Sheffield United v AFC Bournemouth
Saturday, April 7th, 2012, 3pm
Reasons for visit:
The oldest professional sports ground in the world
they kept telling me. But aside from that a chance
to go to an historic ground was too good to miss.
From my base in Macclesfield an easy and scenic hour
long train ride along the Hope Valley to Sheffield.
Once there the ground was easy to find. Just follow
the red and white. It took around 20 mins at a
Before the game:
Arriving at the ground early at around 1.30pm I had
loads of time to look round. Once again it was
a pleasure to speak to the home fans that seemed a
knowledgeable bunch. One gentleman kindly reminded
me that I was standing on Yorkshire’s cricket pitch
–at least I would have been had they not dug it up!
A ticket was purchased from the ticket office and
being a category C game was only £13 which I
thought was very reasonable for LeagueOne. In truth
I was expecting to pay a lot more.
Outside the ticket office and fashioned into a grass
bank was a memorial garden dedicated to Blades
followers who have passed away. This is something
have not encountered before. A nice touch. Out of
respect I spent a few minutes there in quiet
As you come up Shoreham Street the ground looms
large above you and the huge corrugated iron shed
that is the Kop end is impressive. This is where I
sat. These large ‘cowsheds’ used to be quite common
but more modern construction of course now hold
sway. ‘It needs some paint on it’ I thought because
it seems to have faded somewhat but is still a
striking stand all the same.
I needed the toilets and these were a bit
disappointing. Brick built, basic with freezing
water and rudimentary paper towel dispensers.
I did like the big stairways with handrails up to
the top of the stand. That is a feature which does
take me back.
Also showing my age here I warmed to the pre-match
music which included;
Let’s spend the night together (Rolling Stones)
Keep on running (Dave Clark 5)
And then of all the strange things………….the teams
came out to Samuel Barber’s Adagio with strings.
Lovely music but why?
This was then followed by the Greasy Chip butty
song. That at least was explained to me!
With Sheffield Wednesday winning their lunchtime
encounter 2-0 against Huddersfield, United need to
keep the pressure up on the blue half of the steel
city with three more points.
A well taken goal by Ched Evans (who else) and an
opportunist (lets poke the ball in whilst I’m sat on
my backside) effort from Richard Cresswell
seemed to have wrapped up the points until
Bournemouth grabbed a goal back in bizarre
circumstances after Zamon Hines intercepted a throw
out by the keeper and walked the ball into an empty
net. After furious protests the goal stood.
The Blades saw out the last 20 minutes – not
altogether comfortably at times – to gain the prized
As I had requested an aisle set getting out was easy
and I was back in Sheffield Station for 10 past
As a modern stadium it was comfortable with a good
atmosphere and everything was very well organised.
Good fans and friendly stewards.
No offence, but apart from the memorial garden
(which is to be 100% commended) and obligatory
statues of former players there seemed little to
distinguish it from other contemporary venues.
But please let none of this put you off because if
you go to Bramall Lane you will be well looked
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