Oldham Athletic

SportsDirect.com Park

Capacity: 13,500 (all seated)
Address: Boundary Park, Oldham, OL1 2PA
Telephone: 0161 624 4972
Fax: 0161 627 5915
Ticket Office: 0161 785 5150
Pitch Size: 106 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Latics
Year Ground Opened: 1906
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: PFE Express Ltd
Kit Manufacturer: Sondico
Home Kit: Blue With White Trim
Away Kit: Tangerine and Blue

North Stand
North Stand
Looking Towards The Jimmy Frizzell Stand
Looking Towards The Jimmy Frizzell Stand
George Hill (Main) Stand
George Hill (Main) Stand
North and Jimmy Frizzell Stands
North and Jimmy Frizzell Stands
Looking Towards The ZenOffice Stand
Looking Towards The ZenOffice Stand
Jimmy Frizzell Stand
Jimmy Frizzell Stand
ZenOfice Stand
ZenOfice Stand
Away Turnstiles & Back Of Main Stand
Away Turnstiles & Back Of Main Stand
External View
External View

The look of Boundary Park has been greatly enhanced with the opening of the new North Stand on one side of the ground. Following the demolition of the former Boundary Stand in 2008, the ground had only been comprised of three sides until construction of the new stand commenced in 2014. The new stand is pretty smart looking both inside and out, and is of a good size, being the tallest at the stadium. It has a single tier of seating that comprises 2,340 seats. Above this area is a large panelled back wall that encompasses corporate hospitality areas, club offices and exhibition space. This is all located below a slightly curved roof that has two large windshields to either side.

At one end is the comparatively new Jimmy Frizzell Stand, which is named after a former Oldham player and manager. This is a good sized all seater covered stand which enjoys excellent views of the pitch. It has windshields to either side and an electric scoreboard on its roof. During 2015 some additional seating was installed in this stand, filling a gap that had been previously placed there to separate home and away sections. The other end, the ZenOffice Stand (also known as the 'Chaddy End'), is a medium sized all seater covered stand, that houses the away supporters. Again there are windshields to either side, but the elderly nature of this stand is apparent from the supporting pillars running across the front of it. On one side there is the old two-tiered George Hill Main Stand. This used to have terracing in front, but has since been filled with seating. There is still some old unused terracing on one side of this stand. The ground also benefits from four large traditional floodlight pylons, leaving the visitor in no doubt that this is a football ground.

In 2014 Boundary Park was renamed the SportsDirect.com Park, in a five year corporate sponsorship deal.

Away fans are housed in the ZenOffice Stand (Chaddy Road End) at one end of the ground. This stand has a capacity of around 3,750 fans. This is the opposite end to where the away fans have been housed for many years and has caused some upset with some Oldham supporters, as this was always seen as the traditional 'Home' end.  Although covered, the ZenOffice Stand does have a number of supporting pillars running across the front of it, which could impede your view of the action. If you get chance, make sure to try one of the pies; Cottage, Steak & Pepper, plus Cheese & Potato (all £3). Some fans reckon that this is the best part of a visit to Boundary Park! Make sure you wrap up well though as the location of Boundary Park on the edge of the Pennines, means that it always seems to be cold, with a biting wind that goes right through you. Generally a friendly day out.

The closest pub is the Clayton Green, which is a Brewers Fayre outlet and can be found two hundred yards from the corner of the Main Stand and the Chaddy End, on Sheepfoot Lane. There is also the Greyhound pub, which is across Broadway down Holden Fold Lane.

Chippy Lees, an exiled Latics fans in Cornwall, recommends the following; 'The Old Grey Mare on Rochdale Road is worth a visit. If you walk to the top of Sheepfoot Lane and turn left at the newspaper shop, the pub is about 100 yards down the road on the right. There's a varied selection of beers available, and again a warm welcome is assured. Further down on the right is The White Hart'. 

Alcohol is also sold to away fans inside the ground, albeit from a separate kiosk to food.

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Leave the M62 at Junction 20 and take the A627(M) towards Oldham. Take the second slip road off the A627(M) following the signs for Royton (A663). At the top of the slip road you will find a large roundabout that on the left has a McDonalds and a KFC. Take the second exit onto the A627 towards Oldham/Oldham Royal Hospital. After passing a Vauxhall Garage and Clayton Green Brewers Fayre pub (which is used by away fans), turn left at the traffic lights. Follow the road around to the right and with the B&Q store in front of you, bear left onto Westhulme Way which leads into Westhulme Avenue. You will then reach on the right an entrance to the Oldham Royal Hospital where matchday parking is available at a cost of £3, otherwise continue along to the end of the road to reach Boundary Park. Please note that parking at the ground itself is for permit holders only.

Post Code for SAT NAV: OL1 2PA

Home Fans*
George Hill Main Stand (Upper): Adults £20, OAP's £10, Under 16's £10
George Hill Main Stand (Lower): Adults £18, OAP's £10, Under 16's £10
North Stand: Adults Adults £20, OAP's £10, Under 16's £10
Jimmy Frizzell Stand (Rochdale Road End): Adults £20, OAP's £10, Under 16's £10 
Jimmy Frizzell  Stand (Family Area): Adults £20, OAP's £10, Under 16's £10, Under 12's £5

Away Fans* 
ZenOffice (Chadderton Road) Stand: Adults £20, OAP's £10, Under 16's £10

* Please note that these ticket prices are for those purchased before matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game can cost up to £4 more per adult ticket and £2 extra, per concession ticket. Under 16's and Under 12's ticket prices remain unaffected..

Students can also qualify for a concessionary price, providing that they first become club members.

Official Programme £3

Manchester United, Manchester City, Stockport, Bury & Rochdale.

Oldham Athletic FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

47,671 v Sheffield Wednesday FA Cup 5th Round, January 25th, 1930.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

13,171 v Manchester City FA Cup 3rd Round, January 8th, 2005.

Average Attendance
2016-2017: 4,514 (League One)
2015-2016: 4,551 (League One)
2014-2015: 4,349 (League One)

If you require hotel accommodation in the Oldham or Manchester area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Oldham and Manchester Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Oldham Athletic v Oxford United
Football League One
Saturday 5th August 2017, 3pm
Rob Pickett (Oxford United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Boundary Park?
 
Boundary Park was a new ground for me and a relatively short-ish journey from Sheffield. It was also a nice pleasant day and the first game of the season.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Oldham's ground is a fairly short journey from the M60 and easy to find. I parked up at the Brewers Fayre pub near Boundary Park for a beer. 
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Had a beer at the Brewers Fayre pub. It was very busy, but we chatted to a couple of Oldham fans outside for a while. Should have had a quick bite to eat there.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then the other sides of Boundary Park?
 
Boundary Park is an older ground with one new redeveloped stand. If full it would generate some atmosphere. Oxford bought over 1,000 fans. Our view of the game in the away end was partially obstructed by some roof supporting stanchions.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
There was only one catering stand, and hence huge queues developed and it then ran out of food! Poor management by Oldham. An enjoyable game from Oxford's perspective with a 2-0 win and some decent flowing football. Plenty to work on, but our first win at Boundary Park was worth it.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It was straightforward enough, got to the car and were away in just over five minutes.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A decent win for Oxford to start the season with optimism. If I go again will bring my own sandwiches next time!

Oldham Athletic v Bolton Wanderers
Football League One
Saturday 15th April 2017, 12.30pm
Anthony (Bolton Wanderers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Boundary Park?

It was another big game for Bolton as we try to get out of League One at the first time of asking.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I travelled from down south where I live, so got into Manchester Piccadilly station, before making the short walk to Piccadilly Gardens, where I picked up the 182 bus which is a bit of a ride, but at least takes you within walking distance of Boundary Park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

An early kick off meant I couldn't be bothered with alcohol, but I did go past a Brewers Fayre pub that I probably would normally have gone in. In the end, I just went straight into the ground.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Boundary Park?

I have been to Boundary Park before, but it's a right throwback from the outside, like something from a Lowry painting. Inside the away stand (we had the Jimmy Frizzell Stand) It was fine if a bit old, the new stand to the right looks very nice.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

It was a poor game. Bolton lost 1-0 on a rubbish pitch in windy conditions. We hit the bar twice and had a further two efforts cleared off the line. With more Bolton fans there than Oldham fans, we created most of the atmosphere, although there were some 'ultras' down the other end. Stewarding was fine, it was there and visible but relaxed and there seemed to b e no problems. I had a burger which was edible, but the concourse facilities are poor. If you want alcohol and food, you need to go to two different kiosks, and the queues for them and space was rubbish, especially with the size of our following. Boundary Park has it's own microclimate too, it was cold for April!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I got the bus back to Manchester. It was a bit of a wait, not helped of course by the traffic trying to get away. If this is the way you're going to get back to Manchester, and are travelling onwards by train, don't book one within an hour and a half of the match finishing.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I've had better. The early kickoff time and poor game were mainly to blame. Boundary Park is okay but takes a while to get to and from Manchester.

Oldham Athletic v Fleetwood Town
Football League One
Saturday 8th April 2017, 3pm
Christopher (Fleetwood Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Boundary Park?

Oldham Athletic was the last of the football league Mancunian teams for me to cross off and with it being the last away day of the season we could feasibly make, the three of us decided to go. The only snag was Boundary Park is a ground where we have yet to win, or even pick up a point.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We booked on to one of the later coaches provided by the club which set off at 12:15. It was hot and stuffy on the coach but fortunately the journey wasn`t a long one. Took us just over an hour to get there via the M6, the M61 and the M60. You're virtually at the ground once you come off the A road going to Oldham so it's easy to find.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

On recommendation, we made for a Brewers Fayre pub near to the away end. It's easy to get to and the Oldham club officials outside the ground were all helpful in pointing the way. The pub was packed full of Fleetwood and Oldham fans, all getting along fine. We spoke to a bouncer who said he`d had to turn a few Fleetwood fans away who had had a bit too much to drink but there were no problems when we were there. After the pub we made for the stadium and had a quick drink in the open concourse outside before going in. The home fans who we met were some of the friendliest I`ve ever met. All were very welcoming and we're happy to engage with us in conversation. There was never any hint of trouble.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Boundary Park?

From the outside, Boundary Park doesn`t look all that great. The new stand is nice from the outside but the rest all looked a bit shabby. But through the turnstiles, Boundary Park is one of the best grounds I`ve ever been to. It's a lovely ground with four quality stands, each in their own way. Both end stands are huge and can help generate good atmosphere, the new Main Stand looks brilliant and the old Main Stand is very characterful. Unusually the concourse for away fans was outdoors which was great on a baking hot day like the day was but I suspect it would be less pleasant in the rain or cold. Boundary Park oozes character and is a far cry away from the modern bowl stadiums. The only downsides were the speakers inside our stand and the scoreboards being on the bottom of the electronic board holdings but it was not enough to fault the whole stadium.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game from a Fleetwood perspective was awful and we deservedly got beat 2-0 (Still no point there for us). We barely had a sniff on what is a difficult pitch to play on. Atmosphere wise it was fantastic from both sets of fans. We sang virtually non-stop for the first half and in the second, Oldham fans got behind their team with all three home stands were generating a large volume of noise. We kept up the chanting too even though there wasn`t much to sing about on the pitch. The stewards were very tolerant considering what they had to deal with in the last 20 minutes or so. Aside from the usual banter with the fans, five smoke bombs were set off from our end which is not something I can say that I`m particularly pleased about. In fact it was embarrassing from my point of view. Nevertheless the stewards never got physical and kept calm and collected which is to their credit. Facilities-wise Boundary Park again didn't disappoint. The three of us all had food at the ground and all agreed that the food was very good. And the toilets look to be in good condition as well.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Unlike my previous two away days, getting away from the ground this time was a doddle. The coaches were waiting for us in the car park and we set off after about three minutes. We were well underway by the time the Grand National was on the radio and the horse I backed fell at the first fence! The coach ride back took less than an hour.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

As mentioned before, Oldham was the last of the Mancunian Football League teams for me to visit and the phrase "Always save the best til last" couldn`t be more appropriate. Apart from the result and the smoke bombs, this away day was up there with the best I`ve ever been on and certainly the best in this part of the world in my opinion. Boundary Park is a lovely stadium, welcoming home fans and a great atmosphere throughout. If we do not get promoted this season, I can at least look forward to another trip to Boundary Park next season. And hopefully in the near future we can break our hoodoo there and make it an even better away day.

Oldham Athletic v Doncaster Rovers
Football League One
Monday 28th December 2015, 3pm
Jordan Halls Doncaster Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Boundary Park?  

Since I would probably be missing the big boxing day game (at home v Scunthorpe) due to the whole 'see all the relatives at Christmas', I decided this game the Monday after would be a good trade off.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

The journey was rather easy, with the ground being two minutes away from the M62, and the stewards parked us in the stadium car park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

Near the ground is a small complex which included a Brewers Fayre, which welcomed both sets of fans, although hearing the conversation between the bouncers they didn't want too many. Drinks were decent price and home fans kept to themselves, but atmosphere seemed friendly enough.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Boundary Park?    

Nice to see an 'old' looking traditional ground instead of the modern bowl style. The new stand looks well built, but sad to see it looks more for commercial purposes than actual fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

Pies were decent price but some were sold out when I got there, long queue so could do with more kiosks. Trouble with stewards at beginning of both halves but can't really comment as not sure why it happened/wasn't involved. Plenty of away fans so made plenty of noise, especially since we were 2-0 up by half time. Home end had a section of active support called the 'Athleticos', but they were rather muted which considering their league position it's understandable.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Bit of traffic in car park but easy enough to get away.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

First away day when I saw the rovers win (2-1)and 2 goals for Andy Williams on his way to player of the month. A good laugh and wouldn't mind the chance to go again next season.

Oldham Athletic v Sheffield United
League One
Tuesday, April 29th 2014, 7.45pm
Dominic Bicketon (Stoke City fan and Doing the 92)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

It's always good to tick another ground off the list and I was looking forward to this one because Boundary Park has an old school feel to it, with the Main Stand and Chaddy Road End especially oozing character. I was also looking forward to it as I had bought my better half to this match (she actually drove us there!), so it would be her first experience of a more old fashioned stadium.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Our journey was a very simple one and the post code provided on this site lead us straight to the club's car park, however it did take us some time to get into the car park as you have to weave through a housing estate to get the ground. We paid £5 to park and then made our way to collect our tickets.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We arrived fairly close to kick off, so we made our way straight to the Chaddy Road End and took our seats. Both sets of fans mingled outside the ground before kick off and there were no signs of trouble.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground currently looks quite strange as you can see straight into it from the club car park, although the new stand is beginning to take shape. Naturally, it diminishes the experience of Boundary Park, but this will be resolved once the stand is completed. The Rochdale Road away end seems to be a fairly modern and neat looking stand, and the Main Stand is a very old two tiered affair with some uncovered seating. The Chaddy Road home end is again an old fashioned stand with supporting pillars and a very low hanging roof at the front. This does mean that you get quite a poor view from the back of this stand, as you can only just see the crossbar of the goal on the other side of the pitch. The Chaddy Road stand was also quite cold due to a gap between the back wall and the roof, which invited the wind to come through.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Despite thinking that this match would be a nothing game between two teams with their future in League One secured, it was quite a lively game and started with Oldham looking the most dangerous, the Latics coming close to scoring several times in the early stages. They deservedly went 1-0 up when James Wilson nodded in Connor Brown's corner on 17 minutes. Conor Coady had the ball in the net for the visitors five minutes before half time but had his goal ruled out for being offside. Oldham went in 1-0 to the good at half time and were good value for their lead.

The second half was a different story as the Blades looked to get back into the game and, after hitting the woodwork and wasting several chances, they got an 84th minute equaliser. Ex-Oldham man Chris Porter, who came on as a sub to a chorus of boos and abuse, was picked out in the box and tapped home from close range. The game became a somewhat scrappy contest in the dying minutes and eventually ran out a draw, which was probably a fair result.

The atmosphere at Boundary Park was what I consider to be the only real negative of my visit. Sadly, the home fans have a singing section with a drummer. I have never been of the opinion that instruments make for a better atmosphere at football, in fact I find that they tend to have the exact opposite effect and often drown out the sound of any real atmosphere between the two sets of fans. It didn't help that the Oldham fans had no variety in what they chanted/drummed and the 10-15 minute long (this is no exaggeration) renditions of the Great Escape theme and 'Lee Johnson's Blue and White Army' were extremely irritating to the point where I felt like leaving. I would highly recommend that if you're of the same opinion as me towards drums, then try your best to get tickets as far away from the Chadderton Road stand as possible.

The stewarding at the match was relaxed and the facilities were adequate.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from ground took about 20 minutes as the club car park does become a free-for-all, but once we got out it was fairly easy to get on our way back home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I wish I could say that I enjoyed my time at Boundary Park, but that wasn't really the case. The match was good to watch and the ground is decent and still has plenty of character despite only having 3 sides to it. What tainted my visit was the aforementioned drum issue. I do intend to return once the new stand has been completed, but I will certainly be trying to sit somewhere else.

Oldham Athletic v Everton
FA Cup 5th Round
Sunday, February 16th 2013, 4pm
Jack Hanratty (Everton fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Usually when I do away games, I’ll travel with my parents, but on this occasion I would be travelling with my uncle and cousin and as well as that, I had been keen to visit a lower league ground should we get a lower league side in the cup (in which we did), so this away was pretty much going to feel different compared to the away games I have done in the past.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Nice easy journey to the ground, we travelled along the M56, M6 and then the M62 before coming off at the A627 (M) onto Broadway (A663), by this point we could already see the floodlights of the ground in the distance. There we would park up on Baldwins Close along Broadway, which was an apartment block and so we ended up paying nothing for it, although it did kind of dawn on us that we might end up getting a ticket!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We stopped at a McDonalds just as we came onto Broadway before parking up, after which we headed towards Boundary Park.

Didn’t really come across the home fans, although it was hard to tell who was who considering the hats and scarfs were virtually the same colour, but everyone seemed fine and were just walking to the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

We walked along the stadium car park (which straight away, I could see why people have commented about it taking a while to get out of if you don’t arrive early!) and we could pretty much almost see into the whole ground as the stand in front of us had been knocked down. As we walked on to our end, we noticed that we had to walk up a hill that had a small path to the side of it, but was a mix of grass and mud elsewhere, which on rainy days must be fun to get up!

We then got to our turnstiles, but before we did there was the standard procedure of the stewards doing body searches, and while me and my cousin didn’t get searched, the man in front of us must have had the longest body search I can remember, this didn’t go down well with the fans, who were getting understandably frustrated at the wait while fans being searched by other stewards, in other queues were searched and in the ground in 30 seconds. 

When we did get into the ground we noticed that the concourse wasn’t the usual under the stand, but was partly covered with the roof being over where the queues for the refreshments would be, so if it’s a rainy day, it’s best to get to your seat quickly.

We got to our seats which were directly behind the goal and next to the steps, which meant we would be close to the playing action, although the crossbar obstructed our view of the midfield and the half towards the Chaddy road end.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself saw 4 goals shared equally by both teams with a 2-2 draw with Anichebe and Jagielka scoring our goals and Obita scoring around at 10-15 minutes before Smith scored their equaliser with the last kick of the game, that left us annoyed at the fact that we’ll need to play a replay at Goodison.

The atmosphere had been good to start of with from the Everton fans before it started dropping off and becoming patchy during the game. With the Oldham fans being next to us, it would lead to banter from both sets of fans. These Oldham fans were noisy and were non stop for most of, if not, all of the game including what felt like 30 minute long chant of the theme of ‘The great escape’, just a shame that this was where most of the chanting took place, but it probably isn’t much of a surprise considering the Main Stand was far from the stand where the noise was coming from, so it was hard for it to spread around the ground.

As for facilities, well, I didn’t try out the pies or go to the refreshment stalls, but I did use the toilets and it was cramped when I was in there, the toilets were on par in my view, but the main problem for me was that the sinks were closer to the entrance and before the majority of where the toilets were, which may not be a problem if you went during the game, but if you were to wash your hands, you had have a battle to get past the oncoming fans, as well as that, they were the only toilets for away fans which probably didn’t help it being cramped.

Stewards were fine, they were fine with us standing and were giving polite reminders to fans (me included) who were partly on the aisle ways, which you can understand and didn’t cause any bother with the fans around me.  

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was probably the best getaway from a ground I’ve had. Seeing as we were on the 5th row, we got out the front way pretty quick and walked back to our car which probably didn’t take much more than five minutes. From which we went onto Broadway, got through a set of traffic lights and were then on the motorway before we knew it! Better still, my uncle had dropped me off at home in less than an hour than when the game had finished!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I found it to be a good away day, easy to get to and (if you didn’t use the stadium car park) very easy to get away from if you are heading in the direction of the M62. Along with other fans, the ground probably has seen better days, but it wasn’t bad considering it is 108 years old! The ticket price of £20 for an adult is probably a bit much for League One, but it’s around there with the cheapest tickets I’ve come across. The concessionary tickets were basic with the only ones being OAP for £10 and under 16’s for £5, so I would advise you to be aware of that if you bring any younger relatives aged 16-21, that might qualify for a concession ticket elsewhere, they would have an adult ticket at Oldham.

Out of 10, I would rate it 6-7/10.

Oldham Athletic v Tranmere Rovers
League One
Saturday, November 10th 2012, 3pm
Ben Savage (Tranmere Rovers fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

This was always going to be an interesting one; Rovers were top of the league and Oldham is one of our shortest away trips. It was also to be my first away game of the season, so I was really looking forward to it, and bought the tickets a long time in advance.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The day did not get off to the best possible start as, typically, our coach arrived 20 minutes late! However, the journey to the ground was an easy one for the five coaches and multitude of cars that made the short journey from Merseyside; just over an hour, and the floodlights were visible from just off the motorway, so an easy ground to spot. Obviously, travelling by coach meant that we had no problem with parking, but there was a large muddy area right in front of the stadium for cars, with coaches parked to one side.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Having arrived later than intended, and with large queues already at the turnstiles, we decided to decline any pre-match exploration of the local area, and, after mingling outside for a while, and after buying a programme, went in.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

As aforementioned, the floodlights were easily visible from a long way away, but upon arriving, I must admit that I was not particularly impressed. Firstly, the ground itself has evidently seen better days and, despite the charm of the old stands, having to ascend a muddy hill on the way to the away end is never a good first impression!

As this was only a short trip for us, the visiting support had been designated the entire away end (Rochdale Road), and we turned out in good number, with over 1,250 filling half of the stand (the other half had been closed for some reason). The missing stand, whilst provoking a few chants of “where’s your stand gone?,” and leaving the ground exposed to freezing blasts of wind, does give a nice view over the peak district. Also, with only two stands available for home support, this meant that these were both full, with about 3,000 home fans turning up, which should have meant a good atmosphere.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc…

Having heard rumours about the pies, I felt obliged to try one (chicken balti), which was indeed very nice; the programme actually had a whole section dedicated to pies from other clubs in the league – special feature on Hartlepool’s chicken and mushroom!! Alcohol was on sale throughout the game, and toilets were the usual football league standards (and that’s by no means a good thing!).

Regarding the game itself, a fairly even first half came to life towards the end, when Rovers had three clear cut chances to take the lead, but squandered them all. Oldham played well enough without a major cutting edge, and, apart for one scramble in our box and one very good save from the keeper, the home side didn’t threaten too much. The missing stand kept proving a pain, as the ball went over it at least a dozen times.

Our fans didn’t stop singing all game, despite the drummer being quite badly out of time (!), and it was easily the best atmosphere I’ve been to so far this season. I wasn’t the only one not too impressed by the ground, and many made their feelings clear via some derogatory chanting about Oldham. Apart from this, the fans on both sides were on their best behaviour, and there were no reports of trouble. The home fans were very suspiciously quiet, and didn’t even respond to a few chants of “you’re supposed to be at home.” Although, the lack of home fans within 50 metres of ours did not help the atmosphere, which was pretty much all away support, apart from one audible chant about hating scousers, which we joined in with!

In the second half, Rovers went on the attack and, minutes after hitting the bar, Adam McGurk volleyed home a free kick on 54 minutes, sending the away fans wild; we didn’t sit down again until after at least 20 minutes had passed. Despite us scoring so early in the second half, I was disappointed to notice several home fans leaving as soon as we scored, although there was more than half an hour left! The game ended with Oldham punting long balls forward, in search of an equaliser, and, after a nervy six minutes injury time, and some good defending, the full time whistle sent our fans into uproar. Stewards were hardly noticed - always a good thing - although most of us were standing up for long periods of the game.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Not as easy as getting in – it took at least 20 minutes for our coach to get out of the ground. Not that we cared, as Sheff United had lost to MK Dons, and we were top of the league by 5 points!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A nice day out, a good result although a message to all away fans: wrap up warm (third highest league ground in England) and bring a cap; the sun was murder in the first half! Beware also of the weather – we experienced torrential rain, bright sunshine and hail stones in close proximity. I would recommend the pies, though minus two points for calling the programme the “Matchday Magazine” and the lack of student concessions; £20 for a ticket for anyone over 15 in League One is pretty poor.

Rating: 5-6/10

Oldham Athletic v Preston North End
League One
Saturday, October 6th 2012, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

An early start from Kent, for my daughter and I. But there was plenty of anticipation, as given recent form there was every chance that Preston would get something from the match, and the reviews of the ground meant that there was plenty to look forward to. After a brief detour to the Croydon area to collect two colleagues, the journey by car continued smoothly with no delays apart from a brief spell of stop/start as is usual on the Cheshire gap on the M6.

Once I had accessed the M60, the ground was located very easily by exiting the Manchester Orbital at the junction for Chadderton and thence following signs towards Rochdale. Just before reaching the start of the A627(M) we spied the traditional looking floodlight pylons to our right and homed in on them.

Parking was a doddle, on a large area of hard standing next to the ground for £4, and as we had arrived early there was no queue to get near either.

As the guide indicates, Boundary Park is a 3 sided affair, which whilst looking odd, it does from the outside, give you an early glimpse of those rows of empty seats soon to be filled for a derby match. and my senses of anticipation were only heightened at such a sight, complete with those lovely old floodlight pylons.

Another excellent plus of the set-up at Boundary Park is the away seating being unreserved. So the early bird catches that worm of getting seats that afford good views, with an aisle seat for the little-one so she can still see most of the action even when all and sundry suddenly stand up.

Sadly, from that point, it went downhill; the much praised pies that I was looking forward too? Well when I went to source food well before half-time I was told that they had run out of ALL hot food completely, which I thought was pretty poor planning and catering. Some of the stewarding seemed banal, with one individual at one point insisting that my 8 year old daughter actually sat down. To keep the peace we co-operated, but it seemed utterly daft to pick on a child who wasn't obstructing any-ones views, when there were some 800+ of our more "yobbish" support jumping up and down to our right.

The fayre on the pitch was decidedly poor too, although we would be slightly biased as we got hammered by a 3-1 score-line that flattered us, especially as our goal 'ghosted' in at pretty much the last dying embers of the game. 

Atmosphere too was pretty disappointing; I was expecting more 'banter', but the home fans only found any voice at all after their second goal went in. 

At the final whistle we headed for our car, and joined the queue to get out of the narrow exit, which was to be expected, but once clear and on the open road, we sailed out of town with ease.

Not the happiest of days. Oldham hadn't won any match at home all season, till Preston turned up and happily obliged with a very lacklustre performance indeed. Coupled with the shabby catering, less than family-friendly stewarding, and less of an atmosphere than might have been expected left a disappointing taste in the mouth.

Overall though, we had a good chinwag in the car up and down. Just a shame about the 90 minutes in the middle of the day!

Oldham Athletic v Sheffield Wednesday
League One
Saturday, December 10th 2011, 3pm
Teresa Jewell (Sheffield Wednesday fan)

Going to watch Oldham is actually nearer to my home in Stockport then Sheffield. My Dad and son travelled early morning anticipating icy roads and bad conditions from Sheffield. As it turned out all routes to Manchester were fine.   This game was anticipated to be a tough one as Oldham were on a roll off five straight wins, coming mostly at Boundary Park. As always my son couldn't wait for us to go and his delight increased when he spotted a KFC,  Pizza Hut, Nandos and a McDonalds on a retail shopping park as we turned off the motorway towards the ground. Incidentally the retail park is a five minute walk from the car park at the side of Oldham Athletic. There was a fee for parking of which we paid £5 for a car. Do note to get there early as they make you park your cars from the front going to the back of the car park (so first in first out).   Oldham FC had given Wednesday additional tickets and boy did they need to, as approx 4,500 turned up. Due to the cold weather everyone was wrapped up, so fashion went out of the window. It resembled the march of the penguins (side by side, huddled together) as we progressed up the hill to the rear of the away stand.

The ground it self has seen better days, old fashioned turnstiles, rusted holes in the roof and toilets that leave a lot to be desired. All in all not good and open to all the elements (oh sorry blasts of the weather).   The stadium refreshments were from three kiosks which couldn't cope with the crowds of people waiting. Pies at £2.50 and hot drinks at £1.60. So average prices to other League One venues. Alcohol was available, but was not on sale at half time. Not sure why!   The game itself saw Wednesday not playing well in the first 20 minutes. Oldham had their chances, with Simpson coming close a few times and on one occasion forcing the Wednesday keeper to pull off a storming save. Us fans were cold and wet by this time (we were seated at the front and not covered by the roof), but as true Yorkshire people we sang our hearts out and bounced around, so it was party time. The players seemed to start to react to chants of their names and songs especially for Somedo and Sanchez Watt. We managed to keep Oldham at bay until the half time whistle.

After half time and a few tweaks to the team the Owls started a lot brighter. Prutton returning to the Wednesday side from sitting on the bench for a few games, scored a brilliant goal on 66 minutes. He went past two defenders before slotting home into the bottom right corner. The Wednesday fans loved his celebration and a few climbed onto the pitch. Stewards and Police took control and the game recommenced. The Owls had chance after chance and with five minutes left, the pressure paid off when Wednesday were awarded a penalty, after Watt was fouled in the area. Substitute Lowe calmly placed the ball down and took the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-0!   Songs of jingle bells rang out off Boundary Park as their fans started to leave dejected. At least we boosted their attendance for the day to 7060.    Getting away from the ground was easy out off the car park straight out onto the main road. From Oldham to Stockport 15 minutes and that was stopping on the way at a shop as my son wanted a celebratory Kit Kat!

Oldham Athletic v Sheffield United
League One
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 3pm
George Campbell (Sheffield United fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to visiting Boundary Park?

Boundary Park was a new ground for me, first game of the season and for some reason I have a 'love affair' for old grounds instead of the modern-day bowl stadiums with no character.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Fairly easy journey for us, although going through some of the small towns on the way to Oldham from Sheffield was a pain in the backside as their main roads were clogged with fans attending the game. The parking was very easy, there's a car park right outside the away fans end, we didn't need to use this though as there was parking on the main road outside the ground and we didn't want to queue for ages after the game to get out of the car park. Plenty of room for 3,500 Blades fans who made the trip (albeit some got the coaches).

What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Many of the pubs we stopped at (or saw) had shut-down so it's advisable to search on the internet as which pubs are open! Saying that we found a nice little pub on just off the junction before Oldham.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Boundary Park?

I was surprised as I was expecting Boundary Park to be slightly bigger. As away end's go though it's quite a large stand just behind the goal, we were given the whole stand as opposed to either half but if you only get half the stand (and Oldham the other half), I can imagine you can get some good banter going. The stand to the right of the away end has been knocked down and looks quite odd with just a steward/police control box on it. The only disappointing thing about the ground, for me, was the stand to the left of us as it is quite narrow and starts a bit away from the away end so it's very hard to get banter going with the home fans. The pre-match entertainment of finding your seat was also interesting as the numbers on most of the seats had fallen off and the row letters had worn away :)

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

As we travelled in large numbers the atmosphere was great, non-stop singing throughout the game and everyone seemed really up for the season back in League One. The first half of the game was pretty dull with United in charge but not really creating any chances. After half-time we turned up the heat for 15 minutes and got two goals, then sat back and killed the game off. 2-0, Maguire & Cresswell.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

If you have parked in the car park then it's probably best to hurry out of the game to get away quite fast but once you're out it's alright although whilst we were there the junction back onto the motorway was closed off so we ended up having to get back through Manchester.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out. A nice little ground with plenty of character, it'll be a shame when they go to a new 'bowl stadium' and a great start to the new season!

Updated 3rd November 2017

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