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Gamla Jernvallen

Ground: Gamla Jernvallen (VM-arenan)

Visits: 1

Date: 1st October 2017

Match: Sandviken - IFK Luleå  2-1  (Division 1 Norra)

Attendance: 594

Two years ago Syrianska Kerburan played two games at Arosvallen and I attended one of those. That visit meant I had only one ground missing, Gamla Jernvallen in Sandviken, of the grounds used in the 1958 World Cup. I was in Sandviken a few years ago but nowadays Sandvikens IF play at Arena Jernvallen and to my knowledge Gamla Jernvallen has not been used for football since 1992. It has been bandy only at this classic ground and I was convinced I would never visit Gamla Jernvallen, the most northern football ground to have hosted a game in a World Cup. This summer I was made aware an artificial pitch was being installed at Gamla Jernvallen though and the cup game between Sandviken and Brage would be played at the ground. I couldn´t go to Sandviken for that match but was delighted to find out Sandviken´s league games in the autumn would be played at Gamla Jernvallen. This is simply a ground I have to visit and going through my options I decided to go Sunday 1 October for the visit of IFK Luleå.

It was not possible for me to do Sandviken as a day trip so at 17.35 on Saturday afternoon I was on board the SAS-flight heading towards Stockholm Arlanda. I stayed the night at an airport hotel and at 10.41 on Sunday my train departed Arlanda central station. An hour to Gävle, where I changed trains, and at 12.46 I was, for the second time in my life, in Sandviken. Kick-off was at 16.00 and I decided to walk to the ground for a few pictures before going to the city centre to have something to eat and drink. The walk to the ground took me 15-20 minutes and luckily I found an open gate where I could sneak in. The main stand at Gamla Jernvallen is a lovely wooden stand with around 1 500 seats. The far side has two small stands on either side of the VIP-area. All in all a nice ground and a ground every groundhopper should have on their “to do” list. It then took me 30 minutes to walk to the city centre where I had lunch at a Greek restaurant. An hour before kick-off I was back inside Gamla Jernvallen.

IFK Luleå are already relegated but for Sandvikens IF this was an important game. Third from bottom means Sandviken are in the relegation zone. Vasalund, just above Sandviken in the table, have the same number of points so everything to play for this afternoon. In the first half Sandviken were by far the better team and could have scored plenty of goals. Only one goal though meaning 1-0 at half-time. In the 61st minute Sandviken scored again and the game seemed to be over. The home team apparently agreed and stopped running meaning the visitors from the north were given more and more space. Luleå pulled a goal back in the 78th minute but Sandviken could hold on to the three points. At 18.30 I left Sandviken and and 01.15 I was back home in Kristianstad. A lot of travelling but visiting Gamla Jernvallen means I have now completed the 1958 World Cup and that pleases me a lot.

Gamla Jernvallen hosted two matches in the 1958 World Cup:

8 June: Hungary v Wales (1-1). Attendance: 20 000

15 June: Hungary v Mexico (4-0) Attendance: 13 300


Gamla Jernvallen, outside




East Stand


East Stand


East Stand


East Stand


South End


West Stand


West Stand


West Stand


West Stand


North End


Players and officials entering




View of play


East Stand




East Stand


View of play


West Stand


West Stand