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Address: Park Avenue,
Capacity: 5,327 (2,701 Seated)
Certainly not as famous as its namesake and definitely not as big, Highbury Stadium is nonetheless a decent little football ground which feels at home alongside other lower league stadiums in England.
Opened in 1939, it has been the home of Fleetwood Town Football Club ever since, though the club has since gone through two reformations, the first in 1977 and then again in 1998.
The name Highbury is perhaps better associated with the former home of Arsenal Football Club, who now play at the Emirates Stadium. This Highbury Stadium however gets its name from Highbury Avenue which runs out beyond the west side of the ground.
A speedway team called Fleetwood Flyers was based at Highbury Stadium between 1948 and 1952, whilst Blackpool’s reserve team also used the ground for fixtures between 2006 and 2014.
Location and Getting There
Highbury Stadium is located on the southwest corner of Memorial Park, around 0.5 miles east of Fleetwood Town Centre. The Fylde Coast is little more than one mile to the west of the ground, and heading due east brings you to the Fleetwood Haven Marina.
Getting to Highbury Stadium by car is certainly easier than by rail.
The ground itself has a very limited number of car parking spaces outside its Main Stand but you should be able to find free parking on the nearby streets, leaving you just a short walk away.
Radcliffe Road next to the tram line should offer spaces for vehicles to park along.
Speaking of trams, this is your best way of getting to the ground via public transport.
The closest railway station is Poulton le Fylde, but I would recommend continuing along the line to Blackpool North, which is served by Avanti West Coast and Northern Rail services.
Blackpool North is around seven miles south of Highbury Stadium, but from here you can walk over to the coast and get on the Blackpool Tramway, continuing all the way to the Stanley Road Stop which is less than 5 minutes walk from the ground.
The journey from Blackpool North to Highbury Stadium via this route will take about 45 minutes in total.
Outside the Ground
Highbury Stadium is packed into a residential area and you are unable to walk the entire way around the ground’s vicinity. The entrance to the Main Stand, known as the Parkside Stand on the east side of the ground, is on the corner between Park Avenue and Nelson Road.
The Parkside Stand is easily the largest part of the football ground and has a very nice modern exterior made out of large metal panels with some sections painted red, all underneath a curved metal roof. The Main Reception Entrance is in the centre, whilst Fleetwood Town’s Club Shop and Main Ticket Office can be found to the left of here. Private parking is located outside the stand.
Turnstiles into the Parkside Stand can be found in two separate locations. Turnstiles 1-2 (for away supporters) are based to the left of the Ticket Office and a Ticket Collection Booth. Turnstiles 3-4 (for home supporters) are located further along the stand. You will need to head out of the gates and along the footpath by a large field.
There are a handful of car parking spaces over by the southeast corner and outside the Main Reception Entrance.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the South Stand, named after Percy Ronson who is regarded as one of Fleetwood Town’s greatest ever players.
The stand doesn’t run along the entire side of the pitch and you cannot walk along the back of it as there are houses directly outside.
The turnstiles leading into the Percy Ronson Stand (1-3) are on the southwest corner between Highbury Avenue and Hatfield Avenue.
The Percy Ronson Kiosk for tickets is immediately to the right of these turnstiles. To the left is the Highbury Sports & Social Club, a private members-only club and not open for away fans.
On the west side of Highbury Stadium is the Highbury Stand, so named after the road that runs out beyond the back of it.
Access to this side of Highbury Stadium comes from an access road off Highbury Avenue, a little away from the ground's northwest corner. Heading through gates brings you into the Highbury Stand car park and allows you to see the exterior of the stand. It is a simple corrugated iron exterior, but the remnants of the of the old stand still sits in place behind it.
Turnstiles for the Highbury Stand (T1-2) are at the ground's northwest corner and before the green gates that lead into the Highbury car park.
The Memorial Stand on the north side of the ground is named in honour of those who lost their lives in service to their country and the trawlermen lost at sea from the port of Fleetwood.
Its entrance is along Highbury Avenue and to get here from the Parkside Stand requires you to take the footpath along the edge of Memorial Park and then round the back of the Memorial Stand to the turnstiles in the northwest corner (T3-5). These turnstiles are immediately to the left of the Highbury Stand turnstiles.
The Memorial Stand is smaller than the Parkside Stand but still has a modern look to it. Its outermost parts are formed from grey corrugated iron, its central parts protruding further outwards and made from both light grey and dark grey panels. The eastern end of this panelled section houses the Red & Whites Player's/Guest Lounge (this is Passes Only) and requires you to have already passed through the stand's turnstiles.
The main feature of the Memorial Stand however is Jim's Bar, often open to both home and away supporters on a matchday. It is located through a green perimeter fence on the western side of the stand's exterior. There will be plenty of signs around to show you where you need to go to reach it.
Inside the Ground
The Main Stand is all-seater and divided into two tiers.
The main seating area is down the bottom, made up mostly of red seating with the letters FTFC spelt out in white, and an additional sliver of black seating to give each letter a 3D effect. The upper level is made up of a couple of rows of executive seating with boxes out behind the back of them.
Fleetwood’s changing rooms, dugouts and tunnel can all be found in this stand, and with no supporting pillars coming down from the curved metal roof, your view of the pitch is perfectly clear from any seat.
Neither side of the stand has windshields, although the curved roof does help to divert the rain away from the seats below.
The Percy Ronson Stand is the smallest of the four.
It is a single tier of standing terrace with two rows of metal barriers for fans to lean on, and a very plain wall at the back.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof and so your view is perfectly clear from anywhere inside.
A small wall protects one side of the stand but the other side is completely open to the elements.
The Percy Ronson Stand covers less than two thirds of the width of the pitch, with the rest of this side taken up by a small area that serves food and drink for the fans based here. Toilets for this stand are next to the social club, and up above this is a large electronic scoreboard.
The Highbury Stand is made up of a single tier of red seating, with a small row of disabled seating down the front.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof. and so your view from anywhere inside the Highbury Stand is perfectly clear.
A large windshield covers every row on one side of the stand, but the side next to the Highbury Sports and Social Club is completely open. Any wind or rain can get into part of the seating area through here.
It is worth remembering that this stand only runs halfway along the length of the pitch, with the social club taking up the rest of the space.
The Memorial Stand is made up entirely of standing terrace. There are two rows of metal barriers running across that fans can lean on, and right at the back is a row of windows that those in Jim’s Bar can look out of.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the flat roof above, and large windshields protect fans from the elements at either end of the stand.
Expect Fleetwood’s most vocal fans to be in here on a matchday.
Away fans are housed mostly behind the goal in the Percy Ronson Stand, but are also given a couple of blocks in the Parkside Stand next to the southeast corner.
Those stood in the Percy Ronson Stand are already segregated from home supporters whilst Fleetwood use large sheets and stewards where necessary to divide the home and away fans sat in the Parkside Stand.
When smaller away crowds are expected, the Percy Ronson Stand is closed and away supporters are based exclusively in the Parkside Stand seating blocks.
My first trip to Highbury Stadium was as an away supporter on the coldest night I have ever experienced at a football match. Torrential rain and strong winds battered the football ground all game long, and the small group of us who braved the cold to go were huddled together along the very back row of the Percy Ronson Stand, trying as desperately as we could to stay warm.
There was no chance that any of us would wait outside in this weather for food and Fleetwood kindly allowed us to use the inner concourse in the Parkside Stand for refreshments, which was underneath the away blocks that some fans had bought tickets for.
Looking back, I wish I’d done the same as them.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-Jim's Bar (Highbury Stadium, FY7 7DR) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located at the back of the Memorial Stand)
-The Highbury Soccer Social Club (Highbury Avenue, FY7 7DR) (Home Supporters Only)
-Queens (Poulton Road, FY7 6TF) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Strawberry Gardens (Poulton Road, FY7 6TF) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Thomas Drummond (London Street, FY7 6JE) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters)
Highbury Stadium is certainly small, and not all of the area around the pitch is taken up by terrace or seating, but the ground as a whole is very good.
Your view of the pitch is perfectly clear from any stand and the Parkside Stand to the east has a very nice, modern design to it.
It’s unlikely to be one of the top football ground you will visit in the England but is perfectly suitable for watching football and one that you’ll be able to find very few things to complain about.
All I hope is that you get better weather for your first game here than I did!
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