Walsall Club Profile
Walsall : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :

Club Background; We've Met Before; Photo Galleries; Club News; Club Statistics; Club Information; Directions To The Ground; Web Resources; Food And Drink; Local Amenities
Walsall : Club Background
Gilbert Alsop Stand
The unsponsored name is the Gilbert Alsop Stand. It's the newest development at Bescot Stadium.
It's been known as the Purple Stand, the Floors-2-Go Stand and is now dubbed the Tile Choice Stand. Walsall seem to love changing the names on their stands on an annual basis and it really is completely confusing.
Photo 2005 Ciderspace

Walsall Town Swifts FC was born in 1888, the product of a union between Walsall Swifts (founded 1877) and Walsall Town (founded 1879). The excellently-named Town Swifts joined the newly formed Football League Division Two (the Championship in today's money) in 1892 and renamed themselves just plain Walsall three years later. The stage was set for the club to conquer the known footballing world. First Birmingham & district, then the Midlands with the Division One championship surely following soon after.... Well, not quite.

The Saddlers actually dropped out of the fledgling Football League with fairly monotonous regularity during their early years, always being re-elected immediately afterwards, until 1901 that is, when their fellow league clubs tired of their feckless ways. Walsall were left out in the cold until 1921, when they joined the newly-formed Division 3 North or was it South?. Actually it didn't matter, for the next 37 years they were put in either the North or South divisions depending on which other clubs were also promoted/relegated from those divisions. The procession of mediocrity followed until 1958 when Walsall finally left the Third Division - to join the newly formed 4th division, naturally.

This was a prelude to one of the Saddlers finest hours however, to date one of only major trophies the club has ever won - the Fourth Division Championship in 1960. Don't sneer Glovers fans - we're very proud to have won the modern-day equivalent, the League Two Championship, to put the achievement in perspective. The Walsall team put together at the time was obviously a formidable one as they went on to gain back-to back promotions, finishing runners-up the following in season in Division Three and then gaining what to date is still the best ever league position for the club, finishing 14th in the then Division Two (today's Championship).

It didn't last of course, and a couple of years later the Saddlers were back in Division Three (League One as we now know it) where they've stayed for the greater part of their history, brief flirtations with the other divisions excepted. They moved into the new Bescot Stadium in 1990 - look quickly and you might think you're at a version of Huish Park, until you notice the all-seated and covered away end and the new and impressive Purple Stand. Look longer and you'll also notice lots of pillars. Don't get stuck behind one. The overall red colour isn't very Huish Park-like either, come to think of it. Their recent history has included a couple of seasons back in the Championship, but they never finished better than 18th before coming back down to League One.

The Main Stand
Was once the Txt64446 Health Stand, then the ABS Burton Main Stand and now the Homeserve Stand (although Walsall also just call it the Main Stand) - bad luck H.L. Fellows, who it used to be named after. Rather unimpressive as a main stand.
The Bonser Suite conference centre and clubhouse, built in 1998, which can hold 500 and is far more impressive, is attached.
Photo 2005 Ciderspace

Players that have represented both clubs include Howard Pritchard, Paul Sanderson, Steve Winter, Andy Bishop, Joe Broad, Dani Rodrigues, Simon Gillett, Reuben Reid and Billy Clifford. More recently Jordy Hiwula and Joe Edwards.

There have been a number of meetings in the F.A. Cup. As a Non-league side the Glovers had a good record. In 1936-37 Yeovil & Petters United secured a 1-1 at The Saddlers then home of Fellows Park in Round Two before losing 0-1 in the replay at Huish. The next meeting, in 1960-61, saw Yeovil Town win away in Round One, Dave Taylor getting the solitary goal. By the time the clubs met again in 1991-92, also in Round One, Walsall had moved to the Bescot, and it was there, after a 1-1 at Yeovil's new home, Huish Park, that The Glovers knocked out the League side 0-1 with a winning header from Richard Cooper. In the first ever meeting between the clubs on equal terms in football's hierarchy on 10th September 2005 Yeovil Town emerged with a 2-1 victory. The meeting at the start of December 2005 in the F.A. Cup is probably best forgotten about.
The Family Stand or Community Stand
.
Used to be The Banks's Brewery Stand and then the West Bromwich Building Society Stand. It then became the Five Rivers Family Stand. Walsall now use two names, with the Family Stand and the Community Stand visible as names on their website.
Photo 2005 Ciderspace

The Glovers and Walsall parted company at the end of the 2005-06 season, with Yeovil putting one of the nails in the Saddlers coffin in the form of a 2-0 win at the Bescot Stadium, in one of the oddest atmospheres we've ever experienced. Walsall fans abused their players throughout, their brand new manager, the man announcing the man of the match over the tannoy and pretty much anyone representing their own side. That sort of spleen-venting went on hold with Richard Money stabilising their club, and within a season they'd pushed themselves back up to League One, winning their second piece of silverware in the process as Champions. So after the briefest of absences here they were again. However Yeovil is not the only club that can make strange decisions. The relationship between Walsall and Money got tenser and tenser as he felt he was being starved of funds, and eventually he resigned in 2008. Jimmy Mullen took over for the last few games of the season but lasted a mere nine months, his position terminated in January 2009. Assistant John Schofield got one game as caretaker before he was hoofed out of the club, and in came Chris Hutchins, with fellow former Saddlers' skipper, Martin O'Connor, as assistant.

In 2007-08 and 2008-09 they were a solid mid-table League One outfit, finishing 12th and 13th respectively, whilst the 2009-10 season saw a small improvement to 10th place. The 2010-11 season though was decidedly more fraught, spending much of the campaign in the bottom four - a statistic that cost Chris Hutchings his job. He was replaced by Head of Youth and former Saddlers player Dean Smith, who was given the job permanently, after narrowly avoiding relegation at the end of the 2010-11 season. The 2011-12 season saw more of the same, with a 19th place finish. Matters have picked up during the past few years though, with a 2012-13 9th place finish and a 13th place for thr 2013-14 season when Yeovil were in the Championship. Smith then followed that up with a 14th placed 2014-15 finish, and when the Saddlers went into the following year he was bringing them their best season yet by taking them into the play-off spots. Unfortunately for them that also attracted the attention of other clubs and in November 2015 he departed the club, leaving them in fourth place in the table, with Championship side Brentford calling him. A slightly odd and short spell involving Sean O'Driscoll followed that lasted just sixteen games. In his place they turned to the backroom, appointing Jon Whitney to the job after 13 years in various coaching roles. He guided them into third spot in the play-offs where they lost to eventual winners Barnsley. He was given a three year contract by the club in the summer of 2016 as reward for having steadied the ship, and so now takes on the club in his first full season.

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Walsall : We've Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Walsall

12/12/1936AwayFAC2D1-1Doncaster
17/12/1936HomeFAC2RL0-1
05/11/1960AwayFAC1W1-0Taylor
16/11/1991HomeFAC1D1-14653Wilson
27/11/1991AwayFAC1RW1-03869Cooper
10/09/2005HomeCCL1W2-15979Jevons 65, Gall 70
03/12/2005AwayFAC2L0-24580
21/03/2006AwayCCL1W2-04464Harrold 24, Davies 33
08/01/2008HomeCCL1L0-24319
09/02/2008AwayCCL1L0-25034
09/08/2008HomeCCL1D1-14518Tomlin 10
28/02/2009AwayCCL1L0-23916
01/12/2009HomeCCL1L1-33508Obika 30
23/02/2010AwayCCL1W1-02929S Williams 5
02/10/2010AwayNPL1W1-03172Virgo 70
12/03/2011HomeNPL1D1-13737A Williams 45
20/08/2011AwayNPL1D1-14247G Williams 42
17/03/2012HomeNPL1W2-13705A Williams 63, 84
15/12/2012AwayNPL1D2-23160Reid 78, Foley 90
29/03/2013HomeNPL1D0-05594
19/08/2014AwayFL1W2-13758Hayter 56, Dawson 73
03/03/2015HomeFL1L0-13668
09/08/2016AwayCC1W2-02699Own Goal 103, Dolan 111


Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Walsall

HomeAwayOverall
WDLFAWDLFAWDLFA
24481273314119772223


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Walsall : Club Statistics

FORTHCOMING FIXTURES

CLUB GOALSCORERS
Name LGE FAC FAT LGC CC Total

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: Not Applicable
Lowest League Attendance: Not Applicable
Average League Attendance: Not Applicable

CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS

Games Without A Win: 1 Games Without A Home Win: 0
Games Without An Away Win: 1 Games Without Defeat: 1
Games Without A Home Defeat: 0 Games Without An Away Defeat: 1
Games Without A Draw: 0 Games Without A Score Draw: 0
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 1 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence:
Away Results Sequence: D Overall Results Sequence: D


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Walsall : Club Information
Banks's Stadium
Bescot Crescent
Walsall
West Midlands
WS1 4SA

(Click for map)

Telephone Number : 0871 2210442
Fax : 01922 613202
Email: info@walsallfc.co.uk
Chairman : Jeff Bonser
Fixtures Secretary : Roy Whalley
Press Officer : Daniel Mole
Manager : Jon Whitney

Capacity : 11,300
Seated : All-seated
Covered Terrace : n/a
Record Attendance : 11,049 v Rotherham, Division 1 May 2004

Colours : shirt - red with white trim; shorts - white with red trim; socks - red with white tops
Nickname : The Saddlers
Ticket Prices :
The usual away day allocation for the Bescot Stadium is the all-seated University of Wolverhampton Away Stand (renamed yet again after yet another sponsor, though if asking for directions you'll find locals are more likely to call it the William Sharpe Stand), billed as holding 1,914. However, for our 2016-17 Season League Cup visit this stand will be closed - see below.

Advance tickets for our 2016-17 League Cup match are on sale from the Huish Park Ticket Office at the following prices, which are flat across the ground:

Adults: 10.00; Under-18s and Over-60s: 5.00.

Walsall will only be opening certain parts of the stadium for this fixture, with the normal University of Wolverhampton Away Stand being closed for the night. Yeovil Town supporters will be housed in Blocks G, H and I of the Community Stand, which is a side-on stand to the right hand side of the normal away facilities.

According to the Walsall end matchday tickets are to be bought through "cash on turnstiles only for visiting supporters unless notified otherwise" - so you should be able to avoid their Ticket Office which tends to attract significant queues.



Disabled Info:
Walsall's ticketing policy for disabled supporters is to admit supporters according to their age/entitlement (as above) with an assistant admitted free of charge provided you are on the Medium, Higher or Severe rate of Disabled Living Allowance, or can produce a letter of justification from your local GP. Past policy has been for disabled supporters to be housed in Walsall's Family Stand (more generally known as the Community Stand), which is not normally part of the away end facilities. For information on disabled facilities, contact Laura Yates on 01922-651-414 or via tickets@walsallfc.co.uk

There are 25 dedicated parking places at the ground for Blue Badge holders. Wheelchair users and ambulant disabled are accomodated at ground level pitchside in the Five Rivers Family Stand (formerly the Banks's Brewery Stand and the WBBS Stand), helpers sat behind. There are 4 adapted toilets in the stadium. A catering outlet is present at the corner of the stand, stewards will assist on request. Disabled supporters should contact the Walsall Ticket Office on 01922 651416.

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Walsall : Directions To The Ground
General

Walsall is situated just to the north of England's second city Birmingham, adjacent to Wolverhampton. Banks's Stadium is positioned close to Junction 9 on the M6 (one can see the ground from the motorway - and hear the motorway from the ground) near to the site of the Saddlers old ground at Fellows Park, like Huish now turned into a supermarket.

By Road

It follows that the simplest way to get to the Bescot Stadium is by road. Travellers from Somerset will make their way up the M5 to where the motorway joins the M6 at Junction 8 slightly to the north-west of Birmingham. Leave the M6 a couple of miles later at Junction 9 and follow the A461 towards Walsall. Turn right at the traffic lights onto the A4148 signposted Bescot Stadium and at the next set of traffic lights turn right again into Bescot Crescent. There's a specified car park for away fans, costing 4.00 per car, 6.00 for mini buses and 12.00 for Coaches - but get there early to be sure of a place. Otherwise it's park where you can, which in practice is probably a 10-15 minute walk as there isn't a lot around the ground. Avoid the local retail park and Morrison's supermarket unless you like fines.

By Supporters Coaches

The Green and White Supporters Club are running coaches to the match for this 2016-17 season League Cup fixture as follows:

Coaches will depart from Huish Park at 2.30p.m. Cost of travel will be 22.00, with concessions available at 20.00. Non-GWSC members are welcomed and will pay two pounds extra compared with the above prices.

To place your booking, send a text message to Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570. If you want to call him please only do so after 6.00p.m. You can also reach him at paulhadlow@outlook.com - remember in all cases to ensure you make clear which match you are booking for, your full name (and any other names you are booking for) and a contact telephone number.
The University of Wolverhampton Away Stand
The away end, your home for the day.
Officially The University of Wolverhampton Away Stand, but with utterly ludicrous rebranding of Walsall's stands on an annual basis, you may find this is more commonly referred to as the William Sharpe Stand.
Photo 2005 Ciderspace



By Rail

Bescot has its own Station a mere 2 minutes walk from the ground. Trains run from Birmingham New Street (destination Stafford) every fifteen minutes for Walsall at peak times, but if you want to go straight through to the Bescot (Banks's) Stadium stop you must choose the 'ALL STATIONS' service which runs at half hourly intervals. Journey time is around twenty minutes. If picking up the service in Walsall town centre it's three minutes from Walsall Station to Bescot Station. The station is the other side of the M6 from the ground.

You can train it from Pen Mill (change at Bristol Temple Meads) or Yeovil Junction (changes at Basingstoke and Reading), in time for a 3 o'clock kick off and back again on a Saturday, though you'll have to change trains several times at either Bristol Temple Meads or Basingstoke and Reading, depending on where you leave from/want to get back to - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for more details. For a midweek match, you're on your own - we'll assume you're making overnight plans.

By Bus

Nos. 401 and 405 run every 15 minutes from Walsall town centre to Bescot Crescent. Alternatively, No. 404 runs every 8 minutes from the town centre and stops on the nearby West Bromwich Avenue.

By Taxi

A selection of Walsall taxi companies can be found here. The stadium is a couple of miles from the town centre. Expect to pay about 5.00 for that journey.

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Walsall : Web Resources
Web Sites

Bescot Banter
Newish independent site, using a blog template for its output. Worth it for a fans eye view of the Bescot.


Saddlers Mad
We rarely see the point of MAD sites - they are usually little more than centrally generated material. This one did have a few unique things about it, but has now dropped into auto-output pointlessness from people who work for MAD rather than Walsall fans. File under W for Why?


TheSaddlersFC.com
A sport.network site. Seems to have given up in 2007.


Up The Saddlers
Blog-type site with links to various different Walsall-related blogs, includes news, match reports etc. Also features a busy message board. Been running since 1997.


Walsall Official
PTV site, registration required.


WSTR
Website of the Walsall Supporters' Trust. Nothing new on here since Feb 2009, so doesn't appear to be a particularly active organisation.


Web Message Boards

Up The Saddlers
Independent forum with steady traffic - connected to the Up The Saddlers site.



E-Mail Mailing Lists and Newsletters



Local Press

Birmingham Post


Express & Star



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Walsall : Food & Drink
General

Another reason the Banks's will remind you slightly of Huish Park is that it's inconveniently positioned, well away from places to eat and drink. The nearest pub is the King George V (see below), a ten minute walk. We found this to be one of the worst pubs we'd been in in years, though we're told it's under new management so if you dare go in it, then let us know how good/bad it is these days. The next nearest is probably the New Fullbrook just off the ring road (Broadway West). This is not recommended for away fans. The Bradford Arms (Milton Street) and Hope & Anchor (Wednesbury Road) are about a mile away going towards the town centre. If you're looking for food and a drink in the town centre itself the standard stop-gap option of Wetherspoon in Walsall is The Imperial (Darwall Street), close by Walsall Station. The crossing to the other side of the M6 (particuarly for anyone arriving at Bescot Stadium Station) doesn't produce any close outlets either, the nearest seemingly about a mile away in Wednesbury. We have been contacted by the Queens Head, Brunswick Park Road, Wednesbury (WS10 9QR), which is a couple of minutes from Junction 9 of the M6 and says it is a friendly family run pub which does food, allows children and welcomes away fans. We simply pass that on, not having used this pub ourselves.

The brewery in Walsall is Highgate. It produces Special Bitter, Davenports Bitter, Saddlers Best Bitter, Dark Mild and the seasonal (winter) Old Ale.

Half the Yeovil support seem to end up in the McDonalds on the trading estate the stadium is part of, not out of choice but because there is sod all else in the vicinity.

A warning to those who do choose to drink prior to entering the Bescot Stadium - a group of our supporters were refused admission by stewards at the Bescot Stadium during the 2008-09 season, after they exited the Saddlers Club (see below) because they were 'drunk'. This came as a slight surprise to them, as they'd only had two or three drinks, and one of them (the driver) had been on coca cola throughout his stay in the club. Despite pointing this out, the stewards insisted he was too drunk to enter the stadium. Police were called (by the supporters) and whilst they sympathised with the supporters' views, they said they had no powers to intervene. We were told at the time that this was not the first occasion when heavy-handed stewarding had been employed at the Bescot Stadium, so bear that in mind when you approach the turnstiles.

Club Bar :

The Saddlers Club has in the past allowed away fans admission before and after games, with an entrance charge of 2.00. It's a good club house dating from 1998, part of the very impressive Bonser Suite facilities, with a wide range of keg, though oddly when we were last there no Banks's beers which, given they are the team's main sponsors and the ground carries their name too, is weird. However with so few alternatives near the stadium it soon fills up, at which point they stop new entrants, so you have to get there early pre-match.

For our 2016-17 Season visit, there will be a designated Away Fans Bar at the Banks Stadium which will open from 6.00p.m. for Yeovil Supporters. This is a new facility and implies that they may be trying to separate out home and away fans into separate areas from now on.
The Saddlers Club
A major asset, and income earner - the clubhouse.
Photo 2005 Ciderspace

Local Pubs :

Home of one of the great beers.
Home of one of the great beers.
©
Beacon Hotel: Included more for information than as a realistic option, with Walsall the closest we're likely to get in the near future. Sedgley is seven miles away from Walsall but the Beacon Hotel is one of the great pubs in the country, both for its Victorian authenticity and, more importantly, because it is the brewery tap for some of the best beers you'll ever drink. The brewery started in 1860 but was bought by Sarah Hughes in 1921. It was she who began brewing Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby, a 6% beer which whilst technically an ale has many characteristics of a very strong mild. Whatever it is it's wonderful. After Sarah shuffled off this mortal coil the brewery was defunct for nearly forty years until her grandson John Hughes resurrected her genious and stable of beers in the late Eighties. The Beacon is the only tied pub and stocks the full range : Dark Ruby, Pale Amber, Sedgley Surprise and the seasonal (winter) Snow Flake at a scary 8%. Two guests are also carried, though why anyone one would drink them, whatever they are.........? The pub has four rooms, each served through hatchways from a tiny central bar, one of which is the family room and allows children. Has its own parking. Opening 12.00 noon - 2.30 p.m. weekdays (3.00 p.m. Saturdays), 5.30 p.m. (6.00 p.m. Saturdays) - 10.45 p.m. weekdays (11.00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7.00 p.m. - 10.30 p.m. Sundays.
Beacon Hotel, 129, Bilston Street, Sedgley, West Midlands, DY3 1JE. Tel: 01902 883380. Map: Click Here.

On one of the routes in to the stadium.
On one of the routes in to the stadium.
©
Bell Inn: If you are coming in off Junction 7 of the M6 on the A34 you'll go past this pub; in fact it's on the corner where you turn into Walstead Road. The stadium is just over two miles further on. Banks's outlet, Cask Marque accredited, which is worth something though not necessarily a lot. Opening 11.00 a.m. - 11.00 p.m. A pleasant enough 'lounge' style pub. No character whatsoever, but did everything it did in terms of food and drink to a reasonable mainstream like standard.
Bell Inn, 450, Birmingham Road, Great Barr, Walsall, West Midlands, WS5 3JP. Tel: 0121 3577461. Map: Click Here.

King George V: A few years back we gave this place an absolute slating. It was the worst pub we'd been in for many a year. The whole experience was thoroughly unpleasant and we walked out after one drink never, ever, to return. As we've stuck to that vow we can't speak from personal experience, but various reports suggest significant improvement recently with a change of management. There are two changing real ales on. As the closest pub to the ground, just off the junction of Wallows Lane and Bescot Road, expect it to get busy. Opening is 11 a.m. - 11.00 p.m. If you do land in there, let us know if it has changed since our experience.
King George V, Wallows Lane, Walsall, West Midlands, WS2 9BZ. Tel: 01922 626130. Map: Click Here.

The Tiger Inn: Mile and a half from the stadium eastwards along the Walstead Road. More a home for West Brom supporters than Walsall ones.
The Tiger Inn, Walstead Road, Walsall, West Midlands, WS5 4DP. Tel: 01922 724828. Map: Click Here.

White Lion: Closest outlet specialising in real ale to the ground we can find, and that's at a somewhat inconvenient 1.4 miles. Large back street local with a L-shaped bar, lounge and pool room with two tables. Does food, but not on a Monday or Tuesday. Has Adnams Bitter, Highgate Dark Mild, Greene King Abbot and IPA, Sharp's Doom Bar and a rotating guest as the real ales, and Thatchers Medium Scrumpy cider. A small walled garden provides for smokers. Opening is 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday, noon - midnight Thursday to Saturday.
White Lion, 150, Sandwell Street, Walsall, West Midlands, WS1 3EQ. Tel: 01922 628542. Map: Click Here.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :

Half the world and his brother lives in and around Birmingham, they should have no problem with our rustic burr. Whether we'll understand them is something else entirely.

Top-Tip :

We may be missing something, but so far we've found nothing really likeable about Walsall at all. So our top tip is: be grateful you don't live there - er, unless you do that is.

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Walsall : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels

Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide to find Guest Houses/Hotels in the town and surrounding areas.


Other Points Of Interest

Perhaps we've always caught Walsall on bad days, but frankly from what we've seen it's a God-awful place. The motorway runs right through it - within yards of the ground in fact. If you didn't have a match to go to we'd strongly recommend you stayed on it. There is a leather museum no less, just the thing for visiting Pittards workers who fancy a busman's holiday while they're in the Midlands.

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