Walsall F.C. and the Banks’s Stadium:
Walsall F.C. was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts when Walsall Town F.C. and Walsall Swifts F.C. amalgamated.
The club was one of the founder members of the Second Division in 1892 but the Saddlers, nicknamed to reflect Walsall’s traditional association with the manufacturing of saddles, have never reached the top flight of English football.
The Saddlers currently play in League One.
Walsall F.C. moved a short distance to the Banks’s Stadium, then known as the Bescot Stadium, in 1989-90 from Fellows Park, which had been home to the Saddlers for over one hundred years.
The all-seater stadium can hold 11,300 spectators and two thousand of Villa’s visiting supporters will be housed in the Dains Stand, which is behind one of the goals. Unfortunately, unless you are seated in the middle of this stand, supporting pillars will obstruct your view.
How to get there:
Bescot is the nearest station to the ground. The journey from Birmingham New Street will take approximately twenty minutes. Travel from Walsall to Bescot takes three minutes by train. The ground is visible from the station and a short walk away, under the bridge.
Local buses, departing from Bradford Place Bus Station, will take you to the stadium. Service numbers 410E and 45 run every fifteen minutes before 9p.m. and stop on Bescot Crescent outside the ground.
From Birmingham, you can take the 997, which stops in Perry Barr, Pheasey and Aldridge before reaching Walsall. Please note that services only run hourly after 6p.m.
Leave the M6 at junction 9 and follow the A461 towards Walsall. At the traffic lights turn right onto the A4148 (Wallows Lane/Broadway West, which is sign-posted Banks’s Stadium). Continue to the next set of traffic lights then turn right onto Bescot Crescent, where the stadium is located on the left hand side.
Those who make the trip by car will be pleased to find plenty of parking available near the ground, although parking is not permitted in the nearby retail park.
There is a large car park at the stadium that all spectators are allowed to use at the cost of £4 per vehicle. It is advised that you arrive early to ensure that you get a space.
Where to drink:
The most popular place with Villa fans tends to be the King George V on Wallows Lane. The King George V is opposite Morrison’s and is ten minutes’ walk from the ground.
Near the train station is The Imperial, a Wetherspoon’s pub, that away fans often use.
Aston Villa Football Club received an allocation of 3,575 tickets for this friendly and all of those tickets have now been sold. No tickets will be sold tomorrow at the Banks’s Stadium so do not travel to Walsall without tickets for the game.