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Rushall Olympic (Dales Lane)

Dales Lane

Capacity: 2,461
Address: Rushall Olympic FC, Dales Lane, Rushall, Walsall, West Midlands, WS4 1LJ
Telephone: 01922641021
Club Nickname: The Pics
Year Ground Opened: 1977
Home Kit: Yellow and Black
Away Kit: Blue and Red


                    
                    

In truth, Dales Lane is a fairly modest ground, and upon the Pics’ promotion to National League North ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, the site failed to meet many of the requirements put in place by the organisation. 

A deadline of March 2024 was set, by which point Rushall were required to have installed a new stand to provide an additional seating area, as well as extra turnstiles and improved floodlights at the stadium. As of January 2024, the club had approval for such developments approved and look likely to avoid the punishment outlined by the National League, which was an automatic demotion. Those improvements are sure to modernise Dales Lane and make it a far more enjoyable experience for away fans.  

Speaking of which, travelling supporters have always received a warm welcome at the ground, with the Pics keen to make an effort to ensure all fans, whether that be home or away, are comfortable during their time there. With that in mind, the clubhouse, which has been recently refurbished and is located to the right of the main turnstiles, is accessible to both home and away supporters. 

The ground itself currently consists of two seated stands, the combination of which has a capacity of approximately 155, as well as a bench seating area to compliment those stands. However, aside from those sections of the ground, the rest of the stadium is made up of uncovered standing areas – meaning that at the time of writing, the vast majority of supporters at games are left completely exposed to the elements. 

As mentioned, while Dales Lane may not be the most modern ground in the National League, the majority of travelling fans will still find the ground to be an adequate host. 

The clubhouse is of course accessible to all, while the on-site food hut is an excellent choice for any hot food, snacks or refreshments you may be after. 

It is worth noting, however, that the facilities may leave a little to be desired, and with the nearest railway station located over 3 miles away from the ground, travel via public transport is not always a simple option.

Just as important for many fans as the on-site hospitality is the local offerings of pubs – after all some pre-match beers are a staple of a lot of away days. Rushall, once again, delivers strongly in this area, with a total of three different pubs all located within a mile of Dales Lane. 

The closest of which is ‘The Boathouse’, located just 0.2 miles, which equates to an approximately five-minute walk, away from the ground. Next on the list is the ‘The Manor Arms’. Marginally further away than The Boathouse, this pub is just 0.3 miles away from the stadium, requiring a walk of 6 minutes. 

Finally, there is ‘The Farmers Boy’, which is a little further than the previous two options, located 0.8 miles away from Dales Lane, equating to an 18-minute walk. The upside is that it could be a little less busy if you are someone who prefers a more relaxed environment ahead of the game.

Briefly touched upon earlier in the guide, undoubtedly the most notable development at Dales Lane of late has been the club securing approval from the council to begin the improvements on the ground deemed necessary by the National League. 

These upgrades include a brand-new 252-seater stand, which will see the total seated capacity at the ground rise to a little over 400, while new turnstiles and floodlights will also be installed. This will not only see a modernisation of Dales Lane but also ensure that the site continues to grow in line with its ever-increasing status in the football pyramid. 

The on-site clubhouse has also recently been refurbished, providing the building with a sleek new look.

Rushall Olympic were founded in 1893 and as such, have a longstanding presence within the pyramid of English football. However, despite their history spanning well over a century, life at Dales Lane only began for the Pics in 1977, which is the year during which the ground was first officially opened. 

Prior to its opening, Olympic had actually moved out of the village and were playing their football at Aston University, until what the club refer to as the magnificent seven, made up of Brian Greenwood, Mick Clayton, Graham Wiggin, Ray Wiggin, Johnny Edwards, Brian Humphries and Trevor Westwood, helped the club return to their place of origin. A temporary site was then used until Dales Lane was ready to begin its life as the Pics’ home in 1977 – a relationship which is still going strong to this day. 

The next major development to occur at Dales Lane was in 2004, when, after entering a phase of financial consolidation to finance improvements to the ground, the Pics were able to install a conference-standard dressing room complex on the site – this was a huge step forward for the club. 

Further developments were then needed almost two decades later to ensure Olympic could maintain their National League North status, but that again just highlighted Dales Lane’s ability to grow with the club and become an ever-present constant for Rushally Olympic. 

Dales Lane will likely always be held in high regard by fans of the club – after it is the stadium which allowed the side to return to its place of origin.

If travelling via the M6, then you will want to exit the motorway at Junction 10, following the signposts for Walsall. You will be on this road for approximately 4 miles. At this point, you will want to turn left at the Walsall Arboretum and follow signs for Litchfield, which will be the A461. After a short while, you will approach a bridge near a McDonald’s, at which point you will want to turn right onto Dew End Lane. Again turn right opposite the Royal Oak after first going over the canal bridge, and you will soon see the ground on your right. 

An alternative route will see you take the A38 to its junction that meets with the A5, and from there you will again want to take the A461 to Walsall, this time for roughly five miles. At this point, you will arrive at a set of traffic lights at a McDonald’s – turn left onto Dew End Lane before following the same directions outlined above from this point onwards.

Car parking

Conveniently, there is a large car parking facility located on the site of the Dales Lane Stadium, which is accessible for both home and away supporters. However, it does come with a fee of £3 per car so there may be cheaper alternatives in the surrounding area. 

As always, remember to park carefully and consider the effects on local residents when deciding where to park.  

Given that the nearest railway station to the ground, located in Walsall, is 3.4 miles away from Dales Lane, travelling by train for this away day may not be for everyone. However, with that being said, the local 997 bus does regularly run between the station and the ground, making that distance a little easier to deal with. 

Getting to Walsall station is incredibly easy if your starting location is close to the Midlands, with many surrounding cities offering direct trains into the town. However, if you are coming from further away, London or Manchester for example, then the journey will require at least one change, sometimes two, and can take upwards of 2 hours.

General admission tickets for games at Dales Lane can be purchased both online, and at the ground via turnstiles. Prices are on the cheaper side of National League North averages, and are as follows:

  • Adults – £14
  • Concessions, ages 16-17, students, emergency service workers, NHS staff and armed forces servants – £10
  • Under 16s – £6
  • Under 12s – £2

All prices are subject to a reduction of 50p when ordered online, but bear in mind, that the club reserve the right to ask for valid ID at the gates.

The Pics have a printed matchday programme on sale for £3.

Given its location within the Midlands and its history which spans well over 100 years, you will not be surprised to learn that the Pics enjoy a fierce rivalry with two other Midlands-based clubs, which are Sutton Coldfield Town FC, and Hednesford Town.

Unfortunately, the club do not officially outline specific facilities for those who require disabled access while in the stadium. However, the Pics do provide disabled parking at a cost of £3, although that will require prior arrangement so make sure to call ahead of your visit if you require such a space.

Given that Pics are currently enjoying their debut season at the National League North level, it is perhaps no surprise to see that their average attendance at Dales Lane is one of the lowest in the division.

However, that being said, their figure of 506 is higher than that of Curzon Ashton, Peterborough Sports FC and Bishop’s Stortford FC.

Updated 28th March 2024