Address: Bramall Lane,
Capacity: 32,050 (All-Seater)
Some grounds are so packed into a city they become a key part of its landscape. Bramall Lane is one of those that typifies exactly what makes English football so iconic, and why this stadium is recognised worldwide.
First opened way back in 1855, it has been the home of Sheffield United Football Club since their formation in 1889. During that time it has also been the home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and was used for football matches by both Sheffield Football Club and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
It is the oldest major stadium in the World that is still hosting professional association football games, and one of only two grounds, the other being The Oval in London, to host an England football international, an England cricket test match, and a FA Cup Final.
Location and Getting There
Bramall Lane is located right within the heart of Sheffield, just one mile south of the city centre. Being so well placed within the city gives the ground a fantastic community feel which you just don’t get with stadiums on the outskirts. It’s the major attraction to a lot of the locals and one of the main landmarks within the South Yorkshire city.
Sheffield train station is around a 20 minute walk northeast of the ground, and coming by car is also possible, though you’ll likely find yourself having to park a fair way from the ground.
I’ve found luck personally with spaces around Cutlers View and Arbourthorne which are both southeast of the ground, but have very steep roads so be careful going both up and down them as you make your way to and from the match.
The club’s Main Car Park is directly south of the ground for those who need and want to be close once they arrive.
Outside the Stadium
Everything about Bramall Lane’s exterior is designed to showcase the proud history of Sheffield United. The phrase ‘Forged In Steel’, a reference to Sheffield’s ties with the steel industry, is littered around the walls of the stadium.
The East Stand is known as the Kop and is a short distance from Shoreham Street which runs outside it.
In the space between the stand and the road is a car park, while the gates to the Kop are along a brick wall that runs around the stadium's perimeter.
Fans who enter the turnstiles from here are not immediately in the stand’s concourse and do have a couple of staircases to get up first, but you can clearly see the roof of the Kop from Shoreham Street, where SHEFFIELD UNITED F.C. is spelt out in big white letters.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the South Stand, named after Tony Currie. It is still known to some fans however as the Laver Stand after a long-term sponsor from the 1990s.
Born in Edgware on 1st January 1950, Currie was a midfielder who played more than 370 times for the Blades between 1968 and 1976, scoring more than 60 goals.
Capped 17 times by England, scoring three International goals, Tony Currie is considered one of Sheffield United's greatest ever players.
The Tony Currie Stand is the Main Stand at Bramall Lane, housing the club’s Ticket Office in the centre and Club Superstore on the right hand side. The Players' and Officials' Entrances are also here. THE BLADES is spelt out in black lettering across this stand’s exterior, which is made up of alternating red and white panels that resemble the same design as Sheffield United’s home kit.
A car park is immediately in front of this stand, and there are two statues outside, one of Joe Shaw, who made a record 714 appearances for Sheffield United between 1945 and 1966, and Derek Dooley, the club’s former chairman.
Slightly beyond the southwest corner is the Copthorne Hotel Sheffield which is regularly used by guests who have travelled long distances for the game.
There is also a restaurant inside here called 18Fifty5, in reference to the year the stadium was built.
The Bramall Lane Stand on the west side of the ground is named after the road that runs right alongside it.
This stand has part of the stadium’s cantilever roof along the top, with the letters FORGED IN STEEL spelt out just below, and a pair of crossed blades which also appear on the Sheffield United club crest.
Turnstiles into the Bramall Lane Stand are spread along the base, which is part brickwork and part red corrugated iron.
Blades Enterprise Centre, a block of rentable offices, is located in the northwest corner between Bramall Lane (A621) and John Street.
Continuing round from here brings you to the John Street Stand, so named because of the road outside of it.
The exterior here has a very nice brickwork design to it, holding executive entrances and turnstiles along its base.
Inside the Stadium
The Kop consists of just a single tier.
Most of the seats inside are red, with the letters SUFC spelt out in white across the middle four blocks.
Four large pillars come down towards the front of the stand, and these will restrict your view, particularly if you are one of the unlucky people that gets given a seat directly behind each pillar.
Given however that some of the Blades’ most passionate supporters chose this stand, it’s the best place to go for atmosphere on a matchday.
The Tony Currie Stand is also single-tiered, with the club’s dugouts, tunnel and changing rooms all located inside.
Seating is once again mostly red, with black executive seating blocks in the very centre of the stand. Two large cutlasses are made out of white seating, one on either side of the executive seats, and the gantry which holds the matchday camera hangs overhead.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof so your view from inside here is perfectly clear.
The northeast corner between the Kop and the Tony Currie Stand is the only open part of the stadium, and with windshields only going part way down each stand, any fans sat in the front rows here can be left exposed to the elements on cold or wet days.
The Bramall Lane Stand is the only one of the four to be made up of two tiers.
The upper tier is larger than the bottom, with the letters BLADES spelt out in white along these blocks. The upper tier continues round as part of the Westfield Heath Stand in the southwest corner of Bramall Lane, but there is no lower tier here and it is therefore separate from the Tony Currie Stand.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the Bramall Lane Stand roof, and your view from most of the stand is very clear as a result.
The John Street Stand is single-tiered, and there are two rows of executive boxes stacked on top of one another at the very back.
The letters BLADES are spelt out in white amongst the red seating blocks, with a sliver of black seating used alongside the letters to give them a 3D effect. The double blade which appears on their Sheffield United club crest is also made up of white seats, positioned between the A and D in the centre of the stand.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof and so your view from anywhere inside the John Street Stand is perfectly clear.
The northwest corner contains a couple of blocks of red seating and is considered separate from the John Street Stand next to it.
There are no pillars coming down from the northwest corner's roof, although one of the pillars in the nearby Kop may slightly restrict your view depending on where you are sat.
There is an electronic TV screen in the southeast corner between the Bramall Lane Stand and John Street Stand, whilst there is also an electronic scoreboard and clock right above the Bramall Lane Stand's lower tier, which can only be seen by fans in other parts of the stadium.
Away fans are put behind the goal in the lower tier of the Bramall Lane Stand, with home fans in the tier above and in the stands on either side.
A large red net hangs above this bottom tier to prevent objects from being potentially thrown at the away fans positioned below, though this net can restrict your view slightly if you are in the seats at the back of the bottom tier. Generally though, the view from down here is very good and well protected from the sides.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The 1855 Bar (Bramall Lane, S2 4SU) (Home Supporters Only) (Located within the Copthorne Hotel Sheffield Building and the 18Fifty5 Restaurant)
-The Beer Engine (17 Cemetery Road, S11 8FJ) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Globe (54 Howard Street, S1 2LX) (Popular with Away Supporters)
-The Golden Lion (69 Alderson Road, S2 4UB) (Home Supporters Only)
-The Sheaf House Hotel (329 Bramall Lane, S2 4RH) (Home Supporters Only)
-The Sheaf Island (Ecclesall Road, S11 8HW) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters)
*Pubs close to Bramall Lane tend to be for home supporters only.
Bramall Lane is what many would call a ‘proper English football ground’. A nostalgic venue in an iconic football city, Sheffield United fans will always love their stadium, and English football just wouldn’t be the same if Bramall Lane wasn’t around for other people to love as well.
If someone ever asked me where to go for the perfect experience of the English game, Bramall Lane is definitely the place I would send them.