First Real Away Game in 18 Months

Seeing as this was the first away game in 18 months for the fans, because of Covid, I thought I would post an article on the day… but don’t be expecting one every away game, because there won’t be one!!

Rob Halligan 22/08/2021 29comments  |  Jump to last

Seeing as this was the first away game in 18 months for the fans, I thought I would post an article on the day… but don’t be expecting one every away game, because there won’t be one!!

The usual gang of myself, Dave, Steve and Jon decided to do this game to Elland Road by coach, the official travel club, courtesy of Eavesway coaches. The coaches were due to depart from Goodison at 11:00 am. My taxi (the missus) arranged to pick Dave up at 10:15 am, travel to Goodison and meet up with Steve and Jon. The usual route taking us round the Childwall Fiveways roundabout and straight down Queens Drive. After passing over the flyover by The Rocket, we hit slow-moving traffic, which became stationary just before the Jolly Miller pub. Then the penny dropped, Liverpool were at home with a 12:30 kick off. That, along with the fact that there were roadworks on Queens Drive (according to the signs anyway), made us think we would not get to Goodison on time, so we decided to turn back and wait for the coach at The Rocket.

We got to The Rocket at 10:45 am, believing the coach, from past experiences anyway, to get there around 11:15 am. It rolled up at 11:.45!. Steve and Jon told us the coaches left Goodison pretty much on time but had to battle their way through all the RS traffic. For anyone that doesn’t know, the Park End car park is used by the RS when they are at home, so as well as that and the car park on Priory road, the roads around the vicinity of both Goodison and Anfield would have been almost gridlocked.

Anyway, we were finally on our way. Roughly 60 miles to Elland Road, so we anticipated arriving around 13:15-13:30. Making good progress, we pulled off the M62 onto the M606(?) which ends right by Elland Road. Anyone not familiar with Elland Road, I think it’s the nearest football stadium to a motorway. You come off the motorway, go round a roundabout and you’re there. We got to the end of the motorway about 13:20, you could almost reach out and touch the stadium, it’s that close. Forty five minutes later we were still stuck on that roundabout. Even the team coaches, of which there were three, were stuck. They didn’t get to the stadium until just before 14:00. We finally got off the roundabout, having done just 400 yards in 45 minutes!!

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Our plan was to have a pint in the ground, but Leeds have built a new bar for away fans only right next to the away section, so we dived in there. Show your ticket on the door and in you go.

As for the match itself, I thought it was an entertaining game, with a great atmosphere. The first Premier League game Leeds have played in front of a full capacity for about 17 years. I thought the Blues fans contributed well to the atmosphere, and had to laugh when during one of our quieter moments, before another chant started, the Leeds fans start that “We forgot that you were here”. Funny because we’d forgotten about them completely for the last 17 years! Anyway, overall a draw probably a fair result, but FFS Michael Keane, pull yourself together!

At the final whistle, we made our way back to the coaches. We pulled away and straight onto the motorway around 17:45. It took just over an hour, about 65 - 70 minutes, to get back to The Rocket. Sixty miles in 65 - 70 minutes, yet unbelievably it took us nearly that long to travel four hundred yards round a roundabout!! The coach driver came on the tannoy and told us the reason for the hold up was that it was a new coach park for away fans and the police weren’t sure how it would go? Definitely needs sorting out though. Next home game for Leeds is the RS, so let’s hope the problem isn’t sorted out too soon!!

We got off the coach at The Rocket and strolled down to the Fiveways pub. 2½ hours later, my taxi (the missus) picked me up. Home just in time for MotD.

Yep, it’s great to be back and great to be back on the road with the blues. Just don’t expect any more reports!

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Reader Comments (29)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 22/08/2021 at 19:33:27
You took me down memory lane with talk of the Fiveways and Queens Drive, Rob, from when I used to take the 81 bus to the match!

We're going to Europe next year right?

Rob Halligan
2 Posted 22/08/2021 at 19:58:41
Yep Danny. I haven’t forgotten that you will be joining the gang when we’re back in Europe!
Neil Copeland
3 Posted 22/08/2021 at 20:21:11
Rob, thanks for the article, enjoyed it.

I am way back at 3 match credits, which if not for Covid-19 last season would be much higher. Needless to say, I am going to struggle to get to the away games.

But, I have managed to get my credits up in the past by getting to Southampton and Newcastle plus any midweek games in London or perhaps Norwich. A decent cup run or two would help also.

You never know, we may even get to meet at an away somewhere. Definitely up for Europe next season too!

Peter Mills
4 Posted 22/08/2021 at 20:33:11
Glad you had a good day, Rob.

Funny you should mention the rs traffic and car parking at Goodison. My son took his two young lads to get new kits from the club shop next to the ground, and couldn't get a space in the car park. It was full of Redshite cars.

He eventually parked, but the club nearly lost out on a sale of over £100 to a good Blue on account of allowing RedShite to park their vehicles. Not good.

John McFarlane Snr
6 Posted 22/08/2021 at 20:43:45
Hi Rob,

My away days are long gone but I used to enjoy going to away games, mainly in pre-hooligan times. Leeds United had (in what I suppose could be called their main stand) a great bar, it was almost like a pub.

It's nice to hear the version of someone who attended the game. I've always felt that being in the ground and experiencing the atmosphere beats watching it on television.

The TV followers see close-up action, although they may be closer to the action but (no pun intended) they don't see the full picture, thanks for your description of the game.

Brent Stephens
7 Posted 22/08/2021 at 20:46:50
Rob, do you tip the taxi driver?!

Rob, in case you happen to go by car next time, we came off at Junction 1, the junction before the one your coach took, went around and under the motorway as if taking a right, then took a sharp left a couple of hundred yards along (just after you pass a BP garage on the opposite side of road). That road curves round to the right, under railway bridge and immediately on your right is a car park on a steepish bit of reclaimed land. 3 minutes walk, past the cop shop, to the ground and just brilliant for a fast getaway – home by about 7:00.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 22/08/2021 at 20:49:53
Neil #3, make sure you get tickets for any home cup game (Carabao or FA Cup) as they count as well for credits.
Neil Copeland
9 Posted 22/08/2021 at 21:03:52
Brent, cheers. That’s where I really missed out last season with the 2 good cup runs and mainly home games. I will get there, just need to be patient and persevere.
David Pearl
10 Posted 22/08/2021 at 21:05:03
Well Rob, if you don't fancy doing any more match reports, you could just do some travel reports to and from the shops.

Those pesky RS will probably get in the way there too.

Len Gowing
11 Posted 22/08/2021 at 22:10:30
We managed to pick up a couple of tickets via ToffeeWeb for me and my son, who is a fanatical blue. We're season ticket holders for the last 9 years but can never acquire enough credits to get on the ladder... I digress.

We drove across in horrendous weather and had pre-booked parking at the Premier Inn at the motorway junction. A 10-minute walk to the ground. No aggro, with the odd conversation with locals. In the ground by 2:15, front row, next to the tunnel: perfect.

It never ceases to amaze me the different perspectives on a game... the atmosphere was probably as good as any throughout I've experienced. Even though we were criticised for poor support, the Leeds fans were certainly vocal, I thought we gave as good as we were given (Jimmy Saville chant excepted).

A walk to the ground with a blue from the Wirral who was meeting someone for a ticket, the discussion was around Rafa. He was the polar opposite to my opinion (though he did have youth on his side compared to me). If you were offered a manager who had won x, y & z, would you take him to only find out he was formerly RS? Me, 100%; him, nope.

After the offerings so far, as much as I loved Cool Carlo, give me Rafa's Revolution any day. So far.

Bill Watson
12 Posted 23/08/2021 at 12:46:13
I was parked in a huge free council car park across the road from the away end. Even at 2:30 there were loads of spare spaces. For some reason it's signposted Park and Ride! I was back in Huyton at 18:06!

The RS pay a season ticket thingy to use the Park End car park so don't knock it. lol

Bill Watson
13 Posted 23/08/2021 at 13:15:38
That posted before I'd finished!

As it was pissing down and parking is often a bit tricky around Elland Road I decided to follow the brown Park and Ride sign. We were getting closer and closer to the ground which I thought a bit odd (for the Ride bit). Eventually we arrived at a little roundabout and it was a left turn into a new dead end road. A huge newish council car park on the left and the Everton coaches and ground just across the road.

For anyone travelling to Brighton by car they have three excellent free park and rides which are all signposted and easy to find.

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 24/08/2021 at 00:57:50
Congratulations on being back on the road, Rob!
Darren Hind
15 Posted 24/08/2021 at 09:02:39

I hope you change your mind and makes this a regular feature.

Good read

Mark Murphy
16 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:44:58
Looking forward to Brighton away this weekend. Where's the Blues pub?
Martin Mason
17 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:53:24
Good article Rob and here's to Brighton next weekend. I live near Brighton but as I can't even get to many home games I have no chance of getting a ticket. Brighton 2 years ago cost me £300 for 3 of us
Neil Copeland
18 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:01:17
A mate has got me a ticket for Brighton yaaay! As much as I love going to GP, nothing quite like an away day with our fantastic support.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:06:39
Something to look forward to Neil, and hopefully you get to see a good performance after such a long treck!
Neil Copeland
20 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:41:42
Tony, cheers, can’t wait - like a kid in a sweet shop!
Brent Stephens
21 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:03:27
Enjoy the win, Neil!

And I assume the sweets will be Everton Mints!

Neil Copeland
22 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:06:16
Brent, you too.

The only sweets I ever eat😀

Rob Halligan
23 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:24:15
Brighton Rock, Brent!!
Brent Stephens
24 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:32:25
Halligan, you're on fire! How's the leg?
Dale Self
25 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:38:37
It's good to hear these views of the match day experience. Gives the distant ones something to consider beyond the tv frame.
Rob Halligan
26 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:57:04
It’s on fire, Brent. Throbbing like mad!
Andy Crooks
27 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:11:21
Rob, I love this stuff. One of my best mates is a Persian who has followed Newcastle Utd for 55 years. He has lived in Ireland for forty years but has often told me of his worst three football attendance experiences.
One, was going to Roker Park,soon after he got to the Uk, to support his team, in full Toon regalia, but managing to get a ticket with the home fans. He said it was as frightening as being a conscript in the Iranian Army.
The same thing happened away at Middleborough, but he was neutrally dressed, only revelling his identity when Newcastle scored.
The last and worst occurred here in Belfast. Way back, he went with a Glenavon fan to watch them play Linfield at Windsor Park. For some reason, I could, if pushed, hazard a guess why, the away fans were stood below the seated area where the more responsible home fans sat.
Linfield went one up, as was expected Against all expectations, plans etc, Glenavon equalized.
He recalls regaining consciousness in an ambulance outside the great. He was told that he had been struck on the back of the head with a turnip. This is true.
I guess that in those days getting a root vegetable into the ground was easy.
Anyway, Rob, and others what is the worst way experience you ever had?
Philip Bunting
28 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:40:34
Andy, as I follow Glenavon also that made me laugh.
Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 25/08/2021 at 23:15:07
Have to be Oxford, when we threw the league away Andy, especially because those bastards were playing at Leicester, and we started bumping into them on the way home.
Derek Knox
30 Posted 26/08/2021 at 02:11:49
Andy, had your mate been at Anfield he would have been hit with a Swede ! Or a Norwegian, or a ? The list is almost endless. :-)

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