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Sheffield W

Ground: Hillsborough Stadium

Visits: 1

Date: 4th April 2015

Match: Sheffield W - Huddersfield  1-1  (League Championship)

Attendance: 20 851

 

One of my targets for 2015 was to complete the top two divisions in England. In January I went to Burnley (to re-complete the Premiership) and Brentford meaning I only had to visit Hillsborough Stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday, to achieve my target. With Sheffield W hosting Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on Easter Saturday I was hoping for a decent attendance as I finally visited Hillsborough, one of the most classic (and old-style) grounds in England. Being based in Birmingham I only had a short, just over an hour, journey to Sheffield. Once at Sheffield train station I was greeted by Jonathan, who had travelled down from Scotland to England for the Easter weekend. Hillsborough is situated around 3 miles from the train station meaning even for me this was a bit too far to walk. Normally you can use the tram but rail works meant there were replacement buses. Jonathan and I made the 10-minute walk to the Cathedral from where the buses were departing but things were a bit confusing. Even the drivers seemed confused and one bus changed its destination three times. We eventually found a bus bringing us to Hillsborough and shortly before 1pm we were at the ground. As I was about to cross the street I recognized a fellow groundhopper. That was German groundhopper Jürgen who I had met at two previous occasions. Once again, it is a small world!

 

Hillsborough has been the home of Sheffield W since 1899 and nowadays has an all-seated capacity of 39 500. I have to say I really like Hillsborough, it is a stunning ground oozing with character. As I was growing up I watched plenty of (Tipsextra) games from Hillsborough and even though the terraces have bene replaced by seats the ground looks very similar to what it did in the 80s. 15 April 1989 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed to death at the Leppings Lane End (now the West Stand) during an FA-Cup semifinal between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool. The name Hillsborough will always be connected to this disaster which is the worst stadium-related disaster in Britain. Outside the ground there is a memorial and as always it was really touching to see the scarfs and messages remembering those who died that day.

 

Our seats were in the North Stand and after a drink at the Riverside Café with Jürgen and Jonathan I/we entered the ground around an hour before kick-off. Since the stewards weren´t paying attention to where I went I "happened" to enter the wrong stand. From the Spion Kop End I could take pictures of the other stands, including the one where I was sitting and as I tried to get back to the North Stand a steward looked at my ticket. He then said "You are not supposed to be here" before allowing me back into the North Stand. Our seats were in row 18 and from there we had a great view of the match. I was expecting 25 000, with around 2 000 away fans, but as people seemed to have other things to do this Easter "only" 21 000 (840 away fans) turned up. To be honest those who stayed away didn´t miss much. Both teams missed a sitter but apart from that not much happened to excite the crowd. In the 87th minute Sheffield W managed to score though and the remaining 3 (+4) minutes were better than the previous 87. Two minutes after the opening goal Huddersfield equalized and both teams then went for the winner. No more goals though and the match finished 1-1. An ok match in the end but above a really nice ground for me to complete the top two divisions in England. I have now been to 79 of the 92 grounds (and 88 grounds in total in England). After the match we went to back to the train station where we met up with my Swedish friends Stefan and Jocke. My day out in Sheffield was then finished off with a visit to a restaurant in Sheffield where we all could discuss football and other important matters. Shortly after 10pm I was back in Birmingham and yet another trip to England was coming to an end.

 

spion kop, rear

Sheffield W - Hillsborough, rear of the Spion Kop End

 

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Spion Kop End

 

south stand, rear

South Stand, rear

 

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Southwest corner, rear

 

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West Stand, rear

 

west stand, rear

West Stand, rear

 

match!

Match!

 

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Hillsborough Memorial

 

hillsborough memorial

Hillsborough Memorial

 

spion kop

Spion Kop End

 

south stand

South Stand

 

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South Stand

 

west stand

West Stand

 

north stand

North Stand

 

hillsborough 3pm

Hillsborough - 3pm on a Saturday afternoon

 

players entering

Players entering

 

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Spion Kop End

 

spelbild

View of play

 

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South Stand

 

spelbild2

View of play

 

huddersfieldfans

Huddersfield fans

 

fat supporter

A warm day?

 

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Pano (view from the Spion Kop End)

 

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Pano (view from the northwest corner)

 

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Pano