Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Our day at the King Power stadium

Visiting the King Power stadium was always going to be high on my wish list as soon as I knew that AFC Bournemouth would be in the Championship this season. I had lived in Leicester for three years between 1988-91 when I was at university and I had not been back since. For Robert and Stephen it would be their first visit and we started out early getting to Newport Pagnall services in an short time before finding our way to Leicester and parking near Victoria Park, where I guessed it might still be free to park, midway between the town centre and the football stadium. A bit of local knowledge always helps.
At Newport Pagnall. Which way is Leicester boys?
Shame I can't send the boys away here for three years yet!
I claimed the fountain in front of the Town Hall for AFCB.
We had just as many stand sellers wishing us luck as those
wanting AFCB to lose. I get the feeling their were some Forest fans there.
We visited the local museum in New Walk where there were some
great dinosaurs, but we did not have the time to hunt out Richard III.
We walked into town to see how much it had changed wince my days there and enjoyed the new High Cross shopping centre which was massive. Having had a bite to eat and walking back to the car we collected our gear and walked to the King Power stadium for the game.

As we approached, two stewards came up to us and asked if Robert and Stephen would like to go down the player's tunnel and come out with the teams on to the pitch to lead them out. Not a bad freebie! Of course the boys were overjoyed to receive such a gift and hastily took the tickets with massive grins on their faces.

They won't invite you back if you misbehave like that in the shop boys! They might be
pointed the other way if they had AFCB on them and were painted red I suppose.
Robert and Stephen and the other lucky children get to line up with the teams.

If you have not seen it already this is the clip from 
Fox player that shows the teams getting ready to come out
led by the mascots and including 
Robert & Stephen
(with Steve Cook and Harry Arter) - lucky devils!

The stadium is one of the most modern in the Championship being built in 2002 and we had a great time looking in the club shop, picking up a free bit of pizza, from the brand that is supporting Championship football this year, and we took in the atmosphere with plenty of Cherry supporters packed into the corner of the ground on our left.

Out they come on to the pitch.
We were seated in the Mixed Family zone and the whole day was a special FA 'Respect' day which we hope we contributed towards. This seating was a trial area where families of both teams could sit for reduced ticket prices. I paid just £20 for an adult ticket and £5 and £3 for my two boys. That was the same as just the adult ticket price for an away fan sitting with the Bournemouth fans. While I would say it would have been better to be with our own fans in terms of singing and enjoying any goals, we had a better view with so many children instead of adults sitting on front of us and we were sat closer to the pitch than the Bournemouth fans.

Glad to see know one tripped up.
It was a bit of a flag frenzy. 
Steve Cook acknowledges the Bournemouth supporters.
Robert and Stephen had their big moment leading out the AFC Bournemouth team. They held on to the hands of Harry Arter and Stephen Cook, respectfully. I was a proud dad, but a bit gutted it wasn't me out there.
Wow, listen to the crowd roar and the trumpets blazing out boys.
Stephen is definitely enjoying the walk.
Arter looks in determined mood, next to Robert.
The boys proudly wear the Respect T-shirts.

AFCB mascots talk with Simon Francis.
While Bournemouth could not get the win we so wanted, it was a good match with plenty of incident. Perhaps Elliott Ward had wished there had been a few less incidents, but sometimes you can be unlucky as a defender and Elliott did not have his best day at the office. Pugh's goal was amazing though and we jumped up and down while all the Leicester City fans sat like statues around us - quite a weired feeling.

I have to say the stewards at the ground were some of the best I have spoken to in all my time in going to games. They went out of their way to make sure everyone had a good day and they were always smiling. As an away fan it is these little things that make you want to revisit grounds and the Leicester City staff were excellent.


  1. I went to a Watford v Doncaster game back around '77 with a Doncaster supporter and a Brizzle Rovers supporter and we were standing in a kind of mixed / family area.
    0-1 for Doncaster, we celebrated with our friend.
    1-1 - disappointment.
    2-1 - more of the same.
    3-1 - at this point some old geezer (probably younger than me now) asked if we minded if they celebrated Watford goals. Amazing.
    4-1 - lots of celebrations around us
    5-1 - more of the same. Oh well.

  2. I like your story. That is really funny. When Leicester ended up winning the game I have to say that they were very good and most of them said that Bournemouth played well and they were impressed with the support we brought. It's easy to smile though when your team wins.