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Glanford Park
Scunthorpe United v
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Championship League

Saturday, January 19th, 3pm

By David Taylor
(Wolves fan)


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

This match, for me and I assume the majority of fellow Wolves fans, was a first visit to Glanford Park. To the best of my knowledge we have never played a competitive game there. We visited The Old Show Ground a couple of times during our Division 4 period during the early/mid 80’s, but Glanford was a first. I am a season ticket holder at Wolves and attend every home game bar none and away games that are either local or “ish” (Birmingham City, Aston Villa, West Brom, Walsall, Coventry, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Leicester, Sheffield(s), Barnsley, Leeds) or places that I’ve never been or would like to revisit. Scunthorpe fell into the second category. I’d never been to either the town or the ground so it had to be done !

We sold our allocation, approximately 1,500, I believe that our numbers were boosted by many who wanted to tick this off their list of grounds they have been to watch The Wolves. Myself and 4 colleagues targeted this game in advance, booked the cheapest rail fares we could find and it was Scunthorpe he we come. I used to work with a chap who is a season ticket holder at Scunthorpe and I’d arranged to meet him for a drink or two prior to the game so it was mobile phone on and watch out for the text.

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

We took the 09:03 train from Birmingham New St. to Sheffield, then Sheffield to Scunthorpe. Of course we didn’t realise that it was the Steel City derby that day, our carriage was packed with Wednesday-ites (interestingly I didn’t spot any Sheff. Utd fans on that train) and we had a good chat with them about the day to come. At Sheffield we caught the train out to Scunthorpe and take note, the “stopper” takes 1 ¼ hours to get there. At the time of writing there are 2 trains an hour, the quicker one runs alternately and stops only a couple of times en-route and takes about 30 minutes. It must be said that despite the bad press that rail travel often gets, our trains were bang on time for both out and inbound journeys.

You see the ground clearly on the left hand side of the train approach from the west, it then seems an eternity to get to Scunthorpe station giving you the feeling that this is going to be quite some walk. However, once you are in the town centre, the walk is not too bad, it is more direct and pretty much downhill. You pass the Sainsbury’s supermarket built on the site of The Old Show Ground which was close to the town centre. We weren’t relishing the walk back up the hill, but more on that later.

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

The pub. The first one we came to is on Oswald Road, The Honest Lawyer. This has a good reputation but we didn’t visit simply because the rest of the Wolves fans, and there were many, that had disgorged from the train went straight in there and we feared that getting served would be a nightmare. We ambled on the The Blue Bell which is the Wetherspoons a little further up Oswald Road.

Getting served in Wetherspoons pubs is not usually a pleasant experience, they seem to employ two less bar staff than they actually need and this place was no exception. However, at 12:00 the missing couple suddenly appeared and it was fine. There were a few home fans in there but it was quickly filling up with Wolves fans at each interval that a train from Sheffield arrived. There was no hint of trouble in there, just the way it should be.

After a few pints and advice on how to get to the ground from the very friendly bar staff, we thought we’d break the journey by walking the 20 minutes or so to The Berkeley, which is a recommended pub on the way to the ground which is then only a further 10 minutes away. On reaching The Berkeley, they had closed it. According to my Scunthorpe mate, who had joined us in The Blue Bell and was then meeting others in The Berkeley, this is something they do when they are visited by large numbers of travelling supporters. I’d be interested to know if any others out there have experienced this.

We then walked to what seems to be a retail park that has sprung up around the ground and had a pint in the Frankie & Bennies restaurant along with many other fans from both sides. There is a pub there called the Old Farmhouse but we were advised that it would be five deep at the bar there so we didn’t bother. There was some good banter with the home fans in Frankie & Bennies, though these establishments are not places renowned for drinking. I would certainly not recommend a romantic meal there immediately prior to a Scunthorpe home game.

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

First sight of the ground was from the train and it looked exactly what it was. Compact, neat, fairly modern but perhaps lacking the character that traditional grounds tend to have. All the stands appeared very similar and exactly the same height.

The ground appears from nowhere when approached by foot through the retail park. The general approach seems to be via the back of the home end then down the left hand side to the away end that is furthest away from you. I can’t recall a massive police or steward presence though this probably wouldn’t be the case when Scunthorpe are playing a rival team.

They played “Any Old Iron” over the tannoy as we walked down the side of the ground and I also recall “Hi-ho Silver Lining” which is a song we have used at Molineux for years, strange how these songs crop up in other places, of course Scunthorpe could have been playing it for years as well!

The away end was small, covered, good view with a low roof which basically meant that the large Wolves contingent could make plenty of noise. The turnstiles seemed rather narrow and in fact one of our larger supporters had difficulty squeezing through.

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

The game resulted in a much needed away win (0-2) to get our play-off push back on track following a truly dreadful December and Christmas period. Two of our new signings scored the goals and we finished comfortable winners. It has to be said that though we went in at half-time 1-up, it was barely deserved as Scunthorpe were our equals and poor finishing denied them at least equal footing.

We scored our 2nd early in the second half, were dominant from that point onwards and could have won by a greater margin.

It was a good atmosphere though I must say I barely heard any singing from the home fans. This may be because we had so many in such a small end making a lot of noise. I don’t know what it would have been like from say the halfway line. Stewards were fine, one guy had a half hearted at getting the crowd to sit down but it was a hopeless task so he gave up !

And now I have to air my one real gripe of the day – the half-time food. We were looking forward to a pie/pasty but they had completely run out. All that was left were burgers.

Myself and colleague spent what was the worst £2.50 of our lives on a cheeseburger on a still partly frozen roll. The burger wasn’t hot enough to melt the cheese, it was truly appalling. Only the level of starvation that comes with drinking several pints before the game without food enabled us to eat it, the taste never left us for the rest of the day. How we didn’t come down with “Scunthorpe Gut” I’ll never know.

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

Easy! There was a flotilla of buses and coaches, seemingly organised by the local police that whisked us to Althorpe station which is the next one down the line west bound from Scunthorpe. From there we got the stopper back to Sheffield and beyond. This journey was not so bad as the combination of beer and fresh air meant that many of us dozed off for the best part of the journey.

Can’t comment for those who came by car and I know a few lads that walked the hill back into Scunthorpe for a few après match pints in the town prior to the train from there. No trouble as far as I am aware.

Finally, ended up at Birmingham New St. and a couple of us headed for The Wellington on Bennetts Hill to finish off the day prior to trains to our final destinations. There happened to be a real ale festival in there and a few pints were required to attempt to get rid of the taste of the cheeseburger several hours later.

We were in such good spirits that we even engaged in friendly chat and exchange of rounds with a West Brom fan that had seen his team draw 2-2 at home to Cardiff.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

An excellent day out, highlights being:

• The result
• Friendly pubs
• Courtesy bus back to the station

Lowlights:

• The Berkeley being closed
• The halftime cheeseburger
.


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