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Stadium Of Light
Sunderland v West Ham United
Premier League
Saturday, January 12th, 2013, 3pm
James Weeks
(West Ham fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Well, being an exiled Iron and living bang on the Cornwall Devon border, completing the grounds like Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the 92 early on was key for me, meaning that I could casually visit them and not have to fret and worry about not doing them. I also quite liked the look of the Stadium of Light, a big, modern ground usually my type but this enticed me to go.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Leaving from our overnight stay in Derby we arrived in Sunderland at around 12:15pm and found parking quite easily. We parked in a metro-link car park of which parking cost an incredibly and nearly unbelievable 1 for a whole day, this was also a 15 minute stroll to the ground which made it even better. As we turned into Sunderland the ground was easily visible from early stages.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

With neither of us drinking the only place we visited was a McDonalds in which we met a few other hammers but also came across a few rough looking Sunderland fans, apart from those 2 or 3 the fans seemed a friendly bunch and didn't bother or threaten us in anyway. Getting into ground involves a slight walk up a staircase that has two concourses, one for food and one mostly for drink, we went up to the food section.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I wasn't too keen on the away end, it felt as with we were being locked away in the top of the ground which wouldn't help with the atmosphere at all, as for the rest of the ground, I was reasonably impressed. It was very state of the art and would look good if it was full all the time. The ground is like a bowl so there are no individual stands about, if it was me I'd put the away fans back behind the goal.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Well, the less said the better. We never got going and got completely thrashed (3-0) and deservedly so, an awful performance which made the atmosphere quite poor, although we never really stopped singing (during Sunderlands celebrations for the 3rd we started going mental) it was hard to make a decent atmosphere because of the fact we were were up 'in the Gods'. The stewards were not of my liking either. We always stand at every away game and nothing is ever said, every single fan stands without fail and no problems were caused, until the stewards came round and told us all to sit, which obviously didnt go down to well. I know theyre only doing what they are told, but when there are no problems, and then starting an argument with 2,000 inebrihated and annoyed Cockneys definitely wasnt going to end well as they gave up shortly after.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easy walk back to the car amongst thousands of Sunderland fans who surprisingly were not overly cocky or joyous in defeat. Got back in the car and a short wait while the traffic cleared before we set off back to Derby for the second overnight stay.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The ground was nice but the city wasn't, great, plus and awful game. But would I do it all over again? Of course I would! Come on you Irons!
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