Sheffield Wednesday v Colchester United
Saturday October 22nd 2011, 3pm
Philip John Williams
(Colchester United fan)
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
Iíve lived in
Thailand for over 20 years and obviously I rarely get
the chance to see my beloved Colchester United play.
However, I was back in the UK for a couple of weeks
visiting the family in Birmingham and a day out at
Hillsborough was too good an opportunity to miss.
I was on something of a Ďtour of the northí and had actually spent the previous night in Chesterfield. As an interesting aside, I stayed in a B&B in the shadow of Chesterfieldís old ground, Saltergate. I walked around the old place and it was very sad to see it in such a dilapidated condition. They obviously havenít managed to sell the land yet.
only a dozen miles from Chesterfield so getting to
Hillsborough took barely 20 minutes. There are plenty
of places to park near the ground itself and I ended
up sticking the car in Hillsborough Leisure Centre for
a fiver. A tad pricey I suppose but with a boot full
of luggage, I needed somewhere secure.
I asked the
security guard at the car-park to recommend a place
for a pint and some pub grub and he pointed us in the
direction of at least two pubs. However, upon further
inspection, they were both full of home fans and
didnít look particularly welcoming. So we ended up in
a KFC. It was either that or something from a burger
van because we just couldnít be bothered to stray too
far from the ground having already parked the car up.
website rightly says Ė Hillsborough is a beautiful
traditional old football ground and I hadnít been
there for over 20 years. It was so great to see it
again. We went and had a look at the football memorial
and we also chatted to the lovely guy who runs the
football programme shop near the away end. Then at
2.30pm we eventually took our seats in the stadium.
The 200-300 travelling Colchester fans had been given
the bottom section of the South Stand. I thought the
view of the pitch was okay but partly obscured by the
goal-net and being a six-footer, I could have done
with a little more leg-room to be honest.
Sheffield Wednesday were lying third in the division having played six and won six at home. Colchester were lying in twelfth. On paper it was a banker home win, but Colchester have been something of a bogey side to the Owls down the years and have got some good results at Hillsborough. After we had dominated the first 20 minutes, I was left wondering whether today was going to be our day again. We managed to get to half-time goal-less but Wednesday came out in the second half a different team and we were 2-0 down with barely 65 minutes gone. Then it became a case of damage limitation. Final whistle and 2-0 to Wednesday was a very fair result.
There were only 17,000 people there, which technically meant that the stadium was half empty Ė but it didnít look or feel that way.
The crowd did manage to create some noise at times but you got the distinct feeling that the Wednesday supporters felt all they had to do was turn up in order to get the three points. In contrast, the Colchester away support was pretty pathetic in terms of getting behind their own team.
The stewards were fantastic! We had a great natter with them before the game and they filled us in on what it had been like to be a Wednesday supporter for the last twenty years or so. They were obviously very proud of their club despite the fact they were languishing one or two divisions lower than where they should be. Yes, a friendlier bunch of stewards you would be hard pushed to meet.
refreshments were okay (usual fayre) and the toilet
facilities were fine.
to the car after the game and we were on the M1 south
back to Birmingham within 15 minutes. Very easy
Fantastic day out. OK, we lost - but the result didnít seem to matter. It was the chance to see a decent football match on a gorgeous sunny October day at one of Britainís greatest football grounds, a stadium steeped in football history.
Are you an away or general football fan who has visited Hillsborough recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Find out more about how to submit a review
to the Hillsborough Sheffield Wednesday page
Football Ground Guide Index