|Sheffield Wednesday 1 v 1 Leeds United|
Friday, 28th September 2018 Kick-off 19:45
Sheffield Wednesday Awaydaze
Wednesday, 26th Sep 2018 21:55 by Tim Whelan
This season’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday was first switched to Saturday lunchtime by the police, but then Sky got involved and it moved again, to 7.45 on Friday evening.
You'll find Hillsborough three miles to the north-west of Sheffield city centre. The best way to get there by car is to leave the M1 at junction 36 and follow the A61 towards Sheffield, which will bring you all the way to Hillsborough.
There is some street parking to be had if you arrive early, though you need to look out for signs, as some of the roads near the stadium are for residents only. Otherwise there are some unofficial car parks along the A61 that charge in the region of £4, or the official car park at the Stadium, which costs £7.
Until the 1980s there were soccer specials to the former Wadsley Bridge station near the stadium, but it doesn't look like that station will re-open any time soon, so we will have to make our way to Hillsborough from the main Sheffield station. The easiest way to do this is by tram to the ‘Leppings Lane’ halt, (two stops beyond the one called ‘Hillsborough’) which is served by ‘yellow line’ trams heading for Middlewood.
In the past Supertram website has promised that “We’ll be providing additional trams where possible to provide extra capacity”, but at the moment they’re not mentioning anything specific about this Friday. The timetable suggests there will only be one every 10 minutes, but they could get a bit crowded. After the game they always have an army of ticket inspectors at the ‘Leppings Lane’ halt, to make sure that nobody sneaks on board without paying.
A good pub for away fans is the Railway Hotel on the A61 Penistone Road, which is about ten minutes walk from the stadium in the opposite direction to the city centre. It serves real ale, but as it’s quite small you’ll need to get there early. If you are coming by car from Leeds you will pass the 'Norfolk Arms' and the 'Red Lion' a bit further out on the A61, both of which are safe for away fans, while on the same road in the city centre direction you could try the ‘New Barrack Tavern’.
Other options if you’re coming by train are the 'The Howard pub’, opposite Sheffield Railway Station, or the ‘Hillsborough Hotel’ near the Langsett/Primrose View tram stop. The best of the takeaways are the Trafalgar Chip Shop on Trafalgar Road (just off Halifax Rd), and Lily's Pork Shop, just 5 minutes from the ground on Penistone Rd, and the Four Lanes Chip Shop, which is opposite the away end.
According to Wednesday's official website, "Hillsborough Stadium is one of the finest stadiums in the country, with a tradition to match". This ground was originally built in 1899 and at the time it was out in the fields. Many people questioned the wisdom of moving the club so far from the city centre, but the directors were vindicated when the ground was surrounded by Sheffield's growing suburbs during the next few years. The area was originally called Owlerton, hence the nickname 'the Owls', but the ground was renamed Hillsborough in 1914, when it became part of the parliamentary constituency of that name.
In 1961 the north stand became the first cantilever stand in the country, and the ground was further developed in 1986 when the kop end was roofed for the first time. Following the 1989 disaster the Leppings Lane was made all-seater, but the capacity was increased by 3,000 when a new tier was added to the south stand in time for Euro96.
Near the main entrance is a memorial to the 96 fans who died at Hillsborough in 1989, and it's normally covered in flowers left by those who want to pay their respects. The current capacity of Hillsborough is 39,732, which means they’ve somehow lost 80 seats since last season.
Our allocation for this game is 4,600, in the upper tier of the West Stand (the Leppings Lane end) and it has now sold out. This is a ‘Category B’ match, but that’s not a cheap as you might expect, as the categories go up as far as ‘G’! Ticket prices for this game are £39 for adults and £29 for the over 65s and, under 21s with tickets for the under 17s on offer at £15 and under 11s at £10.
If this had been a category A game then the adult price would have been a truly ridiculous £42. Tickets for the home stands will only be sold to those who were on the SWFC database before July 1st. And the official SWFC is asking their fans to “please refrain from purchasing tickets for visiting supporters”.
There are a number of supporting pillars in the West Stand, which impedes the view from some seats, though on the plus side we've always been able to make a bit of a din by banging the wooden seats. There is a large tea bar on the concourse and plenty of counters, where they have quite efficient service, so the queues don't get too long. The grub itself is the usual football fare of pies and hot drinks, etc.
A couple of years ago Wednesday announced plans to increase the capacity at Hillsborough to almost 45,000. This was primarily through the proposed expansion of the Leppings Lane End, including the building of an additional tier and the 'filling in' of the corner between this and the South Stand.
But this depended on England winning the bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, when Hillsborough was listed as one of the potential venues, and the failure of that bid meant the plans have been shelved for the time being. They won’t be 'dusted off' till the Wendies gain promotion to the Premier League, so it could be quite a while.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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