Aston Villa has once again sold out their full allocation an away game. There will be 3,900 supporters making the 116 mile Journey down the M40 to Reading.
Reading moved to their current home, the Madejski Stadium in 1998 after spending 102 years at their former home, Elm Park. The stadium has a capacity of 24,161 (all seated).
The Madejski is totally enclosed made up of three single tear stands and one double tear stand. The stadium is named after the chairman, John Madejski and is shared with London Irish Rugby Club.
The Away Supporters
Away supporters are located in the South Stand were 2,327 fans are usually allocated. On this occasion, Aston Villa has been given an allocation of 3,900.
There is good height between the rows on the stand allowing for good views and plenty of leg room. Stewards outside the stadium are known to go ‘over the top’ with security and have been known to turn away supporters for being under the influence of too much alcohol.
Alcohol is served inside the ground if fans are well behaved. Lager and bitter is available for £4.50 and Strongbow and Guinness at £4.70. A variety of food is also available from burgers, pies and pizza.
I need a pre-match pint!
There are a couple of mobile bars outside the East Stand that welcome both home and away supporters otherwise there are much in terms of pubs located close to the ground.
Around a 15 minute walk, there is a bar called Callaghan’s Irish Bar which can be found on the Basingstoke Road next to the Holiday Inn. Although the bar has sky television it is said that drinks are expensive with reviews saying ‘expect to pay hotel prices’.
The World Turned Upside Down pub is also located on the Basingstoke Road although there are reports that it is now closed.
How do I get there?
The nearest training station is Reading and is allocated about 10-15 minutes away from the stadium. You can take the Greenwave Park & Ride green bus directly to the stadium or a taxi will cost you about £10. The journey from Birmingham New Street will be a little over 90 minutes.
The ground is pretty easy to drive to. Simply leave Junction 11 of the M4 and follow signs towards Reading. The stadium is on your left-hand side after less than a mile.
Parking is available at the stadium for £15. You must purchase your parking three days before the fixture to allow time to post your permit. Parking at the stadium must be pre-booked online in the ticketing area of www.readingfcdirect.co.uk or by phoning the Ticket Office on 0118 968 1313.
The Old Greyhound Stadium is five minutes away and is priced at £10 per car. Access off the A33 at the Bennet Road roundabout.
There is more parking available at Cordwallis on Bennet Road (RG2 0QX), once again priced at £10 per car.
If you have Twitter then it is well worth following the official WMP Villa FC account. PC Stuart Bladen usually tweets live updates throughout the day.