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Address: Meadow Lane,
Capacity: 20,229 (All-Seater)
A nostalgic stadium that serves as the home of the oldest professional football club on the planet.
Built in 1910, Notts County Football Club have played here ever since.
Prior to moving, The Magpies played matches at Trent Bridge, which they jointly shared with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. After cricket took priority there, the football club were forced to play games at other grounds so as to avoid clashing.
It didn’t take long until The Football League deemed this inappropriate and demanded that Notts County either negotiate a better deal at Trent Bridge or relocate to an entirely new home. Land was bought near the cattle market on the north side of the River Trent and the first form of Meadow Lane was quickly built there. Part of the construction process involved floating an entire temporary stand from Trent Bridge across the river to the other bank.
Notts County’s first game at Meadow Lane was a 1-1 with city rivals Nottingham Forest on 3rd September 1910.
Alongside The Magpies, the stadium has played host to several Forest games on a couple of occasions. The first came following flooding from the River Trent that left the City Ground in an unplayable condition. The second came in 1986 after a fire had destroyed the stadium’s Main Stand.
Nottingham Rugby Football Club used Meadow Lane between 2006 and 2014, whilst the now defunct Notts County Ladies Football Club called the stadium home between 2014 and 2017.
Location and Getting There
Meadow Lane gets its name from the road (also known as the A6011) that runs alongside its South Stand.
It is based less than 200 metres from the north bank of the River Trent, and approximately one mile southeast of Nottingham City Centre. It is surrounded by numerous warehouses with the A60 running close to its western side.
The City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest Football Club, is located on the opposite bank of the River Trent and can be clearly seen from around Meadow Lane’s southern side. The two grounds are the closest professional football stadiums in England, with little more than 400 metres in distance between one centre-circle and the other.
The two closest professional stadiums in the UK however are Dens Park and Tannadice Park, home of Scottish pair Dundee Football Club and Dundee United Football Club respectively.
Given Meadow Lane’s good location with Nottingham, getting there by car is not too difficult.
You won’t find both Notts County and Nottingham Forest playing home matches on the same day, so parking around the City Ground for a Meadow Lane game should be possible. All you will need to do is take either the A60 bridge or Lady Bay bridge across the River Trent and head along Meadow Lane till you reach the ground. Parking on the north side of the river should also be possible though.
The stadium has a good number of parking spaces around its exterior, and you may be able to find free parking spaces in the warehousing estate to the east.
Nottingham Train Station is to the northwest of the ground and walking from there to Meadow Lane can take less than 15 minutes.
The route is also incredibly simple as you head first along Queen’s Road, and then along London Road (A60), turning off at either Cattle Market Road or Meadow Lane depending on which stand your seat is in.
Outside the Stadium
If you turn off London Road onto Cattle Market Road, the first part of Meadow Lane you will come to is the North Stand, which is better known as the Kop.
The exterior here is very simple in design, consisting mostly of grey corrugated iron, with two vertical yellow lines, the Notts County club crest and the letters NOTTS COUNTY FOOTBALL CLUB spelt out across the upper section.
The Kop is on higher ground than the area immediately outside of it, which is one of the stadium’s paid car parks. To get into here, vehicles need to use the gate along Iremonger Road.
Fans enter the Kop through one of two sets of turnstiles. These are either the northwest set based off Iremonger Road (turnstiles 42-47), or the northeast set off County Road (turnstiles 32-39 + the cash ticket turnstiles).
Make sure to get a good look at your ticket so you know exactly which turnstile you need, as it is a fairly long walk back round if you go the wrong way.
Heading in a clockwise direction down County Road (A6011) brings you to the East Stand, which is named after Jimmy Sirrel.
Born in Glasgow on 2nd February 1922, Sirrel managed Notts County across three different spells between 1969 and 1987, taking The Magpies from the old Fourth Division (now League Two) to the old First Division (now the Premier League) during his first two spells in charge.
Regarded as a Notts County legend, Sirrel passed away on 25th September 2008 at the age of 86.
The Jimmy Sirrel Stand’s design is very similar to the adjacent Kop. It uses a brickwork base with grey corrugated iron its upper parts. A row of black poles allows the stand’s upper section to hang over the area below, and you can also find two yellow vertical lines and the letters NOTTS COUNTY FOOTBALL CLUB made out towards the top.
Turnstiles into the Jimmy Sirrel Stand (21-31) are spread across the brickwork base.
The South Stand has been known as The Haydn Green Family Stand since 2007. It is named after the man who saved Notts County from liquidation in 2003 after buying the lease on the ground and providing a significant investment to the club.
The exterior of The Haydn Green Family Stand is made up mostly of brickwork, sandy-coloured at the base with a darker brown shade higher up. Black corrugated iron is also in place right at the very top.
The entrance to The Broken Wheelbarrow Bar is based towards the middle of the stand’s exterior. It is regularly open to home supporters on a matchday.
The bar’s name comes from one of Notts County’s most famous chants about a wheelbarrow which had its wheel fall off. Where the chant originates from is not entirely clear but is believed to be from a game against Shrewsbury Town at Gay Meadow in 1990. Shrewsbury fans started to sing a song that went to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey” by Burl Ives. Notts County fans were unable to decipher the words because of the Shropshire accent, and came up with a nonsensical version in response, “I Had A Wheelbarrow, The Wheel Fell Off.” The lyrics are completely meaningless, but since Notts County came back from 2-0 down to draw that game 2-2, and ended up earning back-to-back promotions afterwards, the Wheelbarrow Chant has become synonymous with Magpies fan culture.
Next to the entrance for The Broken Wheelbarrow is the Notts County Football In The Community office, with the Main Ticket Office, Executive Box Entrances and Official Club Store over towards the southwest corner.
Turnstiles into The Haydn Green Family Stand itself (11-20) are based in the southeast corner of Meadow Lane.
A short distance away from the southwest corner along Meadow Lane is a statue of Jimmy Sirrel and his assistant manager Jack Wheeler, regarded as the greatest management team in Notts County’s history.
Wheeler was born near Evesham on 13th July 1919. A goalkeeper at Cheltenham Town, Birmingham City Huddersfield Town and Kettering Town, he would work multiple roles at Notts County between 1957 and 1983, never missed a first team game.
The sculpture outside Meadow Lane is designed to replicate an image of Sirrel and Wheeler sat in the Meadow Lane dugout, and involves the pair of them on a large bench with the plinth underneath reading ‘Legends of the Lane’ alongside the names of the 1,400 people who donated funds to help erect it.
The West Stand is the Main Stand at Meadow Lane. It is named after Derek Pavis who was chairman of Notts County between June 1987 and October 1999.
The stand’s exterior consists of a brickwork base with glass windows and grey corrugated iron higher up. The letters NOTTS COUNTY are spelt out towards the top and there is a tall brick tower at either end. You can find the Main Reception along with the Players’ and Officials’ Entrances in the very centre.
To get to this stand’s exterior, you either need to have a permit that allows you to enter through the black gates and park outside of it, or have a ticket for the stand which allows you through the turnstiles that are based in both the northwest and southwest corners of the ground. The northwest turnstiles (48-51) are off Iremonger Road and the southwest turnstiles (1-10) are off Meadow Lane.
Inside the Stadium
The Kop consists of two tiers of black seating with the lower level twice the size of the tier above. The letters NOTTS are spelt out in yellow across the upper tier blocks, and the letters COUNTY FC are spelt out in yellow along the very bottom of the lower tier.
Two supporting pillars come down from the roof above. These may restrict your view slightly if you are sat towards the middle of the upper tier, but should not get in your way at all if you are sat at either end of the stand or in the blocks at the front of the lower tier.
Windshields at either end of the Kop cover the entire upper tier and the top half of the lower tier, with just black fences in place to provide protection for those sat towards the front.
The Jimmy Sirrel Stand consists of two tiers of black seating.
The upper level is much larger than the one below, but you can freely get between the two of them. The letters MAGPIES are spelt out in yellow across the upper tier blocks, and each letter has a sliver of white seating in place that gives them a 3D effect.
The view from inside the Jimmy Sirrel Stand is almost perfectly clear, albeit for a row of small pillars that come down at the back. If you are in the back rows of any block, these will likely restrict your view, though not by very much.
Windshields cover every row in the upper tier, but there are only black fences in place to provide protection for those sat at either end of the lower tier.
The Haydn Green Family Stand is the smallest of the four at Meadow Lane, consisting of a single tier of black seating with a row of executive boxes up at the back and the Stadium Control Box based next to the southwest corner. The letters NCFC are spelt out in yellow across the central blocks, and a sliver of white seating is used to give each letter a 3D effect.
Two large pillars come down along the central yellow staircase, which also has a metal bar running down it as the stand used to be split between home and away supporters on a matchday. There is a slight chance that either one or both of these two supporting pillars could restrict your view slightly if you are sat in the middle of the stand, particularly in the rows up at the back. The rest of The Haydn Green Family Stand however has a perfectly clear view of the pitch, with large windshields that cover all but the very front rows at either end.
The stand also has a large electronic screen attached to its roof that can only be seen by supporters on the other three sides of the stadium.
The Derek Pavis Stand is the largest of the four at Meadow Lane.
It is technically divided into two tiers, though you can very easily get between them. The three innermost blocks are made up of black seats, with the block either side of here made of yellow seating. Inside these yellow blocks are two magpies, the same ones which feature on the Notts County club crest, made out of black and white seating. The rest of the Derek Pavis Stand blocks at either end are coloured black.
The stand’s executive seating area, including the directors’ box, press boxes and matchday camera gantry, is based towards the back of the middle blocks.
Right down at the front is Meadow Lane’s tunnel and dugouts, with the changing rooms based inside.
The view from inside the Derek Pavis Stand is almost perfectly clear, albeit for a row of small pillars that come down at the back. If you are in the back rows of any block, these will likely restrict your view, though not by very much.
Large windshields at either end cover all but the very front rows, with just black fences in place for those sat right at the front.
Away fans are not housed behind the goal. They are instead kept in the Jimmy Sirrel Stand, with a certain amount of blocks given to them depending on how big the travelling crowd is set to be.
Small followings are typically given only a couple of blocks starting from the southeast corner, with larger crowds taking up more of the stand. Stewards and large sheets are then used to segregate these away fans from any home supporters sat in the rest of the stand.
Away fans are also normally kept away from the lower tier blocks down the front of the stand, so as to keep them away from the pitch on a matchday.
The lower tier blocks will only be made available on occasions when Meadow Lane is expected to have a sell-out crowd.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Brewhouse and Kitchen (Trent Bridge, NG2 2GS) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located south of Meadow Lane itself)
-The Broken Wheelbarrow outside the Haydn Green Family Stand (Home Supporters Only)
-Hooters (Hicking Building, London Road, NG2 3AS) (Home and Away Supporters) (The UK's only Edition of the American Sports Bar Chain that is known for its Chicken Wings and Waitresses)
-The Southbank Bar (18 Friar Lane, NG1 6DQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Nottingham)
-The Trent Bridge Inn (2 Radcliffe Road, NG2 6AA) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located very close to Trent Bridge Cricket Ground)
-The Trent Navigation Inn (17 Meadow Lane, NG2 3HS) (Typically Home and Away Supporters, can be different for High-Profile Games) (Located near Meadow Lane itself)
-The Vat and Fiddle (12 Queensbridge Road, NG2 1NB) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near to Nottingham Station)
-Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (1 Brewhouse Yard, NG1 6AD) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Located near to Nottingham Station and Nottingham Castle)
There’s a lot of proud history in Meadow Lane, and that is reflected on both the inside and outside of its four stands.
The ground has a very nice balance to it, with no one stand towering over the rest, and the design is relatively consistent the whole way around.
Views inside aren’t perfectly clear from every single seat, but any supporting pillars present will not provide too great a restriction, and it is certainly possible to avoid them altogether.
Well located within Nottingham, Meadow Lane possesses everything you would want from a modern day professional football ground, with a little more nostalgic charm added for good measure.
You definitely need to see the World’s oldest professional football club play here.
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