Opponents: Leeds United
Date: Saturday 24 February
Post code for sat-nav: LS11 0ES
Built on a plot of land previously owned by Bentley’s Brewery – similar to Griffin Park’s origins – Elland Road started out life as the Old Peacock Ground, with Holbeck Rugby Club the first tenants in 1897.
Leeds City rented the stadium from 1904 and made their maiden appearance in the Football League a year later, before dissolving in 1919 due to extreme financial worries. As City folded, the stadium was saved from redevelopment by Yorkshire Amateurs, who assumed the tenancy before the newly-formed Leeds United purchased the freehold for a princely sum of £250 in 1920.
Sparked by a devastating fire in 1956 that caused £100,000 of damage, Elland Road underwent various extension works – including the 1974 erection of the largest floodlights in Europe - up until 1982 when Leeds sold the stadium to Leeds City Council for £2.5m. Several ambitious plans to liven up the surrounding area have since been scrapped, including former chairman Peter Risdale’s impressive plans to relocate the club to a site in Skelton
In conjunction with the upturn in the club’s fortunes over the past few years, Owner Andrea Radrizzani – who purchased Massimo Celino’s remaining shares in May – bought Elland Road last summer from Teak Trading for £20m to return operation of the stadium to the club.
For those who enjoy stadium trivia, Rugby League and Union fixtures are often hosted at Elland Road, while the club are able to pump their own water from wells situated under the West and North Stands. Fans may also be interested to find prominent statues of club legends Don Revie and Billy Bremner on the outer ring of the stadium.
Since their first trip to Yorkshire in March 1936, The Bees have played at Elland Road on 17 occasions, losing half of those ties and winning on just three occasions. Alex Pritchard netted the only goal the last time Brentford were victorious back in February 2015; their first victory at the ground for 68 years.
Brentford have been given an allocation of 1,487 tickets in the John Charles West Stand Upper. One of the season’s pricier trips, adults pay £39, seniors and young persons £26, 11 to 15-year-olds are £18, while an under-9s ticket costs £9.
Did you know?
Elland Road featured in two films over the last 10 years. The Damned United, starring Michael Sheen, was filmed in older parts of the stadium, while it also doubled as the old Wembley Stadium in the production of the Oscar-winning King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter.
How to get there:
Leave the M1 at Junction 43 and take the M621 towards Leeds City centre. Having passed the ground on your left, you will then need to leave at the next junction and turn left on to the A6110 ring road. Take the next left on to Elland Road for the stadium. Just as you go under a railway bridge, there are entrances on either side to a couple of large car parks controlled by Leeds City Council. Parking costs £6 for cars, £12 for mini-buses and £20 for coaches. Brentford fans should note that away fans are directed to Car Park A, which is usually an apt location should you desire a swift getaway following the full-time whistle.
Train journeys from King’s Cross to Leeds take between two-and-a-half and three hours each way, depending on the route supporters opt to take. At the time of writing, super off-peak tickets are £110.00 for adults and £55.00 for children, though two advance singles look more reasonable at around £58.00 and £29.00. Upon arrival, fans will be able to pick up the R2 matchday shuttle operated by First Leeds Buses, which departs from Sovereign Street, adjacent to the station, and costs £3 for adults and £1.50 for children and OAPs. Buses run frequently after the match and single tickets are priced at £2 for adults and £1 for children/OAPs. The club’s website also states that bus numbers 51, 52 and 55 travel from Leeds City centre, along Elland Road and stop outside of the ground, though bus stops are suspended outside the ground one hour before and one hour after a home match. Elland Road is also just 12 miles from Leeds Bradford airport for those who might wish to travel by air.
Where to eat/drink:
With the closest pub a brisk ten-minute walk away, perhaps the most convenient establishment for away fans to grab a pre-match pint is Howard’s Bar, nestled on the corner of the stadium’s South and West stands. Formerly a restaurant, Howard’s is a dedicated away fans bar and is open two hours before kick-off with the presentation of a valid away ticket. Drysalters pub, just off Crow Nest Lane, has a decent mix of both home and away supporters and shows Sky Sports before and after the game. Finding Drysalters requires fans to pass the Old Peacock pub, a staunch home supporters’ pub, which is not recommended for travelling support. In terms of food, a popular chip shop by the name of Graveley’s is situated a few doors down from the Old Peacock, while a McDonald’s outlet can be found opposite the East Stand.