The Vine is down on the left. You can also street park in this area and then walk to the ground. This pub also offers Indian food and has an indoor tandoori barbeque (from 1pm on Saturdays), plus has a beer garden with children's play area. Barbara Osborne a visiting Newcastle United fan adds; 'The Vine from the outside looked like any small corner boozer, but inside it was quite large and it was fairly easy to get served. It had a good mix of home and away fans.' Matt Wharton informs me; 'The Vine is only a few minutes walk away from Kenrick Park Metro station which can be accessed from Birmingham Snow Hill railway/metro station. Turn right out of the station and walk along Devereux Road passing through a residential area. At the end of Devereux Road turn left and the The Vine is just over the other side of the road on the right'.

Dave Wilson recommends; 'The Park Hotel which is just off junction one of the M5 and a 10 minute walk to the ground. You can park on their car park for £5 and away fans are always welcome. There are plenty of families who meet in here before games and it is a very safe environment. There is also plenty of street parking in and around the area of the hotel if you don't want to pay the £5.' 

Sean Mowat a visiting Sheffield United supporter adds; 'As you pass the ground on the right on the main Birmingham Road. Carry on about another half a mile and there is a pub on the right set back off the road called the Royal Oak. We've been in the last two times we've visited WBA. The beer is okay and they also serve Asian food (try the chicken kebabs!). It had a friendly atmosphere'. It also has the added benefit of showing televised football.

If travelling by Metro or train from Birmingham Snow Hill and you like your real ale, then it may be a good idea to stop off on the way to the Hawthorns at the Jewellery Quarter station. Within a 10 minute walk of the station are at least three pubs serving decent real ale. These are the Rose Villa Tavern, Red Lion and Lord Clifden. The Red Lion and Lord Clifden are both listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, whilst the Brown Lion has recently opened and is effectively the brewery tap for the local Two Towers Brewery. See the Google map below for their locations (this will require you to use the arrows to move the map down and then to the to show the Jewellery Quarter and pubs).

Alcohol is also available within the ground, albeit in plastic bottles/cans, in the form of Carlsberg (£3.70), Tetleys (£3.70), Bathams Bitter (£3.80) and Somerset Cider (£3.70), plus Red and White wine (£3.90) and various Spirit Minatures (all at £4.20).

The Hawthorns is located on the A41 (Birmingham-West Bromwich Road). If approaching from outside the area the ground is about half a mile from Junction 1 of the M5. On leaving the M5 take the A41 towards Birmingham, the ground is on your right. Beware though of speed cameras on this stretch of the A41. Street parking or alternatively there are a few private matchday car parks at some local industrial units near the ground, or at Hawthorns station which costs £4.   

Post Code for SAT NAV: B71 4LF

The Hawthorns has its own railway and metro station which are about a five minute walk from the ground. It can be reached from Birmingham New Street, by first taking a train to Smethwick Galton Bridge and changing there for the Hawthorns. Total journey time is around 20-25 minutes. Alternatively the Hawthorns is also served by direct trains from Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. The metro line runs from Birmingham Snow Hill.

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

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

Click on the trainline logo below:

Common with most Clubs, West Bromwich Albion operate a category system (A & B) for matches whereby tickets cost more for the most popular matches.

Category A Matches:
Adults £39
Over 60's £29
Students/Under 21's £25
Under 17's £15 (B £10)

Category B Matches:
Halfords Lane and East Stands
Adults £27, Over 60's £21, Students/Under 21's £16, Under 17's £10
Birmingham Road and Smethwick End
Adults £25, Over 60's £20, Students/Under 21's £15, Under 17's £10

Category A Matches: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Official Programme £3

 

Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Aston Villa.

Record Attendance

64,815 v Arsenal FA Cup 6th Round, March 6th, 1937.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

27,751 v Portsmouth Premier League, May 15th, 2005.

Average Attendance

2014-2015: 25,064 (Premier League)
2013-2014: 25,194 (Premier League)
2012-2013: 25,327 (Premier League)

West Bromwich Albion FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website. You may also wish to check out the West Brom Disabled Supporters Club website.

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

Access their West Bromwich & Birmingham Hotels and Guest Houses 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, either in the UK or abroad.

Special thanks to:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram 

Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of

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

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea
Premier League
Monday 18th May 2015, 8pm
Kevin Gallagher (Neutral fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the Hawthorns ground?
It was a visit to a new ground - Father and son on an overnight trip from Scotland.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Very easy to locate ground by train. We took a London Midland train from Birmingham Moor Street to The Hawthorns. The ground is in full view when you reach station and is only a five minute walk away.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
There is a McDonalds on Birmingham Road End straight across from the ground which is ideal for families visiting The Hawthorns. Very busy as you can imagine but service is swift. The away team bus arrives at Halfords Lane and offers a decent view of arriving players for young fans.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?
The Hawthorns is an impressive ground with three imposing stands towering above the smaller West Stand. We were in the East Stand near the away section. It was ideal for watching the game and taking in the atmosphere. The ground is fully enclosed which is another positive feature.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    
Chelsea arrived as Premier League Champions and West Brom's Premier League status had already been secured, so there wasn't much for either side to play for. However, as end of season encounters go this was a very entertaining game. Both sets of fans were in good spirits which made for a lively atmosphere especially the Chelsea fans who sang and chanted throughout. Toilet facilities were good and keeping in line with other Premiership grounds the water is warm for washing your hands.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
We were in the East Stand which meant after the game we had to walk all the way round the ground into to get back to train/metro station so if you are looking for a quick get away towards the station then the West Stand or the Smethwick End Stand would be advisable.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Very enjoyable match day experience. Hassle free by train. If the chance arose I would certainly make another visit to The Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa
Premier League
Monday November 25th 2013, 8pm
John Rogers (Neutral fan)

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

Changes to the areas in which I work are providing opportunities to tick off a few grounds around the country whilst away on business. Completing the 92 is a secret ambition but I suspect I'm more likely to be aged 92 before I join that exclusive club. 

The Hawthorns was a ground I last visited in 1979, so I was interested to see whether there was anything to remind me of my last visit. A free ticket came courtesy of a work colleague, who was supporting Albion.

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

As a passenger in a car driven by a 'native' of West Bromwich, finding the ground was straight forward. The Hawthorns is situated right next to the M5. The big draw back to the motorway proximity is the awful congestion around the Birmingham area and the ubiquitous road works. The recommendation would be to allow plenty of time for the journey if travelling by road.

The Park Inn, a hotel just off the A41, is a ten minute walk from the ground and is a safe place to park the car. It cost £5 and registration numbers are recorded at reception.

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

The Park Inn - welcoming; extensive bar area and no trouble.

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

The Hawthorns is quite small but has a modern appearance. Unfortunately there was insufficient time to wander round the ground before kick-off. We were seated in the Halfords Lane stand, opposite the big Rainbow East stand seen on tv. Away fans shared the segregated Smethwick End.

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

As a Leeds supporter I am generally disappointed by the atmosphere generated by the home support at other grounds, which is often drowned out by Leeds fans' efforts. This occasion was very much an exception, no doubt partly because it was a west Midlands derby - the West Brom and Villa fans were at it from the first minute to the last, with an inventive and vociferous repartee.

Albion got off to a great start, with two quality Shane Long goals, but Villa were allowed back into the game and equalised with a screamer from Ashley Westwood. Cue mass hysteria among the claret and blue army. 

The stewards had little to do in the stand I was in, where I think it was fair to say most of the supporters were of a more mature profile. 

Refreshments were not sampled, but the big minus for the Halfords Lane Stand was the woefully inadequate leg room - not a problem if under 5' 6" or a contortionist; otherwise very uncomfortable.

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

Exiting the ground was easy, but knowing that the traffic would be horrendous we returned to the bar at the Park Inn for a couple of drinks.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It's never the same going to a game that doesn't involve your own team, but this was a good way to spend an evening away from home. The main memories of the evening will be the fantastic atmosphere and the home fans' rendition of 'Popov the Albion Man', to the tune of 'Popeye the Sailor Man'.

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea
Premier League
Saturday November 17th 2012, 3pm
Joe Fowler (Chelsea fan)

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

I always enjoy a trip to West Brom. Nice stadium, good team, and friendly supporters. Plus, relatively cheap tickets.

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

Me and my mate got a train into Birmingham, then walked through the city (stopping for food at McDonalds) before getting on the metro to The Hawthorns. The walk took about 10 minutes, but it would have been longer if a fellow blue hadn’t of pointed us in the right direction! 

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

We asked a couple of home fans where a good pub was with a T.V (so we could watch Arsenal destroy Spurs). We were told of an away friendly pub, so we followed them there. We got there to find that half of the furniture was broken/damaged, and that there was one tiny T.V. We left straight away. We then found a pub called the Royal Oak, which was on the main road. We managed to get a couple of seats, and sat down with some drinks and watched the match. There was a good mix if home and away supporters, and plenty of chanting. The bloke next to us had a lovely mixed grill, which smelled heavenly! We then headed to the ground, placing a cheeky bet en route. 

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

We got to our seats just before kick off. Very good seats too. The away end is good, with a large concourse, and good views of the pitch. The rest of the ground is really tidy. There is a giant stand to your right, and a really small stand to your left. This gives the stadium a uniqueness that you don’t get at a lot of modern day stadia (City, Arsenal etc..).

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

The game itself wasn’t a classic. They took an early lead through Shane Long, but we equalised just before half time through Hazard. Spent the entire half time break queuing up for a beer. They were serving all sorts, but I stuck to Carlsberg (£3.20). Just as we were exiting the concourse, we heard a giant cheer. We polished off our drinks, and ran up the stairs to see the West Brom fans celebrating. Odemwingie had just put them 2-1 up. For the rest of the game, we dominated, with Sturridge missing chance after chance. Stewards were laid back, and I saw no trouble. We were stood for the full match, and received no hassle for it. West Brom fans were okay. Loud after their goals, but silent throughout the rest of the match.

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

We left the stadium, and took one of the most long winded detours of my life. We had to walk around the entire stadium, to avoid clashing with home fans. This took at least 10 minutes. Got to the station, and jumped aboard an over-crowded metro train back to Birmingham station. Had a quick drink, then got on the train home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I found it to be a great day out, definitely one of the best this season. All pubs are away friendly, and not overly pricey! West Brom are a really good team and I wish them the best for the rest of the season. Would love to get them in the cup (away), but if not, I will just have to wait until next season to come back!

West Bromwich Albion v Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Saturday April 7th 2012, 3pm
Robert Bury (Blackburn Rovers fan)

Being the second trip I had ever made to The Hawthorns and previously enjoying the first trip a few years back I was looking forward to a tightly contested match and maybe.. just maybe 3 points to help in Rovers relegation battle. Instead of going with my mates though as done previously this trip would be with my two brothers.

The journey for me and my brothers was made by car straight down the M6, jumping on to the M5 for a short stint to Junction 1 where on exiting the motorway the ground becomes clearly signposted and then becomes visible within minutes of leaving the motorway. All in all a very easy trip from Lancashire, the only bit then was a bit of tactical parking trying to find a spot we could quickly escape from after the game. We decided to drive just past the stadium and park down a side street but there are many car parks directly around the stadium charging the usual fees of £5 etc.

Before the game we needed to firstly purchase our tickets from the away end ticket office which is just beside the away turnstiles as we had only decided to come down to the game the night before! Once we had done this we saw no point in trying to find a pub so entered the stadium for a pie and beer… or two. 

The stadium itself is a mismatch of different shaped stands but which try to retain the same style and doesn’t look too shabby considering. Inside it is completely enclosed in all corners even if these corners are not filled with seating. The away end has ample room even though we stood for most of the game. An interesting look about the away end is that it seems to curve upwards rather than go straight up like most stands, this leads to a good feeling when you are stood at the back as you can better see and feel the entire atmosphere in front of you. 

The beers were what you would expect at most grounds serving plastic bottles of beer and cider and the pies although tasted good but fell apart very easily, I even remember one of my brothers dropping most of his on the floor. The toilets are quite small but for our following that day were not a problem, although I could see a bit of queuing with some pushing and shoving should a bigger team with more of a following visit. The stewards are one part of the day on both occasions that has let The Hawthorns down, this may be because the Blackburn fans can sometimes get rowdy but mainly a bit of over the top stewarding. This is seen on my first visit were the stewards closed in on the Rovers supporters and (in some cases) actually pushed them out the door. I do think this kind of strict stewarding creates more problems than it solves, usually resulting in the away supporters becoming restless. 

The game itself started and West Brom quickly took charge dictating the tempo of the game, we knew we would be in for a long game and this was confirmed as West Brom took the lead to go 1-0 up. This was the case for most of the first half and Rovers didn’t seem to be able to get a foothold in the game going in still 1-0 down at half time. After the break we started very brightly and things were looking up with us testing the West Brom keeper on several occasions before disaster struck and West Brom pounced on the break to nick a second. This was later followed by a third and a Rovers sending off to compact a miserable display from Rovers, all in all not the best of games and a big nail in our Premier League coffin.

We left 5 minutes early due to a pathetic Rovers display and thinking it would be best to get away before the heavy traffic hit. Even though we did this the traffic outside the stadium was still fairly busy and I know from my previous experience that it can be very slow getting back to the motorway. Once we got there though it was plain sailing all the way back home thankfully with no motorway hold ups.

Overall not the best day out due to the result but I would definitely go again should the opportunity arise. There is something more appealing to me about older mis-matched stadiums that have a real feeling of history about them rather than many of the soulless new concrete bowls being built these days.

West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City
Premier League & FA Cup 4th Round Saturday 14th & Saturday 28th January 2012, 3pm
Mark Knowles  (Norwich City fan)

Due to the luck of the FA Cup draw, Norwich had ended up with two trips to the Hawthorns in the space of a fortnight – in both cases we made the trip feeling pretty positive about our prospects of a win. The fact that West Brom is one of the easier away journeys from Norwich (though still a 300 mile round trip!) also meant that there was a big away following. 

In terms of navigation, if you can fall off a log, you can probably manage to find your way to the Hawthorns. Once we came off the M5 there were plenty of options for parking – on our first visit for the league game we paid £4 to park in one of the industrial estate car parks; when we returned two weeks later in the FA cup we had more time so street parked for free a little further away from the ground. 

As recommended in the guide, we headed to the Vine on Roebuck Lane for lunch and a pre-match drink. The place is a real Tardis – poky boozer front room, then an atrium bit, then a formica-tabled back room with barbecue and finally a large covered patio out the back. It was absolutely packed with a good friendly mix of home and away fans and several TVs to watch the early kick-off. They had a couple of quaffable local ales too, if fizzy lager isn’t your thing.  The choice of food was particularly massive and deserves a mention– a normal pub menu and a blackboard full of curry specialities from the main kitchen, plus a kiosk in the back room doing pies, burgers and chips, then a separate barbecue kitchen with reasonably priced chicken tikka, naans and so on.

The ground itself is smart and modern, and the Astle gates add a touch of class for anyone who appreciates football from before the Premier League era. Entering the ground was quick and easy, with the barcode scanning turnstiles working well, although searches of away fans seemed to be routine. Once inside, the concourse is clean but a little small for the size of the stand.There were lots of TV screens scattered about inside.  Our seats had decent leg room and a good view of the pitch, although on our second visit the jumbo screen to our right was partially obscured by a girder.

Football-wise, the league and the cup game followed a similar pattern, with Norwich scoring late to run out 2-1 winners on both occasions. It must have been a bit of a Groundhog Day feeling for the Baggies fans!   During the league game, the noisiest section of home fans seemed to be in the same stand as us (to the left of the away fans), and managed to engage in a bit of banter. However, as the entire stand was given over to away fans for the cup game, this unfortunately meant these fans were displaced. As a result the atmosphere suffered, with no “core” to the home support – with 3000 loud away fans, it actually felt more like a home game in terms of atmosphere. Stewards were very hands-off and didn’t seem worried about standing.

At half time the queues for refreshments were pretty long, with only four kiosks serving the whole stand as far as I could see. For some reason they had post-office style security screens, which seemed unnecessary, and just meant you had to shout to get your order heard. The toilets were clean and spacious though, very good indeed for a football ground.

After the league game, the large gate separating home and away sides at the rear of the stand was closed, so away fans had to make a long trek down a path to the south-east of the stadium and onto Middlemore Road. This is fine if you’re travelling on the away coaches or returning to the station, but as we were heading back to our car near the M5 it added half a mile or more to our walk. Thankfully for the cup game we had the whole stand so were able to exit straight onto Halfords Lane. Once back at the car the queuing was not too bad and we were on the M5 quickly.

Obviously the fact we won both games helped, but overall we very much enjoyed our visits to the Hawthorns. The fact the ground is so easy to get to (and from) makes a real difference, so this is definitely a trip we’d be happy to make again.

West Bromwich Albion v Blackpool
Premier League
Saturday 15th January 2011, 3pm
Sean O'Neil  (Blackpool fan)

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

This was a game that the fans were waiting for. Having already beaten West Brom earlier in the season this was a chance for our second premiership double in a week. Also, proper fans!

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

Easy to get to and we parked in the 1st car park on the left as you leave the motorway.

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

First stop, pub! We walked past the ground and whilst the kids got a McDonalds we found a pub just up past Morrisons about  a five minute walk past the stadium. It was a bit of a dump, but it was friendly with mainly tangerines inside...the Guinness was good!

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

The ground looks really good, a traditional looking ground. I hate the soul less bowls we sometimes have to endure.

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

Now.. the game was a gem! We lost 3-2 in a game that could have been 9-9. Both sides went for it big time and entertained a near as dam it full house.  The atmosphere was fantastic, both sets of fans creating plenty of noise that the game deserved.

One gripe though...the stewards! The worst I have encountered in the Premier League so far and seemed to take great delight in removing people for standing!  I have no problems with sitting down but please set the same rules for fans 15 feet away! A shame really because everything else was just about perfect. So a word of caution....stay sat down even if you are only 13 years of age.

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

No probs...straight out and home in 2 hours

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

Top day out, its rather good be a travelling tangerine at the moment!

West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United
Premier League
Sunday 5th December 2010, 1.30pm
John Price (Newcastle United fan)

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

This was another new ground for me. Eventhough I had yet to see Newcastle win away so far this season (all the other away games that I had so far travelled to, we had lost), I was still hoping that we would pick up a valuable win at WBA, and considering our fantastic record away to WBA (unbeaten in 16 league matches) and with our form at the time, I was confident we had the beating of them. 

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

I decided to go by train, eventhough the country was in the grip of the 'Big Freeze'.  I was worried that the journey might become a bit of a nightmare (considering that in the prior week only 9.3% of trains across the whole of Britain actually ran to timetable), bit it turned out to be great. No problems at all. Well apart from just outside Birmingham they finally ran out of beer! Once we got to New Street, it was a short walk (all signposted) to Moor Street station, then on the train to The Hawthorns. The home fans on the train were find and I'm sure a raven idiot could find their way to the stadium from the station!  

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

We didn't have much time before the game, so it was a case of a pint and a pie in the ground. Again, around the ground no problems with home fans despite the huge police presence!

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

The ground is fairly traditional although on the small side. The away fans were mostly searched before squeezing through the narrow turnstiles. The concourse is okay, just a little on the small side. On the subject of leg room  I can't really comment as along with the other Newcastle fans, we stood for the whole of the game.

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

It was a fairly terrible performance by the magpies, with the home side scoring just before half time, who went on to take control in the second half, running out winners with an embarrassing score line to us of 3-1. I found the home fans to be fairly average, never really getting going despite their crushing 3-0 lead. There were a number of empty seats in the home sections so cue the empty seats songs from the usual large and vocal support of the Geordies. The stewards seemed fairly lenient and were friendly. Pies were good and hot. And as for the toilets, well I didn't use them but I never heard any bad complaints.

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

The journey back to the station was to say the least interesting. As the Station was congested we needed to wait for a short while until the WBA fans had left. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Well the game was awful, however I always enjoy away trips despite the score and this one was no  different: plenty of beer, laughs and singing.

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

Updated 30th August 2015

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