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.

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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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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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