125 London Road,
First Visit: Macclesfield Town 1-Colchester United 1 (16/02/2019)
Latest Visit: Macclesfield Town 0-Morecambe 1 (20/08/2019)
The Warm-Up for Macclesfield Town v Colchester United in February 2019, taken from The Silk FM Stand and looking out towards the Henshaw's Stand (left) and the Silkmen Terrace (right).
The saying goes that ‘you should never judge a book by its cover’, and Moss Rose fits that bill very well. Don’t jump to conclusions about this place until you’ve seen it fully both inside and out.
Built way back in 1891, it has been the home of Macclesfield Town Football Club ever since.
The Silkmen left their previous home Victoria Road and moved to Moss Rose on 12th September during the same season that they became members of The Combination’s second incarnation, which was a League for teams primarily from northwest England, the Midlands and Wales.
The now defunct club Chester City played Football League home matches here between 1990 and 1992 as they completed their relocation from Sealand Road to the Deva Stadium. Macclesfield Town would finally play their first Football League fixtures at Moss Rose in 1997.
Location and Getting There
The ground is situated alongside London Road (A523), around 1 mile south of Macclesfield Town Centre. There is a retail park a little south of the stadium along London Road and part of the River Bollin runs out to the East across a set of fields.
Parking for free can normally be done either in the nearby retail park, along London Road, or in the residential area west of the ground.
Macclesfield Train Station is close to the Town Centre and walking from there can take around 25 minutes. An alternative option is to walk to the nearby Bus Station and take the number 9 Moss Rose Circular service, getting off at one of the stops close to the football ground.
Outside the Stadium
The stand closest to London Road is The Silk FM Stand on the east side of the ground, which is sometimes known instead as the Main Stand or London Road Stand. Its exterior is made up of a combination of brickwork and blue corrugated iron, and you can find the entrance for directors, players and officials towards the centre, with a small purchase-only ticket office close by.
The turnstiles into The Silk FM Stand are down a small ramp in the southeast corner.
The South Stand is better known as the Star Lane Terrace after the road that runs far out beyond it. Mulberry Court is right out the back of the stand and as a result you are unable to walk alongside its exterior, which is made up mostly of blue corrugated iron.
Getting to the stand’s turnstiles requires you to head along Moss Lane on the western side of the stadium, and you can find the Star Lane Terrace entrances in the southwest corner.
The West Stand is better known for sponsorship reasons as the Henshaw’s Stand. It takes its name from Macclesfield’s biggest private waste recyclers which is owned by Joe Henshaw.
You can walk along the whole of its exterior, which has a lower half made of brickwork and a top half made of grey iron. Entrances to the Joe Henshaw Suite are in the very centre, and over towards the northwest corner are doors leading to the Macclesfield Town Foundation, club shop and main ticket office.
You can find the Henshaw’s Stand turnstiles to the right of the Joe Henshaw Suite entrance, and also in Moss Rose’s northwest corner.
The North Stand is better known as the Silkmen Terrace. It is easily the smallest of the four stands at Moss Rose, and its exterior is made up mostly of brickwork and metal fences, with advertising boards held up above for those outside the ground to see.
Turnstiles into the Silkmen Terrace can be found in the middle of the blue brickwork wall, which has murals and large silhouettes also decorated on it. The area immediately outside the stand is used as the stadium’s main car park, though it is not very large.
In the northeast corner of Moss Rose is a brick building that holds not only the away ticket office but also the Silkmen Café. It offers hot breakfast and brunch items to away fans which they can either eat inside the café or inside the ground itself. It’s a really nice touch from Macclesfield Town towards fans who travel hundreds of miles every week from all corners of the country to support their team.
Inside the Stadium
The Silk FM Stand is divided into two tiers. The bottom tier runs along the whole length of the stand and is made up entirely of standing terrace, which is almost completely uncovered. The upper tier runs along just the central third of the pitch and is all-seater. Most of the seats are red whilst a couple of rows down the front are coloured black. Macclesfield’s press boxes are up at the very back of this seating area.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the seating area’s roof and there are windshields on either side which completely cover every row.
The club’s changing rooms are based inside The Silk FM Stand with the two dugouts down the front, one much larger than the other, and the stadium’s tunnel is to one side of the upper tier seating area.
It is worth remembering that if you choose to go in The Silk FM terrace, there is a good chance you won't have a roof over your head.
The Star Lane Terrace is divided into two sections. Down at the front are a few blocks of blue seating, with a row of metal bars behind them. The area above here is standing terrace, and it means that fans can either sit or stand in the Star Lane Terrace during the game.
Your view from either section is perfectly clear as the seats are down the front and there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof, but there are no windshields at either end of the stand, so the wind can get in from the sides.
The Henshaw’s Stand is the most modern-looking of the four at Moss Rose. It is made up of a single tier of blue seating with a row of executive boxes up along the back. The gantry holding the matchday camera hangs off the back wall above these executive boxes. Spelt out in white across the Henshaw’s Stand seating blocks is the Adidas Logo, the letters MTFC and a barque. The back two rows towards the middle of the stand are coloured red as they are executive seats from the Henshaw’s Suite inside.
Your view of the pitch is perfectly clear from any seat inside the stand as there are no supporting pillars coming down, though there are no windshields at either end.
The Silkmen Terrace is a single tier of standing terrace. There are three rows of metal bars running across the stand which fans can lean on, but the most noticeable thing about the Silkmen Terrace is the fact there is no roof overhead. The standing area is completely uncovered with just a small blue wall in place on the sides and at the back.
On cold matchdays, you can guarantee that the Silkmen Terrace is the worst place to be at Moss Rose, though a large part of The Silk FM terrace is not too far behind it.
The location of away fans depends on the size of the travelling allocation.
When crowds are small, Macclesfield keep the Silkmen Terrace closed and house away fans in the northwest blocks of the Henshaw’s Stand, with stewards used to segregate this seating area from any home fans sat in the rest of the stand.
The Silkmen Terrace is opened when large crowds are expected, which usually comes in local derbies or cup ties against higher division sides. The same blocks in the Henshaw’s Stand are still available, but most of the large away crowds are packed into the uncovered standing terrace behind the north goal, and you will feel the cold and the rain if it is present.
Be sure to bring your coat if you’re coming to see a game here, and do make use of the Silkmen Café as well!
Moss Rose is certainly not the best stadium you will find the England, but it certainly isn’t the worst either. It doesn’t look great from the outside but the most important part of a football ground is what it is like inside, and Moss Rose is perfectly fine. I have been to stadiums that fit over 30,000 people and have more supporting pillars in the way than here. The west side of the ground is very good and modern, and the seat/standing combination of the ground’s south side is nice.
It is admittedly not the greatest place to be during the winter months, but certainly worth checking out nonetheless.