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Halifax fans forced to travel to Lancashire for home games

The rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire goes back hundreds of years. In fact, it is known as the Roses rivalry because of its origins in the Wars of the Roses, which took place between the House of Lancaster and the House of York between 1455 and 1487.

So you can imagine how fans of Halifax Town felt when they were told this week that they would have to travel 26 miles to Lancashire-based Accrington Stanley for their two upcoming “home” games.

wham stadium
Accrington Stanley play Derby County at the Wham Stadium in 2019. Photo by Icon Sport

Why will Halifax Town play their matches at Accrington Stanley?

Thanks to Storm Kathleen, the pitch at Halifax’s Shay Stadium has been completely waterlogged, leading to the postponement of Wednesday’s National League game against Oldham.

Given that the ground is shared by rugby league side the Halifax Panthers, it always looked unlikely that the game would go ahead – especially given the kind of images that were coming out of the Panthers’ own match against the Batley Bulldogs.

The club called it a “difficult decision” to temporarily move their home games, writing: “We understand the frustration recent postponements have caused and we would like to thank @ASFCofficial for helping us to fulfil these two fixtures.”

“Season tickets will be valid as usual and for other home and away supporters it is still pay on the gate.”

Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt said he was “happy to help out wherever possible”.

According to the Halifax Courier, the council are planning “intensive improvements” in the summer to prevent the pitch trouble continuing.

How have fans reacted?

Unsurprisingly, a lot of fans are unhappy with the news. On X (formerly Twitter), @positiveshaymen wrote: “If THAT doesn’t absolutely SHAME Calderdale Council to finally fix the pitch, nothing ever will! Shame on them!!!”

Similarly, @Bobbins79 wrote: “Well done on arranging, but a proper statement from the chairman is well overdue. Who is footing the bill, will there be travel, what are the longer term plans to stop this next season etc.”

Given that the club is pushing for promotion, others were simply happy that the fixtures will be fulfilled.

@MatthewDLodge commented: “Hats off to the club for your hard work under difficult circumstances. The state of the pitch is completely out of the clubs control. If only Calderdale Council had funded it properly to install drainage and a pitch with synthetic materials interwoven with the grass this wouldn’t happen.”

On a similar note, @George1Jackson wrote: “It might have taken longer than expected, but at least we know where we stand. Accrington Stanley is not ideal for travel, but fans need to realise they might have been the only club willing to help and fair play to them.”

Others could see the funny side, with one fan making light of the move to the Wham Stadium with some references to the 80s band.

@adiehollands3 wrote: “Thanks to Accrington Stanley hopefully the Shaymen can reach “The Edge of Heaven” and get a place in the playoffs as it seems like “Last Christmas” they played on a decent pitch with a “Different Corner” showing various types of flooding so come on you “Young Guns” play with “Freedom”.”


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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