1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
I had heard about the
facilities etc., of the Stadium of Light from a
Sunderland fan I work with. I was looking forward
to going there, knowing the fair minded Sunderland
people (also ex-girlfriend from the 70s came from
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
Took me 3 hrs from Liverpool travelling via
Kendall (to travel with two other Palace fans) by
car. We used the Park & Ride scheme -
excellent getting into the ground - frustrating
wait getting away after the game... got back to
the car about an hour after the end of the match.
Glad it wasn't raining!
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
We went straight into the ground as it was close
to kick off on arrival. Local fans were on the
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
Very impressed by the scale and size of the
stadium. Felt the PA system was a bit OTT. I know
my hearing isn't as good as it was but the
volume of the PA was far too high. Made it
uncomfortable to listen to.
5. Comment on the game
itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
Game itself wasn't anything to write home about. I
was disappointed by the lack of singing from the
26,000+ Black Cat fans. There were only 150 or so
Eagles fans present yet even their local radio
that night it was admitted we were out singing
them at times. Tea and steak pie excellent.
Stewarding was one of the worse that I have
encountered. Within 5 minutes or so of the game
starting one steward was nose to nose with one of
our fans. He was taken off the stand and returned
10 minutes later after a "lecture". Completely
unnecessary at that point in the game. At the
beginning of the 2nd half one young Eagles
supporter (14/15 yrs old?) was removed by the
stewards. There were several incidents - stewards
should go on a crowd management course! Later,
during the 2nd half the stewards were withdrawn.
Much better atmosphere when they left. Also, when
leaving, a couple of young Sunderland fans were
giving us a bit of lip, but nothing worse than
I've received at other grounds. They were standing
(cowering?) behind a Police horse. Police rider
backed the horse into them and growled, "Go home!"
at them. Again, I felt this was OTT.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
As already commented we waited a long time for the
Park & Ride buses - very popular service with
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
On the whole a good night out - we got a point
(0-0 draw) and most of the Sunderland fans were
like our own - out for a good time. Did feel crowd
control was heavy handed (have since read
the review of the ground which warns of this
aspect) by both local Police and stewards. Proud
to have supported the Eagles on a night when
support from London was inevitably sparse.