With it being the last game of the season and Wycombe unfortunately already down, I travelled to Hillsborough simply to experience the ground and most probably a promotion party!
Having travelled to Bramall Lane earlier on in the season, I have to say I was amazed at how far from the city centre the stadium is. We took the train from High Wycombe (changing at Banbury) and I have to say the prices were extortionate - however you travel, do not go by train as it's not worth it. Once into Sheffield, I'd recommend going by Supertram - it's relatively cheap, I think it cost me £3.50 return, and takes you directly into Hillsborough.
There was a real carnival atmosphere and it felt, to be honest, as if we were all supporting the same cause. I went to a burger van outside the away stand - cheap, cheerful, good enough.
The away stand, from the outside, looks terrible. It's looking horribly run down and Wednesday could really do with knocking it down and starting again. We did take a look around the ground and although not the nicest looking from the outside, it's size is astonishing and standing under the South Stand was a great experience with the ground looming over you. We were placed in the North-west Corner and, in all honesty, the concourse was minimal but was adequate - I assume the 'normal' facilities on the West Stand were much better. The rest of the ground is huge - showing its age, with a few supporting pillars, but nonetheless incredibly big. It's hard to appreciate such a big ground until you've visited it, really.
The game itself was crazy. Wednesday won 2-0 and I have to admit that I've never felt an atmosphere like it. The ground was rocking, and most Wycombe fans joined in the party. It was nice to see a good club like Wednesday do well and the fans were clearly enjoying themselves. I didn't feel intimidated by 38,000 fans at all - they all seemed friendly and cared little about us in the corner. The ground isn't perfect and I don't think is the nicest ground to look at in terms of individual stands as none of the four are particularly beautiful, but it is the size of the ground that makes it special. Wycombe were predictably woeful but a result wasn't really what anyone expected in the away end. I would argue the atmosphere is probably nothing like this normally, but if you attend a game like this one it is really something special, and I can only go on what I have felt.
Obviously the ground was packed but we left earlier (most home fans waited for their lap of honour) and so we got to the Supertram early and we were away without any trouble at all.
A special day. Not nice seeing promotion happen to any other team normally, but I enjoyed seeing Wednesday go up. Hillsborough is a magnificent stadium fit for Premiership football without doubt, and I hope Wednesday fans can continue to put 38,000 in it. When it's full, like it was, it is a truly spectacular stadium and worth a visit every day of the week.
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