Bramall Lane - Sheffield United
Saturday 1st January 2005
Vs Wigan Athletic, Championship League, 3pm
By Richard Green
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
it was my second trip to Bramall Lane and it was mainly the reason I was looking forward to it as it was a superb day out the previous season. In addition to that my team Wigan were flying high at the top of the Championship, although we had recently hit a bit of a sticky patch.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking
The journey from Wigan to Sheffield is generally straight forward; across the M62 and down the M1, however my mate knew a shortcut which saved us about half an hour through the beautiful West Yorkshire countryside (not disimiliar to that seen on Emmerdale). Finding the ground was also generally easy, however parking was a completely different matter. With Bramall Lane being surrounded by narrow streets parking is very difficult however after 20 minutes of looking we found a spot in a rough looking estate.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
On both my visits and whenever the blades come to Wigan I have found them to be extremely friendly people. Before the game we stopped off at KFC in Sheffield which is just a stone throw away from Hillsbrough.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground.
Bramall Lane is most definitely not one of the neatest looking grounds in the league with a very grim exterior to it, however inside it is very bright and you could say that this was a proper football ground unlike that at Leicester, Southampton and maybe even Wigan? anyway the away end is the top tier behind the goal ,it is very high and steep as you feel as if you are hanging over the pitch. Opposite is the 'Hallam FM Kop' where all the noise was being generated by the home fans. To the left is the main stand and it faces the stand were the players enter the field known as the 'Arnold Laver Stand'. Also in between the kop and main stand there is a corner for the family/kids. It is also worth noting that although Bramall Lane is not fully enclosed you get the impression it is as all the stands are enclosed on each other.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
For a Latics fan the game was everything it should have been Latics running out 2-0 deserved winners, also a great ovation for ex latics great Andy Liddell . The atmosphere was ok however since the home side didn't score we did not get to hear the famous 'Tom Hark' tune when they score. The stewards were friendly and were laughing at the Latics' songs as many fans still weren't sober yet after an eventful new years eve! also when we were 2-0 up there was a brief panic moment as a couple of floodlights in the corner blew out, thankfully they were restored without the game being abandoned.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
There was no major problems getting away from Bramall Lane as it took us 15 minutes to get to the car therefore most of the traffic had cleared up and it was a straight run back on to the M1.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
an away or general football fan who has visited Bramall Lane recently?
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