I decided for Premiership football on Easter Saturday and my choice was Britannia Stadium for Stoke vs Newcastle. Since this match was chosen by Setanta to be shown live on TV kick-off wasn't until 5.30. With nothing better to do I went to Edgeley Park (Stockport) to get some better exterior pictures, last time I was there it was an evening match. I returned to Manchester, watched, Liverpool vs Blackburn on TV before making the short journey (45-50 minutes) to Stoke-on-Trent. Britannia Stadium was built as a replacement for Stoke's old ground, Victoria Ground and was opened in 1997. Britannia Stadium is not walkable from Stoke train station but I had done my homework and went to Glebe Street where the shuttle buses were departing from. Once at the ground I picked up my ticket, took some exterior pictures (including the Sir Stanley Matthews statue) before entering the ground approximately an hour before kick-off.
Stoke took an early lead and the atmosphere inside the ground was by then fantastic. I had read about how vocal the home supporters could be but was nevertheless impressed. One way of describing some of the more hostile chants/songs is that Alan Shearer seems to be more popular with the Toon fans than opposition fans..... Newcastle managed to equalise at the end and even if the match wasn't a classic the glorius weather and vocal Stoke fans made sure I still had a great time in Stoke this Saturday evening!
Statue, Sir Stanley Matthews
Outside Britannia Stadium
View of play