Leicester City
Walkers Stadium

Review 1 | Review 2 | Pictures

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Visited - Saturday 28th February 2004
Result - Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - FA Barclaycard Premier League
Attendance - 31,768
Ground Number - 15 (return visit)

This was to be my second trip to the Walkers Stadium, and having fairly enjoyed the last one, I was looking forward to it again, also with both our respective league positions it was a real six-pointer, so a good game was expected.

The journey from Wolverhampton to Leicester went well, we got a direct train, which took just over an hour and half, arriving as scheduled, despite setting off a little late. After arriving the police were rounding up all the Wolves fans who were getting off the train, mainly the Burberry brigade, but fans wearing colours as well, but fortunately we managed to slip through and out into the City Centre.

We walked about for a while, eventually finding the cityís Walkabout Inn, and as it was fairly empty we decided to go in there. We had a few pints, and some food before leaving for the game. I did actually print off a map of the City Centre and the way to the ground, just in case we got lost, but of course I lost the map! But we were alright, with a little knowledge of Leicester from the last time we had come, we ended up getting a bus up to the ground, the Leicester fans on the bus all seemed very friendly, last year there had been quite a bit of trouble, so we were wary of that, but this time thankfully there was none of it.

After going into the clubshop we went straight into the ground and up to our seats. The ground is top class, if unoriginal. We had a good view from the corner section for away fans. Since going there last year I had remembered it as being a very boring stadium with little characteristics, however on this occasion I did catch myself a few times thinking how nice it was.

The game started and it was a tense affair, which didnít make for a great match. Both sides were scared of losing, but despite that it was a fairly attacking game. As could be said of many 0-0 draws, it could quite easily have ended up 3-3. Both Ian Walker and Paul Jones pulled off two amazing saves that would have graced any occasion.

The atmosphere from us was good, and the Leicester fans better than last time, but still not brilliant, considering the importance of the game you would have expected more of an effort from them.

Getting out was easier said than done, because of where we were in the stand, and the location of the exits, it took us about 15 minutes just to get out of the ground. When outside, the police were using the same tactics as at the train station, and trying to stop all Wolves fans from leaving, but again, we managed to slip into the crowd, and make our own way back into town. We got to the station, and were sitting on an empty train ready to go, when it was a few minutes past when it should have left, and a couple of policemen appeared coming down onto the platform, followed by about 300 Burberry clad youths! So that was fun being locked in a train for the entire journey back with them, although there wasnít any trouble.

All in all it was a good day out, and a good point gained, which took us out of the bottom 3, if only for 24 hours. Itís a ground that I would be quite happy to go to again, its just a shame we couldnít have won, as if we had pushed it a bit we could have got 3 points easily.


 




 

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Visited - Tuesday 5th April 2005
Result - Leicester City 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - Coca-Cola Championship
Attendance - 22,950
Ground Number - 15 (return visit)

Having visited the Walkers Stadium twice previously, and with the season all but over this was to be a fairly mundane trip for me, so cant say I was especially looking forward to going back to the East Midlands for our game against the Foxes. 

I'd originally planned to arrive there early, but other things put a stop to those plans, so caught the train from Wolverhampton at 4:30pm, arriving into Leicester at 6pm. After leaving the station, I walked into town to see if there was anywhere open to eat, and after settling on McDonalds, had a bite to eat, and then made my way up to the ground.

It was a familiar route, up Welford Rd, past the prison and Nelson Mandela Park, so it was a nice surprise to notice whilst passing the Rugby ground that there was a gate open. Other fans seemed to be going in to have a quick look around, so I took the opportunity to go in and take a few pictures.

After that was done, carried on up to the Walkers Stadium, arriving there just before 7pm. I went all the way round, and for the first time was actually quite impressed by the ground. On the other two visits, I'd just got to the ground and gone in, so had never really studied the exterior, so it was quite good being pleasantly surprised by that. Also took time to look at the remembrance gardens, which was a nice touch, and something more clubs should have.

After going round the outside, I came in and started taking pictures inside. Again, it was better than I'd remembered it, and despite it being a carbon copy of St Maryís, and not too dissimilar from the Madejski, Riverside or Darlington it did have a kind of charm. As it reached nearer to kick off, I found my seat, which offered a good view from the corner, and got ready for the game to start.

When it did eventually get underway I soon realised why Leicester has a reputation somewhat worse than the other grounds mentioned, and thatís undoubtedly due to the crowd. Although the stadium itself is a nice enough design, the crowd are perhaps the most boring in all of English football, no singing, no noise, nothing, having never visited Filbert Street, I donít know if that was any different, but having been to a game in every season that the Walkers Stadium has been open, it certainly falls far short of other teams in the area. Although we werenít particularly loud ourselves, we did manage to make some noise, helped by using the Perspex panels at the back of the stands as a drum, so obviously noise can be made in the ground, so it's a poor show from Leicester fans really.

As for the game, well, what can you say, watching Wolves this season has been particularly testing, and this match was no different. The first half was full of little incident, although Leicester did have a goal disallowed for offside, but nothing at all of any note happened really. Both teams did seem to want to attack, but it was the defences that won the day, with there being few shots at goal from within the area.

The second half was much the same, with each side trying to bore the fans to death, but Leicester eventually found a breakthrough when on 73 minutes they took the lead, through a nice solo effort by Alan Maybury. That got both sides going, and the home side nearly went 2-0 up, but for a great save by Michael Oakes. The game looked like finishing as a home victory, until with just two minutes to go, up for a corner, Jolean Lescott volleyed home an unstoppable effort to make it 1-1. Each side tried to push for a winner after that, but it was all too little, too late, and the game finished with us having broken our record for the number of draws in a season (this game being the 20th)

Throughout the night, despite there being no real bad behaviour from either set of supporters the stewards and police seemed determined to earn their money, constantly taking fans out of the ground, from both sides of the segregation. About every 5-10 minutes a group of 5 or 6 stewards would come up the steps, usually to near the back of the stand, and come back down with someone before ejecting them. In all they must have thrown a good 20-30 people out, although what for remained a mystery. Personally I didnít have any problems with the stewards, and on the brief occasions I had dealings with them they seemed quite a happy, friendly bunch, but obviously they were worked up about something. Ironically despite this, unlike the last two visits to the ground there was no sign of trouble outside, for the first time I did actually feel safe walking around the ground, which was a nice change.

Once the final whistle had gone, I left the ground, making a brief trip to the club shop, before walking back towards the rail station, and onto the train for the journey home, getting back not long after midnight.

Overall it was a fairly good trip, nice to come away from the stadium with a more positive image of it than previously, whether Iíll go back there we will have to see, it's starting to come something of an annual trip, so no doubt I'll probably find myself watching another game there again next season!




 


Pictures:



Information and Direction Sign



Rear of the Alliance & Leicester Stand



Rear of the Fosse Stand



The Remembrance Garden



Rear of the West Stand



Rear of the West Stand



The Club Shop



Rear of the Lineker Stand



The Lineker Stand



The West Stand



The Fosse Stand



The Alliance & Leicester Stand



The Alliance & Leicester Stand



The Fosse Stand



The West Stand



The Lineker Stand





Panoramic vs Wolves 06.05.07
(Click to enlarge)

 




 

 
Page last updated 24/09/09

All material copyright © T.S. Rigby, 2009