Top English Football Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 17th December

08 Brentford (2)

Day 17 – Ground no. 8: Griffin Park, Brentford

It has just about everything. It is almost hidden behind the terraced housing. It is the floodlight pylons that signal that there is football ground. And not just terraced houses. There is a pub on each corner of the ground. Inside, there is a standing terrace at the Ealing Road End with a cracking atmosphere. The two-tiered stand for away fans at the other end with standing in the lower end, looks wonderful. The two-tiered Braemar Road Stand is chaotically captivating, and the single tiered New Road Stand elegantly simple.

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 16th December

09 Peterborough (1)

Day 17 – Ground no. 9: London Road, Peterborough

Another proper old school ground. A standing terrace at the London Road End without a concourse. During halftime I have to queue for the toilets and my warm coffee out in the snow under the lights. There are three floodlight pylons, although only two of them are in use. I love the seats in the main stand. Old wooden seats in the top tier, whereas the former paddock has been fitted in with seats from Filbert Street and the Den. It is cold magical night in the snow under the floodlights

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 15th December

10 Crystal Palace (1)

Day 15 – Ground no. 10: Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace

It has almost everything. The huge Holmesdale Road stand rises above the terraced housing at the foot of the hill – with the peculiar floodlight sticking into the air. Inside the ground, each stand has its own characteristic features. Especially the Archibald Leitch main stand. Not many of the original features left. But the roof is there. And the wooden floor in the upper half, whereas the concrete floor of the former paddock underneath is still there. And a memorial garden.

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 14th December

11 Sheffield United (1)

Day 14 – Ground no. 11: Bramall Lane, Sheffield United

Located right in the centre of this proud old football city, the history of Bramall Lane makes it something special. And if you don’t know the history, you are told by the red plaques on the fence, marking whereto the cricket pitch went until 1973. Behind the fence, the almost brutal 70’ish concrete stand and a memorial garden. But the outstanding feature of Bramall Lane is the traditional Kop embankment that you have to climb to get into the stand. Fantastic. “Forged in Steel”

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 13th December

12 QPR (6)

Day 13 – Ground no. 12: Loftus Road, Queens Park Rangers

Hidden behind terraced houses to three sides, Loftus Road is another Old School ground with that distinct community feeling. It feels as though they have just managed to squeeze in the ground. You feel that the stands are placed almost on top of the pitch. There is NO leg room between the seats, there is NO room in the concourse. But it just adds to the feeling of being so fortunate that you managed to squeeze in. The sight of floodlight pylons is wonderful. I have to go back for an evening kick-off.

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 12th December

13 Nottingham Forest (1)

Day 12 – Ground no. 13: City Ground, Nottingham Forest

There is something special about a football ground by the river. Especially when you have the ground of your local rivals just on the other side. And you could throw in the cricket ground at Trent Bridge as well. Terraced housing, floodlight pylons, individual stands rather than the modern bowl-shape, and a cracking atmosphere. But it is riverside walk before and at the end of the match, which makes the City Ground something special.

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 11th December

14 Gillingham (1)

Day 11 – Ground 14: Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham

Floodlights at the end of a terraced street. In fact, a stand at the end of it. Priestfield is mainly about the location. Perfect old school ground right in the middle of a residential area. The temporary uncovered Brian Moore stand for visiting supporters look rather bizar, stuck between the more traditional Gordon Road and Medway Stands. This is the first English ground, where I had paella for my prematch meal. But it was the walk from the ground through the floodlit streets that really made it an experience to remember.

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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 Grounds Advent Calendar 2018: 10th December

15 Bradford (1)

Day 10 – Ground no. 15: Valley Parade, Bradford City

The – tragic – history of the fire in 1985 makes a visit here very emotional. But it is in itself a lovely ground. The Midland Road stand looks like an iceberg sliding over an edge. The steep road behind the old school-looking Bradford End (even though it is only from 1991). The huge Kop and Mainstand that has not been completed the entire length of the pitch is such a stark contrast. And finally the view from the Kop over the lights of the city and the good old fashioned floodlight pylons. I love it.15 Bradford (6)

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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 Grounds Advent Countdown 2018: 9th December

16 Aston Villa (1)

Day 9 – Ground no. 16: Villa Park, Aston Villa

Maybe it is just a pastiche over Archibald Leitch’s classic but sadly now demolished Trinity Road stand, but I love the sight of The Holte End. The bricks, the golden letters, the stairs. Even the new Trinity Road Stand distinguishes itself from modern grounds with it’s irregular shape. Surrounded by the park with Aston Hall, The Holte pub, terraced streets, this is the place for a football ground. In side, the four separate stands make it feel old school – even though the floodlight pylons have gone.

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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 24 English Football Grounds Advent Countdown 2018: 8th December

17 Oldham (4)

Day 8 – Ground no. 17: Boundary Park, Oldham Athletic

Despite a brand new north stand, Boundary Park can still thrill you with some good old-fashioned features. Like the floodlight pylons recognizable from a long distance. And the old main stand have all the features of good old proper stand. The basic blue wooden doors in the red brick wall – it is hard to tell the difference between the players’ entrance and a turnstile. The narrow corridors, doors and stairs of the concourse, the irregularities and curves. Even slightly restricted view to make you move in your seat!17 Oldham (5)

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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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