Southend United v Rochdale
Saturday November 24th
My son and I decided
to make the trip to Southend to watch
Rochdale. I'd never been to Roots Hall before,
so I was curious. We went by car, and arrived
in Southend about 50 minutes before kick-off.
Roots Hall is located in a residental area. We
thought that it would be easy to park in one
of the back streets, but it was really
difficult to find a space. After about 20
minutes we got lucky, then walked to the
ground, which took another 20 minutes,
arriving just before kick-off.
It was reasonably cheap to get in; less than
£25 for both of us. However, when we got
inside the ground we realised why the ticket
prices were so low. Roots Hall is all-seater.
However, the seats in the North Bank were just
bolted on to an old, gently sloping, terrace.
There were two problems: zero leg room and a
poor view. The gently sloping terrace means
that you can't see properly if somebody sits
in front of you - even somebody 5ft 2"would
block your view. There are also pillars
supporting the roof of the North Bank that can
block your view too.
Southend have a policy of allowing home and
away supporters to share the North Bank. The
Southend fans love the North Bank because it
has a great echo. Unfortunately, the
segregation on this visit was inadequate.
There was less than 10m between the two sets
of fans, the only seperation being a piece of
fabric draped down a set of seats and an
handful of nightclub bouncers - I mean
stewards. A hardcore of 50 or so Southend Fans
spent most of the game watching, and shouting
at, the Rochdale fans, creating an
intimidating atmosphere. My son, who is eight
didn't like it.
In the second half things escalated. After
Southend scored their second goal to take the
lead, the segregation between the two groups
of fans almost broke down. I saw the stewards
roughly man-handling a
Rochdale fan from his seat.
I don't know what this guy had done.
Apparently, a number of complaints were made
about the stewarding.
The upshot is that Southend United is a
relatively cheap place to watch football.
Parking near the ground is very difficult. And
finally, I think that it's fair to say that
the club isn't family friendly. They need to
get the segregation sorted out in the North
Bank as soon as possible, other wise something
worse could happen in
the future. At the moment, I would not advise
taking a child to watch a game there.
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who has visited Roots Hall recently?
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general day out?
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