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Wembley Stadium, London
Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final
Carlisle v Southampton

Sunday, March 28th, 2010, 1.30pm
By Kate Brown

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

I was looking forward to the atmosphere, we’d sold our allocation of 44,000 tickets and I’ve never seen that many Saints fans together!

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

We took an early train from Basingstoke - it was full and we had to stand the whole way but the tube to Wembley Central was quieter. The tube system is easy to use and travelling up with other Saints fans started the day off nicely!

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

We found a fish & chip shop on Wembley Hill Road, “Wembley Bay”. The staff were friendly and the prices were good (Sausage & chips £3.50, bottled water £1). The food itself was great and the portion sizes were good for the price. It isn’t a big place but luckily we arrived at the right time and there was one table free.

The Carlisle fans were very friendly and there was a fun, family atmosphere inside and outside the stadium. Most people had families and children with them and there was very little bad language or bad feeling between the sets of fans.

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

It’s the national stadium so it should be the biggest and the best in the country...and it is. It’s very impressive from whichever angle you approach it and the arch, as well as the Bobby Moore statue, is very impressive. The pitch was re-laid the week before the game but a lot of players were still slipping on it.

It was surprising how much room there was, both between the seats and in front and behind.

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

I was sat in Block 121, Row 18 and the seats were great – I had a fantastic view of the whole pitch, although when the team’s photos were taken at the end with the trophy, they were facing the other stand (opposite Block 142/143) so I couldn’t get a very good view of that. ~

The atmosphere was great, we were singing for most of the first half. The Carlisle fans were making themselves heard which I was quite impressed with and there was a lot of friendly banter (and mutual respect) between the fans. At 4-0 down, the Carlisle fans really started cheering their team, which I think led to their goal.

The stewards we came across were very friendly and enthusiastic about today’s game as well as helpful. I’d heard that the prices for food and drink were very expensive so we didn’t buy anything, except a programme which, at £5, I thought was quite good value.


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

It took a while to get away from the ground, due to the amount of people leaving at the same time, so we wandered around the outside of the stadium (enjoying the victory with other Saints fans!) before moving away from the ground, past Wembley Arena. We thought the trains and tubes would be busy for a while so we found the Greyhound pub, Harrow Road. I’d heard it was temporarily shut but it was open. It wasn’t the nicest pub, decor-wise, and the prices weren’t very cheap but the staff were friendly and being full of Saints fans, the atmosphere was very jubilant!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It wasn’t just the result that made this day so special; it was the atmosphere, two sets of fans coming together to celebrate the final of a competition in which we’d both had fantastic results, and seeing the best stadium in the country was an amazing experience. One which I won’t forget in a hurry.

 

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