This season, Prostate Cancer UK is the Official Charity Partner
of The Football League. We're working together with clubs to wake
up the nation to a disease that kills 10,000 British men every year
- a number that's rising at an alarming rate.
To raise funds and awareness of our cause, a trio of
inspirational football fans - Scott Mclachlan, Rowan Staszkiewicz
and David Annand - have undertaken three
unique challenges involving trips to some of England's
famous football stadiums.
In their honour, we asked football writer Iain MacIntosh to play
tourist guide and pick his favourite away trips in England. The
result? A rundown of the nation's quirkiest football venues.
Check out our ultimate away trip - an end-of-season
fundraising cycle to Amsterdam. And read on for Iain's top
Off the wall: Michael Jackson's statue at the Cottage. Photo courtesy of Action Images
Are you man enough for Blundell Park? Located just a wild
clearance from the Cleethorpes coastline, this creaky 115-year-old
venue is wide open to the biting cold of the North Sea breeze. In
the winter, when the wind gets up, stewards are authorised to use
blowtorches to free frozen away supporters from their seats. That
last bit might not actually be true.
They get a raw deal, the locals at the DW Stadium. Constantly
criticised for the size of their following, people ignore the fact
that they were a non-league club until 1978 and they're surrounded
by the giants of the north-west. Compensation, however, comes with
a warm pastry crust. Wigan's pies are the best in the country. Get
We're all for maximising matchday revenues, but only Kenilworth
Road has devoted an entire side of the stadium to corporate boxes.
There are also places where you can see into people's houses, if
you like that sort of thing. True story: Luton, and 21 other clubs,
resigned from the Football League in 1992 to join the Premier
League. However, Luton were relegated from the top flight the
season before the Premier League started, and have never
Why don't they build all football stadiums like this? Griffin Park
is the only stadium in England with a pub at every corner of the
ground. The Princess Royal, the Griffin, the Royal Oak and the New
Inn all battle for supremacy, but why not spread the love? Take in
two before the game and two after full-time. Anything else is just
It's not just that it's a statue of Michael Jackson - a man with
absolutely no link to Fulham FC save for his fleeting friendship
with owner Mohamed Al Fayed. It's that it's such an awful statue.
It looks a giant, obscure Star Wars toy from the early 80s.
Fulham's fans were not amused. "They can go to hell," said an
See it before they close it at the end of the season, as Underhill
is one of English football's most charming stadiums. They've done
their best to reduce the Battle of Hastings-style slope on the
pitch, but it's still very noticeable that one team has the
advantage of playing downhill in the second half. Barnet move to
Edgware this summer. Sigh.
There are few things more disconcerting than the sight of an
enormous container ship looming over you, especially if you're
trying to take a corner. Canvey Island's Park Lane home lies in the
Thames Estuary and, worryingly, sits several feet below sea level.
Granted, the views are lovely, but you wouldn't want to be there
during a storm surge.
There are many reasons to visit Newcastle: the St James' Park
atmosphere, the nightlife, the boozy bonhomie. But if you've got
time to spare before kick-off, you have to check out The Back Page
bookshop near the stadium. After the demise of London's
Sportspages, TBP is arguably the nation's finest independent
football bookshop. You can't fail to find a hidden gem here.
Have we missed off your favourite quirky stadium? What
makes it unique? Tell us in the comments section below or tweet
@ProstateUK using #Awaydays