Sheffield Wednesday and Hillsborough:
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club was formed in 1867 as the football team of The Wednesday Cricket Club, changing to its current name in 1929.
One of the world’s oldest football clubs, it was a founding member of the Football Alliance in 1889 – and its first winners.
Three years later, the club joined the Football League.
In 1992, Sheffield Wednesday became one of the founding members of the Premier League. The Owls, a nickname based on the Sheffield suburb of Owlerton where the stadium is located, have not played at that level since 2000 and came closest to a return to the top flight last season, losing to Hull City in the Championship play-off final.
Hillsborough Stadium has been home to Sheffield Wednesday since 1899. A traditional ground that has plenty of character, sadly, it is best known for the Hillsborough disaster on April 15th 1989 in which ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed at the FA Cup semi-final. Outside the ground, near the main entrance, there is a memorial to those who died on that tragic day, which is always worth stopping at to pay your respects to the ninety-six fans who never made it home.
Although the ground has received very little investment since 1996, when it became the only stadium in England to have had a stand rebuilt for the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, work to upgrade the stadium has been handled sensitively so that the ground’s traditional character has been retained.
Away fans will find themselves with stairs in abundance to climb before getting behind the boys in claret and blue and, hopefully, starting the season in style. There are some pillars that will obstruct the view of some unfortunate fans but, with the generous away allocation sold out, the away end is bound to be an atmospheric place come Sunday afternoon.
Depending on traffic, a journey to Hillsborough from Birmingham will take in the region of 1 hour and 45 minutes. The postcode for sat nav users is S6 1SW,
Check here for a detailed route planner.
There are some street parking spaces to be found if you arrive early, although some of the roads around the ground have restrictions in place so be sure to check warning signs before you park.
Along the A61, you will find a number of unofficial car parks, where you’ll be charged £4 or £5 to park.
Directly behind the club shop, there is the Wednesdayite car park. It is open to both home and away fans and parking there costs £7. Use postcode S6 1QE.
Alternatively, you could park for free at Meadowhill Railway Station and take a yellow tram to Leppings Lane. This journey costs £3 return, although it does take 35 minutes.
Sheffield Railway Station is more than three miles from Hillsborough.
A taxi from the station to the ground will cost approximately £10.
From the bus station, which is a minute’s walk from the train station, take the 53 bus to Ecclesfield, which runs every ten minutes, or a football shuttle bus to the ground. This journey takes thirty minutes.
A quicker option, taking twenty minutes, is to take the ‘supertram’, which has a stop next to the train station. Board a blue tram and exit at Hillsborough. From there, it is a ten minute walk to the stadium.
Where to drink:
Those travelling by train will find plenty of watering holes near the station.
Real ale enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Horse & Jockey, 250 Wadsley Lane, S6 4EF, which is the closest designated away pub to the stadium. There you’ll find ten real ales and two local lagers, along with an impressive selection of gins.
The Railway Hotel, located at 19 Penistone Road North, S6 1LP, generally admits away fans and is a fifteen minute walk from Hillsborough.
The New Barrack Tavern, also on Penistone Road (601), S6 2GA, is another popular choice for the real ale fan. Twelve hand pull ales are on offer there with two traditional hand pull ciders.
The Norfolk Arms, 2 Ringinglow Village, S11 7TS, is worth a visit if you are driving and have time to spare in Sheffield, as it is a twenty minute drive from there to the ground.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, have a fantastic day.