Wigan Athletic v
Arsenal Premier League
Saturday, December 22nd 2012, 7.45pm
Paul R (Arsenal fan)
1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
Well it it was to be my first away game and I had
heard good things about the DW, so I thought I'd
go. Also it was easy to get a ticket due to the
large allocation and early kick-off time.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
I travelled by train from Euston to Wigan North
Western arriving about two hours before kick off.
Thankfully I had directions, which was helpful as
the stadium wasn't signposted from the station. It
was about a 20 minute walk (in the rain) and
through a retail park to get to the stadium. The
walk was not the most aesthetically pleasing one
as the road to the retail park appeared to be in
the middle of an industrial estate.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
I went straight to the ground to try and seek
shelter from the rain. After purchasing a
programme I went towards the Marquee in the North
Stand. However the doors were shut and all the
cover by the entrance was taken so I had to resort
to wall hugging the stand wall to shelter under an
outcrop. After asking a steward when it would
open, he said "soon" which wasn't that helpful.
Eventually I enetered the Marquee, to find a nice
civilised clubhouse style with separate bars for
food and drink. In there I had a steak pie which
cost £2.30, considering it's the cheapest pie in
the Premier League it was very nice and very
filling. Trying to buy a drink was slightly
difficult due to the sheer number of people but
the staff tried their best (especially since one
guy ordered 6 pints of Guinniess!) I would advise
using the toilets in the Marquee before the match
rather than in the stadium as they were less busy.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
At first I saw the West Stand, which looked quite
impressive a bit similar to Brighton's new stadium
from the outside. However it did start to go
downhill a bit when I saw a faded Wigan Warriors
Rugby League sign next to an apparently new Wigan
Athletic sign. The North stand was a bit flat and
boring from the outside. They still use the old
turnstiles which is quite nice. I had a seat under
one of the disabled sections (which no-one was in)
which was one block away from the end. It was good
for one side as you had unrestricted views due to
the steepness of the seating but you had to lean
forward to see the other side when the match was
underway as people stand (which I fully support).
A word of advice, though the North Stand has a
roof, it's too high and at the wrong angle to be
effective against the rain so you will probably
either get wet or find a wet seat awaiting you if
it's been raining
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game was quite drab with Arsenal winning 1-0
from a penalty. The atmosphere was great from the
Arsenal fans singing all game and the Wigan fans
actually tried to have a go at helping create an
atmosphere with a drummer in the East Stand near
us, however once Arsenal scored they went quite
quiet. They did have quite an amusing thing where
the Wigan fans had an angry reaction for no
apparent reason until the ref blew for a free kick
about 30 seconds later. O
ne point I will say though with no-one behind you
and a large gap between the fans sitting higher
up, I did feel a bit isolated however we still
sang all game. The stewards were not needed and
seen but not heard. Fair play to them for allowing
some Arsenal fans to hang a tribute banner in the
closed disabled section.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
I didn't experience any hassle when leaving and
heading for the station in colours. It was easy as
you just retrace your steps and follow the crowds.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Cheap tickets and a large away following with a
great atmosphere made it very enjoyable. The game
wasn't the best but the result is all that