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Sheffield Wednesday 0 v 0 Leeds United
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 26th October 2019 Kick-off 12:30
Sheffield Wednesday Awaydaze
Friday, 25th Oct 2019 13:18 by Tim Whelan

This season’s visit to Sheffield Wednesday is at 12.30 on Saturday and once again this fixture is live on Sky Sports. We’re not famous any more!

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 there are some official parking options available for £5, which you can find here.

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. And the easiest way to do this will be to take bus No.53 (to Ecclesfield), which runs from the main bus station to the ground every ten minutes, with the journey time being about 30 minutes.

You can’t get the Supertram, because they will withdraw their service to Hillsborough at 10:30 am on Saturday morning and it will not resume until 4.30pm in the afternoon. Supertrams website says this is because “this fixture last year saw serious incidents including vandalism and damage to our trams, and more seriously intimidation to our staff with physical and verbal assaults. This resulted in our services having to be suspended due to safety concerns.”

It also says that “Recommendations were made in terms of how potentially difficult fixtures could be managed including reduced away tickets and options to manage the transport of away fans. Unfortunately for the above fixture none of these have been supported by Sheffield Wednesday.” As if it’s any of Supertrams business how many tickets we should get for the game! Thank goodness Wednesday refused to reduce our allocation and punish fans who had nothing to do with damaging the trams.

The official Leeds website says that “there are no pubs in the Hillsborough area that will accept away fans”, but we can normally get into 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.

Our allocation for this game is 4,500 (100 fewer than last year), 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, and I can only think it’s a B category because live Sky coverage gives fans an alternative. As far as the home stands are concerned, Wednesday’s official site says “Due to restrictions in place for ticket sales, tickets will only be available to supporters who have been on the SWFC database prior to August 2019.”

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.
Alcohol will be on sale before the match, but not at half time. You can get bottles of Bulmers, Heineken and Fosters (all for £4), but the Beer and food kiosks are separate, meaning that you may need to queue twice. 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, but you never know, this could happen.

Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .

Reuters



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