There are so many reasons why we love going to match day, so we’ve compiled a list of the top football stadium atmospheres in the UK. We’ve assembled our list from reviews, general consensus and personal experience and have a fair spread across the UK football pyramid.
When it comes to live football, why do people love it? Is it the expensive pint at half-time that you queued for 10 mins for only to chin it, spill most down your front and miss the 47th min equaliser the boys have just scored? Is it the Bovril; hotter than the depths of hell meaning you cant taste your mums Sunday roast the next day due to 3rd degree burns of the mouth. Or is it just the pure joy of giving the away fans the wa**er sign as they quickly leave after your team scrape a 89th min winner in driving rain?
Comments below with your thoughts as we are open to discussion (Except for Arsenal fans – this is not a vote you can win)
5. The City Ground – Nottingham Forest
While Nottingham Forest may not be at the grand heights they once were during the 80’s, when they won back to back European cups, the city ground remains a lively stadium to watch football. You’re close to the pitch, there’s animosity between home and away fans, and an overall cracking atmosphere when the home fans get singing. The Hooters on the way back makes refuge for a disappointed pint or celebratory set of tequila shots from the waitress who claims she once came 4th in Miss Nottingham.
4. Anfield – Liverpool
Whilst you can’t mention the word ‘Anfield’ without someone saying “that ground is a fraud, it’s silent ’till they score” etc., it still certainly makes our top 5. Between goals it can sometimes go a little quiet and there can be a touch of nervousness, but these days there’s generally only about 8 minutes between either a Salah or Mane goal, meaning it’s bouncing for 90% of the match.
There’s nothing quite like that champions league evening roar from the Anfield crowd. Liverpool fans are seeing one of the best sides they’ve have ever had and that 12th man always seems to pull them through. With the new stand it holds over 54,000 scousers and away fans and, is an absolute beast when they all get singing!
Wild Card: Upton Park – West Ham
A ground that is unfortunately no more, but was worthy of a call out on our list. The Boleyn ground, or Upton Park, whichever you prefer, was one of the most intimidating grounds that graced both the Championship and the Premiership in recent years. You sat right on the pitch, had ‘forever blowing bubbles’ ringing in your ears and got the pleasure of standing next to massive blokes called Terry with flat peak caps on; Upton Park was one of the best places to watch football.
They haven’t yet been able to capture the old atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium with fans too far away, the running track circling the pitch dulling the buzz that you once always attached to West Ham United. There are plans for 20/21 season to bring the seats closer to the pitch, calls to change the board and big spending plans again may once again bring that Upton Park atmosphere back to West Ham.
3. Bramall Lane – Sheffield united
A ground and atmosphere that epitomises the Steel City in all its glory. Sheffield United are back in the big time and finally have a very good team to sing about again. The Lane somehow always manages to deliver great atmosphere, even if you catch a dreadful 0-0 draw with Gillingham in the cold Sheffield rain, you’ll find fans are still on their feet. The club still managed to pull in over 20,000 fans each week when they were in League 1, which says a lot about their loyal fan base!
An unbelievable pie and Bovril on arrival, and then you are met with the famous ‘Greasy Chip Butty’ song as they kick off. A lively atmosphere, positive feelings about the place and with Chris Wilder at the helm, they only seem to be going in one direction.
2. Fratton Park – Portsmouth
Another side that has fallen from grace somewhat in recent years, but is still regarded as one of THE great places to watch live football. ‘Play up Pompey’ reverberating around Fratton Park is a sight to behold, and despite having under 20k capacity, they could out-sing the Emirates and Old Trafford combined. It’s what we would describe as a ‘proper English ground’; 4 stands closely packed together, so close to the pitch you can feel the League 1 bone crunching challenges. Some top class boozers on the walk up to the ground and a massive buzz on match day… it sums up English football at its angry best!
1. Celtic Park – Glasgow Celtic
For anyone who knows anything about football, you know that the Old Firm Derby is one of the meanest, angriest and most passionate games you can find in the UK. And the Celtic faithful bring that atmosphere to every game at Celtic park. A 60,000 capacity, with every single one signing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is something that you have to experience, especially on a Champions League night. It was that atmosphere that pulled them through a 1-0 win against Barcelona with about 4% possession all night.
The Scots have a way of turning their Buckfast or Dragon Soup into raw aggression and passion throughout 90 mins at Celtic Park. A shout out too for an unbelievable city, with a true love and passion for football. Well worth a boozy weekend in the capital, centred around a day at Celtic Park.
So there you have it, my top 5 UK football stadium atmospheres. Obviously with such a contentious topic I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave your comments and recommendations down below!
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