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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 13:02 GMT
Your best and worst football grounds
Football anorak Peter Tomlins has visited 471 British football grounds, rating them on everything from their atmosphere to the quality of the pies.

What is your favourite football ground and why?

HAVE YOUR SAY

According to Peter Tomlins, Sunderland's Stadium of Light is the most impressive ground in Britain and the best pre-match pint can be supped at the ground of Conference side Stevenage Borough.

The 41-year-old has visited 471 football grounds throughout the country, and written a book charting his two decades of ground hopping.

Fans of Barnet may be horrified to hear that their Underhill ground is deemed the worst in the country, while Anfield is said to provide the best atmosphere and the wittiest chants.

The book, Tours Glorious Tours, focuses mainly on England and Wales, but Tomlins plans to pen a second book detailing his experiences on the Scottish scene.

What are the best and worst grounds that you've ever visited? Where have you had your best half time pie? And are Scouse fans really the funniest?

HAVE YOUR SAY


You're forgetting non-league grounds here! One of the best has to be Hyde United or Altrincham which are impressive for their lowly level and the worst is Frickley which is famous for its' slag heap which runs down one side of the ground and it has grass verges instead of terracing behind each goal!
Tom, England

Highbury would be up there for me. Its pitch-hugging stands give an intimacy to the game, especially on European nights. Easter Road (Edinburgh) and Dens (Dundee) are a joke.
Charles, Scotland


Stamford Bridge simply due to the stupidly expensive ticket prices
James Dolan, England

For good old fashioned South London "hospitalty" come to The Valley, home of Charlton. Loyal fans, great atmosphere, no prawn sandwiches and getting bigger all the time. Shame about the pies though - unless you like gristle and gravy!
Fergy, Dover, England

The worst ground I have been to has to be Wrexham's old ground or Stamford Bridge simply due to the stupidly expensive ticket prices. The best has to be Anfield which is pretty daunting for away teams.
James Dolan, England

Ever been to Luton? Don't bother.
Andy Brown, UK

For those of you who rave on and on about Sunderland, next time you visit why not go in the away section? It is the most cramped area underneath the stands, with abysmal catering and toilet facilities. Derby`s Pride Park is streets ahead as a whole, while White Hart Lane has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, and is probably the nicest looking stadium in England.
Ash, Chester, UK

I think that Old Trafford is the most intimidating stadium for refs but Anfield has the best atmosphere and history.
Andrew, England


The Stadium of Light is the most intimidating ground in the country
Sidney, UK
Although I don't support them, I think Sunderland's Stadium of Light is probably the best ground in the country (good view from anywhere, great pies) as long as you try not to talk to the supporters. For the worst ground, I'd have to say Hillsborough. For 18.00, you can get a seat too high to see anything, exits that are too small and a metal post obstructing the view of the opposition goal. Real value for money that was!
James Vukmirovic, England

For ambiance, I would say the Benfica stadium (especially when they play against Sporting, or Porto) is a great atmospheric place. Lansdowne road is good on its day and Croke Park also in Dublin is great on All-Ireland finals day. My local ground at FC Metz is OK and the grub is 'moyen' or OK, but not expensive. Would love to have meat pies here in France!
Tony Gartland, France

The Stadium of Light is the most intimidating ground in the country. Not because of aggressive fans but the due to the intense atmosphere and noise generated. As a visiting fan you know your team are in for a rough ride.
Sidney, UK

Further to Lee's comments, Filbert Street is a good ground as long as you don't want to go to the toilet, eat anything, place a bet or watch football.
John Wells, England


Although I'm a Ipswich fan, St James's Park is a cut above the rest
Nicholas Hollands, England

I think that it should really be divided in two - superstadia and normal stadia. Superstadia: Old Trafford and the Millenium Stadium are in the running, but I think that Stadium Australia comes out on top. Of the 'normal' sized stadia, I think that the JJB stadium in Wigan is fantastic.
Chris Gallagher, London, England

Millenium stadium - best ground, worst atmosphere (when wales play there at least). Ninian park - disgusting ground, unbelieveable atmosphere when things are going well, and very intimidating
Steve, Wales

The best ground has to be St James's Park, Newcastle. Although I'm a Ipswich fan, St James's Park is a cut above the rest.
Nicholas Hollands, England

Halifax might as well have set up shop in a garden centre, as that's the only place I can think of that has more corrugated iron. On the plus point, Tynecastle has some of the best pink tin I have ever seen.
Scottney, UK

The best atmosphere, without frightening the bejesus out of you, is definitely Partick Thistle. Ground is a bit of a tip just now, but the fans are great. As for Liverpool, if I hear "come on you reds" one more time...
Gordon, Scotland


Best opportunity for crowd participation - Stevenage, sadly
Ken, UK

The biggest dump has to be Falkirk's Brockville, which should have been closed as an insult to public health years ago. Falkirk deserve much better. Best ground I have been in this year was Hibernian's Easter Road for their match with Athens. What a brilliant atmosphere!
Andy, Scotland

Why is someone who's visited 400+ grounds and written about it automatically labelled an anorak? Anyway, he needs to add a new category - "best opportunity for crowd participation" - and sadly it seems we at Stevenage will also win that one :-( .
Ken, UK

Prenton Park, Home of Tranmere, is the best ground in the world, closely followed by little Shepshed Charterhouse and Brigg Town.
Mike, UK

I recently read the comments of another Liverpool fan hailing the more sedate atmosphere to found at Anfield these days. Unlike John, he was willing to forego the atmosphere of the 70s and 80s in favour of less hostility and a greater sense of sportsmanship between both players and fans.

Having myself frequently been at the receiving end of chants from the Scousers, both at home and away, I find it hard to agree that this is the best and most witty atmosphere football has to offer. Personally I think that football in general suffers from an overall lack of atmosphere and it's about time that we did something to address the issue.
Simon, UK


St Mirren's Love Street is a mixture of old and new with a lot of character
Miles Lambert, UK

Reading have a fantastic stadium and facilities at the Madjeski, but the finest in the UK has to go to the JJB in Wigan. Worst? Gay Meadow was really bad but Saltergate is the armpit of the 92! Why even build the stands facing the pitch? It was going to be an all seater but IKEA refused them credit due to 'financial irregularities'!
Mevs, USA

The best stadium in the world at the moment is probably the Millennium Stadium. I've been to the Nou Camp and Stadium Australia in Sydney but in all honesty Cardiff gets the vote. Croke Park in Dublin (home of Gaeliic football and hurling) will be up there among them when it's finished. By the way, despite its atmosphere, Lansdowne Road is a bloody kip.
Gareth, Ireland

Feetham's, the home of Darlington, has to be the worst ground. At half time, all the fans walk round the back of the main stand and watch from the other end. The Shay, and Bellevue, Doncaster have to be pretty bad too.
Miles Lambert, UK

St Mirren's Love Street is a mixture of old and new with a lot of character. Lanark United's Moor Park has a terrific setting and is amazingly quaint. Best pies: Queen of the South, East Fife and the meat and potato effort at Carlisle United.
David McVey, Scotland

The best ground is Old Trafford. The best atmosphere is The Valley of all the grounds I have visited. Unlike the rest of the newer grounds, this one has a good atmosphere!
Dave, Newcastle


The worst Premiership ground is Filbert St - thank God they're knocking it down
Lee, England

Has to be Griffin Park Brentford, with a pub on every corner. Why oh why does Ron Noades want to move the team away to the wastelands of Feltham?
Rick Makin, UK

The atmosphere at Hajduk Split's Poljud stadium in Croatia is hard to beat, especially when they're playing Dinamo Zagreb or a European fixture.

There are not many fans that can create an atmosphere quite like the Torcida. (Remember the atmoshere in Split when Goran won Wimbledon?)
Rob, Australia

Oriel Park home of Dundalk FC. Great stadium and the best fans.
Tom Smith, Ireland

The best ground in the country has to be Old Trafford. The worst Premiership ground is Filbert St - thank God they're knocking it down. Best European stadium is either the San Siro or Stade de France.
Lee, England


For atmosphere, look no further than the grounds of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Celtic and Rangers when they are involved in their infamous derbies
Martin, England
The worst stadium in the UK is Dundee's ground. It is home to a SPL team yet the stands don't go the length of the pitch, and when the games from Dundee are on TV, the camera is so low you would swear it was on the touchline. Although I have never been to Arsenal's ground if must say its more like a bus shelter than a football ground, but maybe it has a good atmosphere seeing that the crowd are right next to the touchline.

For the best stadiums in the UK I would say it would have to be Celtic Park and St James's Park for atmosphere and for the best looking stadium it would be the Millennium stadium. Hampden on the other hand is a disgrace, it is way to small for the support that Scotland have and the crowd aren't up and over the pitch like they are at Parkhead or the Millennium Stadium.
Liam, Scotland

Britain is blessed with some fantastic stadia, Cardiff, Old Trafford, Stadium of Light, Ibrox and Celtic Park to name but a few. I have been privileged to visit hundreds of grounds throughout Europe and the most important factor remains atmosphere.

For that, look no further than the grounds of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Celtic and Rangers when they are involved in their infamous derbies - awesome! Mind you Man Utd v Liverpool comes a close third. PS: I've never been inside Inverness Caledonian Thistles's ground, but for setting, it's hard to beat.
Martin, England


Best ground in the UK - without doubt the Millennium Stadium
Sarah, Manchester, UK

The worst ground I've ever visited must be Loftus Road (QPR). I sat behind the goal, top tier and couldn't see the goal below me. Can anyone tell me what I missed?
Andy, UK

Birmingham City has to have the best ground outside the Premiership.
Anthony, England

Best ground in the UK - without doubt the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Probably a lot of fans have not had the opportunity to visit yet, but it is fantastic. How stadiums should be, and for only 200m. Wembley (900m) take note!
Sarah, Manchester, UK

As a Liverpool fan and season ticket holder, I find it astonishing that we have been voted best atmosphere and wittiest chants! I suspect Peter is stuck in a time warp, reviewing the Anfield of the 70s and 80s. Today's Anfield is a different kettle of fish completely. At times you could hear a pin drop, the chants are incredibly unoriginal (oldies altered for different player names) and the only real song we have is You'll Never Walk Alone!
John, Liverpool, UK

Tynecastle in Edinburgh is a disgrace. The main stand is a shocker and the other three new stands are like something out of a scrapyard.
Garry, Scotland


Elland Road is a fine example of a British football ground and it will be hard to leave
Bekki, England

It's a toss up between Carlisle's Brunton Park and Bolton's Reebok Stadium. Both have wonderful fresh Northern air swirling around, both have seating, both have a beautiful green pitch, both have parking, both have a soccer team and both are at the opposite ends of the spectrum ...so to speak.
Wolfy, Australia

Well, I know that Leeds United's ground Elland Road doesn't rate very highly in the quality football grounds stakes, with a lack of facilities and also a lack of seating, but I would swear by the chicken balti pies!

Also, the Whites' ground has a lot of significance in football, having played host to some truly magnificent teams. It also pays tribute to the brilliant Billy Bremner with his statue, and has a plaque commemorating the two Leeds fans who died tragically in Turkey. Elland Road is a fine example of a British football ground and it will be hard to leave when the new stadium is finished.
Bekki, England

I think that Old Trafford is by far the best. I thought Villa Park was pretty bad for a Premiership side.
Anne, UK

Notwithstanding the impressive qualities of the seating arrangement at Upton Park, a lot is left to be desired by the beverages on offer and the general facilities. White Hart Lane is an altogether better package and one which West Ham should aspire to reach.
Paul Elliott, England


My day at The Stadium Of Light left me brimming with excitement, what an atmosphere
Lee Richardson, England

You guys should try visiting some grounds in New Zealand. Our national soccer stadium is half-surrounded by grass banks instead of seats. So when we held the U-17 World Cup a couple of years ago, half of the ground had to be closed because of Fifa all-seater regulations. As for the atmosphere, don't get me started...
Andrew Stevenson, New Zealand

The most impressive ground must be home of Wycombe's Adams Park. A verital feast of gay abandon for all and sundry. The worst I have been to is Brechin City, much too rough and intimidating.
John Symonds, England

As a fanatical football fan and judge I regularly frequent stadiums in the north of England and my day at The Stadium Of Light left me brimming with excitement, what an atmosphere is whipped up. The burgers were great - I had five!
Lee Richardson, England

Not a British stadium but without doubt the Stadio Olimpico, home of the mighty Roma and the much less mighty Lazio. Plenty of room, flares and atmosphere. Instead of sickly pies and garbage you get capuccino and ice-cream...fantastico!
Benni, Scotland


The St James' Park of Exeter City has to be the worst
Alan, England

Of all the grounds I have visited, the worst would have to be Saltergate, Chesterfield. It was a dump! It looked like it would fall over if you touched it. The facilities were terrible as well. The best ground would have to be Sixfields, Northampton.
Phil Harper, England

I am extremely sad that Arsenal are leaving their historic Highbury home - in my opinion the last of the great traditional English grounds. If only the modern architects had the wit and vision to replicate the majesty and symmetry of its East and West stands, instead of forcing these nondescript plastic spaceships upon us (a la the Riverside and St Mary's).
Greg Lawrie, England

I've visited some pretty terrible grounds but Oxford United's old Manor Ground would have to rank as the worse. The best? Well I was quite impressed with Huddersfield's McAlpine stadium.
Rob, England

My vote goes to Parkhead (aka Paradise), home to Celtic FC. The atmosphere is just unbelievable, and the facilities are up with the best.
Gary Turley, Ireland

After several visits I have to say that Selhurst Park is terrible. Apart from the main stand you sit on wooden benches with pillars obscuring the view. Why Wimbledon chose to ground share there is a mystery.
Charlie, France

The St James' Park of Exeter City has to be the worst. To describe it as a badly maintained toilet does not do it justice. The old Stamford Bridge has to be the best, but being a Chelsea fan I suppose I'm a bit biased.
Alan, England

By far the greatest ground in the UK is the 'The Lawn' - home of Forest Green Rovers. Atmosphere, passion, Tony Daley, what more do you want? New site for Wembley: look no further.
Matt Higgins, UK


Hampden Park is a national disgrace
Mac, Scotland

The Madejski Stadium in Reading is the best I have ever visited. As for the worst, I seem to remember Maine Road being a bit if a dump.
Ben Colbeck, UK

The Hearts ground has to be the worst in football. Their cheap tin bus-shelter-like stands, painted pink for some reason. On the other hand, Sunderland's ground is by miles the best ground I have ever been in and Celtic Park comes a close second.
Gary Armstrong, Scotland

Yet more perpetuation of the myth of Scouse wit. Personally, I find them the most miserable bunch of all. But the worst ground of all must surely be Elland Road, as it has so many Leeds fans enclosed in it.
Ron, England

Hampden Park is a national disgrace.
Mac, Scotland

Out of all the grounds I've visited the home of Swindon town has to be the best! Its shed like stands offer an insight into the countryside that surrounds it!
David, UK

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