Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 24th December

01 Everton (1)

Day 24 – Ground no. 1: Goodison Park, Everton.

It is almost like an open-air museum. The Archibald Leitch stands at Bullen’s Road and Gwlady’s Street are top-drawer. The stairs, the concourse in the lower section, the wooden floor and the criss-crossed steel balustrades in the upper section. The rows of terraced houses leading to the ground, which so dominates Goodison Road. And the St. Luke’s church with the Memorial Garden right in the corner of the ground. It just has everything – hurry up, before it is too late.

Merry Christmas

 

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1 Goodison Park, Everton

2. Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday

3. Craven Cottage, Fulham

4. Fratton Park, Portsmouth

5. Kenilworth Road, Luton Town

6. Brunton Park, Carlisle United

7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 23th December

02 Sheffield Wednesday (4)

Day 23 – Ground no. 2: Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday

So much football ground history packed into this. The impressive Kop Stand, one of the very few stands that have kept the original embankment underneath. The first full-pitch-length cantilever stand looking very 1960’ish. The renovated Archibald Leitch stand with a replica gable. The two-tier West Stand built in time for the 1966 World Cup. Surrounded by a park to the one side and terraced housing to the other, a river flowing along the ground, a memorial garden. And a cracking atmosphere inside.

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2. Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday

3. Craven Cottage, Fulham

4. Fratton Park, Portsmouth

5. Kenilworth Road, Luton Town

6. Brunton Park, Carlisle United

7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 22nd December

 

03 Fulham (2)

Day 22 . Ground 3: Craven Cottage, Fulham

There is a reason, it is listed. THAT stand by Archibald Leitch. Well, many more ought to be so. But this is just wonderful. The Dutch renaissance-like facade with red bricks, limestone and velvets. The wooden floor and wooden seats pitchside + an Archibald Leitch roof that gives a much better soundscape than modern grounds. The elegant columns, the charming concourse. Just great. And, on top of that, you have the cottage and a riverside location.

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3. Craven Cottage, Fulham

4. Fratton Park, Portsmouth

5. Kenilworth Road, Luton Town

6. Brunton Park, Carlisle United

7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 21st December

04 Portsmouth (4)

Day 21 – Ground number 4: Fratton Park, Portsmouth

As you walk down the Frogmore Road and see the mock-Tudor club office and the remains of the pre-Archibald Leitch stand, you know that you are in for something special. And, of course, the Archibald Leitch stand itself. The stairs with the old ticket sign, the concourse, the pillars, the barely recognizable criss-cross steelwork, and the backgardens between the stand and the terraced houses. Phew. The other stands look cracking as well. And a wonderful walk down Specks Lane behind the Milton End.

 

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4. Fratton Park, Portsmouth

5. Kenilworth Road, Luton Town

6. Brunton Park, Carlisle United

7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 20th December

05 Luton (4)

Day 20 . Ground no. 5: Kenilworth Road, Luton

A rarity now. Entrance to the Oak Stand through the terraced housing. The ground litterately in the backyard. The laundry hanging between the stand and the houses. The toilets are inside a house. The opposite side of the ground is equally intriguing. You can almost touch the stand and the housing simultaneously. Odd and quirky, also inside the ground with pillars and floodlight pylons around. It is compact, and it is passionate. So many impressions, anywhere you look. There is a special “placeness” to it.

 

 

 

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5. Kenilworth Road, Luton Town

6. Brunton Park, Carlisle United

7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 19th December

06 Carlisle (6)

Day 19 – Ground no. 6: Brunton Park, Carlisle United

Perilously close to a river. In a residential area, close to the city centre. Brunton Park has it all. A fabulous standing terrace with an iconic triple, triangle roof. A mainstand with wooden floor under the seats – and a paddock for standing at the front. Fabulous floodlight pylons. But the most special thing, perhaps, is the new cantilevered East Stand. It stands 20 yards to the north of the playing pitch, as the club intended to renew all four stands and move the ground 20 yards in the process. They only got to the first stand…

 

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6. Brunton Park, Carlisle United

7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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Top English Football Ground Advent Calendar 2018: 18th December

07 Grimsby (2)

Day 18 – Ground no. 7: Blundell Park, Grimsby

A Victorian pitch and the oldest stand still in use in the football league. A wooden stand, making the soundscape so different from modern concrete stands. Four stands in the ground, each erected when fortunes on the pitch gave financial spin-off. A history of the club and football architecture combined. The mist reminds you, that you are right next to the sea. The flood light pylons at times disappear in it. Surrounded by terraced streets, this ground has everything, except a standing terrace perhaps.

07 Grimsby (4)

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7. Blundell Park, Grimsby Town

8. Griffin Park, Brentford

9. London Road, Peterborough

10. Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

11. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

12. Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

13. The City Ground, Nottingham Forest

14. Priestfield, Gillingham

15. Valley Parade, Bradford City

16. Villa Park, Aston Villa

17. Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

18. Turf Moor, Burnley

19. Bootham Crescent, York City

20. Anfield Road, Liverpool F.C.

21. Elland Road, Leeds United

22. The County Ground, Swindon Town

23. St. Andrew’s, Birmingham City

24. St. James’ Park, Exeter City

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