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Sunday, April 29, 2007


Arsenal 3 Fulham 1
FA Barclays Premiership
Emirates Stadium, Islington, London

Emirates StadiumA day out in London today for Extreme Groundhopping Jnr and I with plans to meet up with a group of Fulham supporting pals at Kings Cross around noon. From there a short tube ride to Finsbury Park and a short-ish walk after that to Arsenal’s shiny new home at the Emirates Stadium. This was a key day for the Cottager’s in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premiership, but more on that in a minute.

From Finsbury Park you walk south towards the old Highbury Stadium (the historic Facade (back wall) is all that is all that is left of the old West Stand) and along Gillespie Road past Arsenal tube station. With the Emirates Stadium being so close to Arsenal’s historic home many of the street vendors who have plied their trade around Highbury down the years have stayed put for match days and still do a roaring trade in food and souvenirs.

You turn the corner onto Drayton Park Road and there looming ahead is the North Bank bridge one of two pedestrian bridges built over the railway line that passes along the west side of the new stadium. The other is the Clock End Bridge and both take their names from the stands behinds the goals at the old ground.

Emirates Stadium November 2006

Having crossed the bridge you enter a huge plaza (for want of a better word) that surrounds three sides of the Emirates. There’s lots of concrete, steel and glass, with the odd Arsenal club badge and Emirates logo scattered around, but no real focal point – or stand out feature as such. But there is plenty of space, and despite another 60,000 sell-out today nowhere feels over crowded. It’s almost pleasant!

Anti-clockwise we continued around the outside past the gated entrance to the underground car park and VIP stadium access into which the Fulham club coach was passing as we walked by. A quick peek in the Armoury, Arsenals’ megastore, and then onto one of the many official concessions scattered around the ground.

One of my Fulham pal’s was in search of the mythical super expensive Emirates burger, at £8.00 the most expensive burger in British sport. But a myth it proved to be. No burgers available at all from official outlets, so we made do with a Balti pie at £4.00 a pop. A Coke will set you back £2.00 whilst for a beer you’ll need to part with £3.25! But the official programme – at just £3.00 – was a good read according to Junior.

Emirates Stadium November 2006

On to the away section or Green Quadrant as our tickets and stadium signage are helpfully labelled. Visitor’s tickets were priced at £32.00, the low end of the Emirates pricing structure, which, at its upper end, reaches a dizzying £66.00. And that’s just the regular seating. In the premium seating area (the lower middle ring around the stadium) prices start at £2,500 per season.

Automatic gates allow you in once you’ve worked out that your ticket has an RFID tag embedded in it and you need to wave it in front of a reader. Fortunately there was a helpful security chap at our gate to help old duffers like me work out how to get in!

The space theme continued on the inside of the Emirates with lots of room in the concourse and minimal queuing at the plentiful and well staffed concession stands. One complaint here is the provision of toilets. At half-time it would prove to be quite a scramble to relieve myself of the coke I had consumed before the game.

Our seats were right on the aisle leading up from the south east corner flag and 17 rows back giving a pretty good view of the pitch. And with ample leg room and extra deep seats this was not bad at all. This is the lower of four seating levels inside the Emirates. The top and bottom are for the proletariat, with the second level having big carpeted bars and space behind the seats, and the third level being wraparound executive boxes with three rows of seats outside. It’s noisy, but you would expect that given that there are 23,000 more Arsenal fans inside the Emirates than there was at Highbury in its final days.

Emirates Stadium September 2006

Fulham have shifted into free fall over the past few months and have not won since early February. As a consequence they find themselves just above the relegation zone with only three games left including today’s London Derby with the Gunners. And you could see why in a first half in which they put on a woeful performance and found themselves a goal down after just 4 minutes, Julio Baptista firing home from close range.

The second half was a different matter as Fulham pressed for an equaliser that duly came 13 minutes from the end when Simon Davies took advantage of a flap by Arsenal ‘keeper Jens Lehmann and lobbed the ball home from the edge of the box. But almost immediately Emmanuel Adebayor broke to put the home side back in front and Gilberto Silva's penalty secured the points for Arsenal with three minutes to go. The Cottager’s will have to come up with something special against Liverpool next week to avoid finding themselves in the bottom three come the final day of the season.

So game over and we exited south past the ARSENAL statue lettering (as featured in the opening credits of MOTD) and down the Holloway Road towards Highbury & Islington Tube Station. Here we expected to have to queue for ages (based on prior experience doing the same thing at Upton Park and the old Wembley). But no. All very well organised and we were down on the platform and away on a train less than 30 minutes after the full time whistle. Chalk one up for Tfl.

Match Number: 1370

posted by chevblue at 7:50 pm

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extreme groundhopping

a (mainly) pictorial account of one man's obsession with football stadia, floodlight pylon's and ipswich town football club

recent posts

The Humble Turnstile
Fareham Town
AFC Portchester
Gosport Borough
Ipswich Town
Tennis Borussia
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark
1.FC Union Berlin


:: Am I Supposed To Be At Home?
:: Black & White & Read All Over
:: Dub Steps
:: The 100 Grounds Club
:: Non-League Groundblogger
:: Each game as it comes
:: Pie and Mushy Peas
:: Local Bus Driver
:: fitbadaft
:: groundhog
:: Groundhopper
:: Six Tame Sides
:: FA Vase diary
:: Pitch Invasion
:: Llandudno Jet Set
:: The Amazing One Man Brake Club
:: Bill the Navigator
:: Grounds for concern…
:: My Football Travels
:: European Football Weekends


on tour in hampshire 2005

the various homes of QPR

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Ground Visit Record


AFC Bournemouth
(Fitness First Stadium)

AFC Portchester
(Wicor Recreation Ground)

AFC Sudbury
(King's Marsh Stadium)

AFC Totton
(Testwood Park)

Aldershot Town
(Recreation Ground)

Alton Town
(Alton (Bass) Sports Ground)



Aston Villa
(Villa Park)



Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

(Bloomfield Road)

Bolton Wanderers
(Reebok Stadium)

Bolton Wanderers
(Burnden Park)

Boston United
(York Street)

Bradford City
(Valley Parade)

Braintree Town
(Cressing Road)

Brantham Athletic
(Brantham Athletic Sports & Social Club)

(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers

(Hayes Lane)

(Turf Moor)

(Gigg Lane)

Bury Town
(Ram Meadow)

Cambridge City
(Milton Road)

Cambridge United
(Abbey Stadium)

Charlton Athletic
(The Valley)

Chelmsford City
(New Writtle Street)

Chelmsford City
(Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre)

(Stamford Bridge)

Chester City
(Saunders Honda Stadium)

Colchester United
(Layer Road)

Cornard United
(Blackhouse Lane)

Coventry City
(Ricoh Arena)

Coventry City
(Highfield Road)

Crewe Alexandra
(Gresty Road)

Crystal Palace
(Selhurst Park)

Dagenham & Redbridge
(Victoria Road)

(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

(Craven Cottage)


(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

(Glass World Stadium)

Horndean Town
(Five Heads Park)

Huddersfield Town
(Leeds Road)

Hull City
(KC Stadium)

Hull City
(Boothferry Park)

Ipswich Town
(Portman Road)

Ipswich Wanderers
(SEH Sports Ground )


Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)


Long Melford

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

(Ayresome Park)

(The New Den)

(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons

Needham Market

Netley Central Sports
(Station Road Recreation Ground)

Newcastle United
(St James' Park)

Newmarket Town
(Cricket Field Road)

Northampton Town
(County Ground)

Norwich City
(Carrow Road)

Nottingham Forest
(City Ground)

Notts County
(Meadow Lane)

Peterborough United
(London Road)

Petersfield Town
(Love Lane)

Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

(Fratton Park)

Preston North End

Queens Park Rangers
(Loftus Road)

(Madejski Stadium)

(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United

Saffron Walden Town
(Catons Lane)

Salisbury City
(Raymond McEnhill Stadium)

Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday

Shrewsbury Town
(Gay Meadow)

Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

(St Mary's)

(The Dell)

Southend United
(Roots Hall)

St Albans City
(Clarence Park)

Stanway Rovers
(New Farm Road)

Stockport County
(Edgeley Park)

Stoke City
(Britannia Stadium)

Stoke City
(Victoria Ground)

Stowmarket Town
(Green Meadows Stadium)

(Stadium of Light)

Swaffham Town
(Shoemakers Lane)

Swindon Town
(County Ground)

Thetford Town
(Mundford Road)

Tiptree United
(Chapel Road)

Tottenham Hotspurs
(White Hart Lane)

United Services Portsmouth
(Victory Stadium)

(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

(Bescot Stadium)

(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)


Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)


(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
(Tynecastle Stadium)


Northern Spirit
(North Sydney Oval)


SW Wacker Innsbruck
(Tivoli Stadion)


RSC Anderlect
(Constant Vanden Stock Stadium)

FC Brugge

SV Zulte-Waregem


FC Kobenhavn
(Gladsaxe Stadion)

Helsingor IF
(Helsingor Stadion)


FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)


HJK Helsinki
(Finnair Stadium)

(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)


(G.Guichard Stadium)


1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

1. FC Union Berlin
(Stadion An der Alten Försterei)


AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)


Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)


Inter Milan
(San Siro)


Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)


Skeid Oslo


Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)


(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

(Luis Casanova)


Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF

Trelleborgs FF

IFK Goteborg


Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)