This is now an edited version of the original blog… you can read the full one by downloading my Football Neutral 2013/14 season review on Kindle. Well over 300 pages of daftness. Less than £2! Thanks!
…I had to park out the back of the industrial units, near to a sandwich packing factory. As I got out and put on my coat, I noticed the fattest man I have ever seen wearing a hairnet smoking a cigarette. He finished it, and whilst staring at me, slowly got out another and lit it. At this point I was not entirely sure that he was employed by the company.
As I approached the stadium near the away end, I caught a glimpse of the terrace I would be in, the West Stand. Massive flags everywhere, reminding me of a miniature version of Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park (which, for the record, sounds nowhere near as good as Westfalenstadion). Even with a modest history, it seems the Burton fans are desperate to promote a good atmosphere and club feel; my initial theory is that it would be like my trip to Dagenham, but transplanted into the Midlands – all Derby, Forest and maybe Leicester fans choosing to watch a more local team to save some money and get their kids into the game. Wrong. Everyone I met was Albion through and through, and some of the most knowledgeable fans I’ve met this year.
Now for some criticism. I apologise in advance, because Burton really is a cracking club and I had a great day. But: their club badge is stupid. Really horrible.
It’s like someone saw the Ajax badge (made up of just a few lines) and thought it could be recreated. It can’t. A guy in the ground had a proper retro flag that would have been a MUCH better choice. I’m just putting this out there. There’s isn’t much other criticism, honest. Certainly not of the ticket prices, because they’re easy to get: £15 to stand, £20 to sit. Same for both home and away fans (which is incredibly rare higher up the leagues so I’m always pleasantly shocked by it). Three stands are terraced, then the main stand has seats where you actually have to buy a ticket from the main office. For us lucky standers, it’s just cash on the gate, exactly how football should be.
Once in the ground, I needed food. I’ve been on a diet for two weeks since meeting wrestler turned Yoga guru “Diamond” Dallas Page and starting his DDP Yoga programme, so was allowed something unhealthy. Burton is the place you want to go if you fancy something naughty, trust me…
If you liked this little extract then please feel free to buy my ebook containing the full match report (and 25 others) by clicking this link. It’s less than £2, over 300 pages long and I promise you is a fun read. Ta!