1. Why you were looking forward to
going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
I had been looking forward to my trip to Fratton
Park for quite a while as I had been heard about
the legendary atmosphere created by the Pompey
faithful. I also love the old style football
grounds that are sadly disappearing rapidly from
the beautiful game.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
The pal I had travelled with had been to Pompey
from Brighton before and heíd found that getting
out of a nearby car park after the game was a
total nightmare and had taken him almost two
hours. So this time he had a alternative plan
and we parked at the nearby Fareham Train
station and took the £3.80 return, 15-20 min
train journey to Fratton Station. After that
itís only a short walk to the ground.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
We were in the Away end as my pal is a Sunderland fan and had got me the ticket
so we avoided any of the rough looking pubs on
the way and headed straight into the ground.
There seemed to be plenty of burger vans, a
Tesco express and KFC outlets for people to fill
their boots with a pre match munch. Being a
Scotsman I fancied traditional ďPie and BovrilĒ
at the ground. I had been told that the home
fans can be pretty intimidating by a Southampton
Fan friend of mine but I experienced no problems
or bad atmosphere, saying that I wouldnít have
fancied being there in a Southampton shirt but
then who would?
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
My first impressions were excitement on seeing a
classic older style ground. We had a short walk
around the ground before we went in. The last
few games I have been to were at modern stadiums
and it was such a pleasure to see The peeling paint and graffiti
that adorn the back alleys around the ground. It
even smelt like the grounds I visited as a lad.
The away end is old
and pretty dilapidated, but the there was plenty
of leg room and a pretty good view of the
action. There are some supporting pillars but
they donít obscure the view too much. There is a
outlet and a tiny toilet (more about that later)
so my recommendation is to get your pies and toilet visit in before
the match kicks off.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game itís self was excruciatingly dull so
Iíll keep it brief. I donít think either keeper
had to make a save in the first half and it only
improved marginally in the second. The game was
settled when Defoe slotted in a penalty mid way
through the second half and that was that. 1 Ė 0
The Pompey fans do create a great atmosphere
banging drums and singing raucously for most of
the game, Amazing considering the turgid display
their team and Sunderland were producing on the
pitch. I can imagine that they raise the roof
when they are actually watching an exciting
game. The Sunderland fans were a little subdued
by their teams poor performance but they managed
to raise a smile with renditions of ďour garden
shed is bigger than thisĒ referring to the
The Pie I had just before the game was a meaty
masterpiece, just the right temperature, crisp
pastry with delicious gravy. The Bovril was nice
but on the down side, it could have vastly
benefited with a little pepper. They donít seem
to do that at the English grounds I have
The Toilets were primitive to say the least. I
visited them before the game and the floor was
already covered in liquid.
The urinal was you basically peeing up against a
wall with a shallow gutter on the floor
collecting what you were expelling and
depositing it in a dark smelly hole. The toilets
were very small for the amount of fans they were
supposed to accommodate. I have it on authority
that the ladies were even worse.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
There is a very long but narrow concourse at the
back of the away stand and this did hinder us
getting out of the ground quickly but itís all
part of the experience. Saying that I wouldnít
like to experience any sort of fire as it could
be potentially disastrous trying to clear that
stand in an emergency. We got out eventually got
out of the ground, made the short trip to the
Train station, had to wait about 15 mins for a
train and the station was pretty crowded but we
got through quite easily.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out :
I had a great time at the game, pity
about the football but over all I found visiting
Fratton park like a pleasant step back in time.
With all those similar looking concrete giants
modern stadiums rapidly replacing these old
grounds I feel glad to have visited this old timer
to bask in itís history, crumbling concrete, peeling paint.