Away Days - Fulham

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- Facilities -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Fulham V Blackburn Rovers
Competition: Barclays Premiership
Ground: Craven Cottage
Date: Saturday 5th March 2011
Kick off: 3.00pm
Final Result: 3-2

First Impressions

With an overwhelming desire to get as many more grounds ticked off this year as I could and the increasing unlikelihood that North End would play an away game at Fulham in the near future, I decided to get this ground ticked off. I decided to make a weekend of it so spent three nights in London starting on the Friday night before the game.

After settling at my hotel in Chiswick, I decided to go for a wander and to try and find my bearings for the match the day after. I hopped on the tube to Earls Court and then another one towards Putney Bridge, where I got off. At first, I had to work out for myself which way to go and after a little consultation with Google Maps on my phone, I was soon heading in the right direction.

I opted to take the 'Thames Walk' and i'm glad I did. With the sun setting, it allowed me to take some great photos and I thought the area looked stunning. There was construction work going on in the park, but that was certainly of no bother.

After a 15/20 minute walk, I soon came across the ground and my first image was of the Putney End. There was nothing particularly special about the stand, but at least it was just a big wall of steel sheeting. The best was yet to come though as I made my way to Stevenage Road and the Johnny Haynes Stand. This stand just simply oozes character and so does the cottage in the corner as well as the turnstiles. My first thought was 'this is a proper football ground'.

I then made my way to the other end (Hammersmith End) and took more photos round there too. Again, the turnstiles here just oozed character - no doubt when you go through these that you just know you're attending a football match (if you catch my drift).

Around the ground

As said above, I had already been round the ground on the Friday evening, mainly so I could find my bearings and find out which way to get to the ground on the day of the match. I've more or less explained the outside of the ground but i'll expand a little further before talking about the inside of the ground.

On the day of the match, I decided to get there a bit early so I could pick up my ticket and take in more of my surroundings. After picking up my ticket, I made my way to the club shop - just nestled in the Johnny Haynes Stand towards the Hammersmith End. I know this sounds strange, but I felt the club shop was quite 'poky' and cosy in a way! The only downside was that, because it was matchday and a number of people about, it was quite cramped.

Afterwards, I went and bought a programme, as I usually do, and made my way into the ground. I felt it was quite a shame that they had a catering bar and a rather 'crappy' extension in front of the cottage, but that was only one of very few negative notes.

I took in the second half of the Birmingham City Vs West Brom game on one of the tv's and then made my way to my seat, which was easy enough to find. I had a great view from here and could certainly judge the rest of the ground. To my left was the Riverside Stand which looked a smart, modern stand (albeit a bit small when compared to most other stands at Premiership grounds). At the opposite end was the Hammersmith End which was very similar in appearance to the Putney End, except it had executive boxes to either side. Finally, to my right was the Johnny Haynes Stand and the cottage. As I said about the exterior of this stand, it just simply had lots of character and I particularly liked the gable. With the cottage, again this just has loads of character and is obviously a unique feature of the ground. The balcony area reminded me of a cricket pavilion.


The concourse area was more like an 'area' rather than an actual concourse. The stand only stretched so far back so part of the area was uncovered as well as the sides which would be unable to shelter fans from the rain. Luckily for me though, the weather was forecast as just overcast skies.

The toilets were a bit of a pain I thought. Just the one door for the entrance & exit which ended up being a problem at full time - it was a bit of a tight squeeze to get out that's for sure!

As for the catering, this was somewhat of a disappointment. I ended up having to queue for ages despite actually going down a couple of minutes before half time. In the end I only got a bag of crisps - I was going to get a burger but I saw one that someone else had bought and it looked rather crappy!

The Stand

It was quite a strange experience sitting in this stand. The stand is shared between a mixture of away fans, Fulham fans and neutral fans. Although the majority of away fans were situated at the far end, there was quite a number of other Blackburn fans dotted around the rest of the stand. It seemed a strange situation when the goals were scored.

Anyway, I thought the view from the stand was brilliant. Luckily I had picked a seat that was well in front of the supporting pillar so I had an unobstructed view. The legroom was ok - a little bit tight but enough room to let people past without being 'squashed' against my seat.

The 'steps' of the stand were a tad weird, but this was what I expected since on the whole, the stand is actually a 'temporary' structure.


I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Whilst attending games as a neutral is a somewhat strange and different experience than to watching North End, it has to be done so I can notch up my ground count. Its certainly not a bad experience though - at least I didn't have to worry about the result!

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is one of the best grounds i've ever visited. Granted, it has some little negative points such as the facilities (nowhere near the worst though), I thought the ground was certainly a 'proper' football ground and a great place to watch football from. As i've mentioned numerous times already, the ground is full of character and really stands out from some of the dull stadiums out there.

Was I glad I made the choice to tick this ground off? Most definitely and I thoroughly recommend a visit.


Appearance: 10/10
Facilities: 7/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Fans: 9/10
Away Stand: 8/10

Overall: 9/10


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player