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Ground Guide to Spotland


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We at the Rochdale Supporters Trust are this season trying to provide as much information available to visiting suppporters to make your visit (off the field) as comfortable as possible. It's all posted here so we're not trying to take traffic away from this site. And if its all okay with you, we'll pop back with a survey on Sunday to see how your visit went.


Getting to Spotland Stadium, Rochdale OL11 5DR
For 95% of car-based visitors to Spotland, it’s a case of leaving the M62 at Junction 20, and following the signs to Rochdale. It’s pretty much a straight road direct to the ground. Bear left with the retail park facing you, pass under the bridge which proclaims ‘Rochdale birthplace of co-operation’ and then it’s straight on all the way.   After the traffic lights you’ll pass the sewage treatment works on the right, followed by Rochdale Cemetery on the left as you get closer. 

If you’re coming by train, the best way of getting to the ground is by taxi. Costs around £4 to do so. There’s often Town Taxis waiting outside the station but sometimes it can be est to ring up in advance as you approach Rochdale and pre-book one. Best numbers are Streamline 01706 644104 or Millenium 01706 646465. Alternatively, walking is about 30 mins and public transport isnt the easiest to get here.

If you are travelling through Manchester Victoria, you will have the option of Metrolink or Train. The train is about half an hour quicker as the Metrolink goes through Oldham which is definitely the long way around. Avoid at your peril.


On the whole, it’s a case of first come first served. There’s a couple of parking restrictions on the roads to the right as you approach the ground, and parts of Sandy Lane will be coned up but that aside, it’s help yourself. There’s plenty of sides streets with no restrictions in the vast majority of them. There’s no parking at the ground itself. There is a school on the left hand side as you approach the ground. There is plenty of parking available down this road (Hudsons Walk) though the school itself is likely to be locked up. A Lincoln fan recently told us that the Church on Willbutts Lane allows supporters to park in their car park in return for a donation of your choice. This is approx. 100 yards at most from the away turnstiles. It’s not a huge car park but if you’re arriving early you won’t find anywhere closer. There's also parking available at Spotland Bridge Mills which is walking distance from the ground. Further details are available at www.facebook.com/SpotlandBridgeMills/


As you approach the ground from the motorway, there is a retail estate on the right-hand side. You will find your usual retail estate eateries there such as Pizza Hut, Frankie and Bennys, McDonalds, and the Sandbrook and a really good curry house called the Copper Pot (opens 5-15 on Saturdays).

If grabbing a pre-match bag of chips is more your sort of thing, then the Willbutts Lane Chippy is something of a Football League legend. Its smack bang opposite the away turnstiles and if you weren’t hungry before, then you will be when the aroma his you are you queue your way in. It’s a cracking chippy and comes thoroughly recommended.


The closest pub to the ground is the Ratcliffe Suite / Dale Bar. It’s built into the ground and accessible from the Sandy Lane end of the ground. Traditionally, the Ratcliffe Suite is aimed at away supporters and is massive. They have Sky Sports on a couple of big screens and TV’s around the room. Despite its size, they serve pretty quickly. They don’t do food in there other than hot pies from behind the bar. It is being used to offer hospitality to Newcastle fans this saturday so at time of writing I'm not sure if it will be open or not.


A little further away is the Cemetery Pub. This will be on the right-hand side if you are approaching the ground from the motorway. The Pub is CAMRA listed and was recently added to the “Champions Club” by the brewers Timothy Taylor due to how they tend to their beer. Those away supporters who are regulars to Spotland flock to the “Cem” year after year as part of their visit, with many preferring the pub to the game. Again, big screens and TV’s showing live sports. There will sometimes be football specials on in terms of food, but if not, there will be sandwiches and hot pies available. Season Ticket holders get a 20p discount on certain drinks and this applies to away supporters as well so don’t leave it at home.


If you are opting to drink in town rather than close to the ground, you have several options. There’s a big Wetherspoons called the Regal Moon and a Yates across the road from there (facing the town hall). There are a few really good independent places such as the Flying Horse and the Medicine Tap (both area also facing the town hall).  The Flying Horse has just been named the North West's Pub of the Year and shortlisted for the country's finest. You’ve plenty of taxis available to take you to the ground.


A little further afield is the Baum. It’s a former CAMRA pub of the year, and is situated on Toad Lane – the historic birth of the Co-op. Not a bad town to visit if you're into your real ale.


All ticket for you, and we believe they've all gone.


The Away End
If you’ve never been to Spotland before, away fans are housed in the long stand down one side of the pitch on Willbutts Lane. It’s our newest stand (built in 1992) and offers an unrestricted view of the pitch. Dale fans often wonder why we give our best stand to away supporters, so it gets the thumbs up from us.


It will house up to around 3,500 away supporters, but if you’re not bringing that many, the end blocks may well be fenced off.


The club have recently invested in netting to cut down on the impact of local pigeons who used to, shall we say, left their mark on some of the seating in the away end.

There is a typical football concourse below the stand, selling beer, pies and everything else you’d come to expect at a football ground these days. We believe there’s a couple of screens in there showing you the latest scores.


Stewarding / Policing
Historically, some supporters used to complain about the stewarding at Spotland but it’s been a long while now since there were any issues of overzealous stewarding to the best of our knowledge. We tend to rely on stewarding, though the more high-profile games will have Police in attendance. The only views we have had from away supporters in recent years about our stewards is when the Barnsley fans got one to wear plant pot on his head or Oldham supporters decided that one of them looked like Boris Johnson.


Stopping Over
There are a few places that offer overnight accommodation in town
The Flying Horse pub in town does accommodation. Rooms are above the pub and are perfect if you want somewhere cheap and cheerful after a night out down town. Fantastic value for money, and you’ll be well looked after. (http://www.theflyinghorsehotel.co.uk/accommodation/)
There are other hotels in the town. The Broadfield is based in the town centre, whilst the Royal Toby and the Norton Grange are a couple of miles away from the ground.


Getting away after the game
When there are large away followings, traffic can often be an issue heading back to the Motorway. To avoid this, you’ve got three options
Heading East – aim for Junction 21 and get on the M62 at Milnrow. Stick “Kingsway Business Park” into your Sat Nav and follow the directions. It’s about 3 miles to get there but traffic should be flowing throughout.
Heading West – you’ve got two choices. You can aim for Junction 19 at Heywood or you can aim for the M66. J19 is just over three miles away, and the M66 at Heap Bridge is about 4.5 miles away. Again, traffic should be flowing towards both of these options. You can be extra sneaky by avoiding Sandy Lane and driving up Edenfield Road and turning left at the garage.

Heading North - probably best heading up Edenfield Road towards Owd Betts and getting on the M66/A56 at Edenfield.


Other fans comments
Here's what other supporters have said about the places to visit:
Ratcliffe Suite
•    Friendly, and welcoming do enjoy coming Rochdale (BWFC 13/8)
•    Top service (BWFC 13/8)
•    Served quickly beer ok (BWFC 13/8)
•    very good (BWFC 13/8)
•    Ratcliffe Suite was excellent for away fans. Very welcoming and friendly. Plenty of people serving behind the bar, so despite it being busy the waiting time wasn't long. (DRFC 10/8)
•    The Carlsberg lager was a bit ropey, only had one because of this (DRFC 10/8)
•    Beer a bit expensive (DRFC 10/8)
•    Very good. Friendly Dale supporters (DRFC 10/8)
•    Nice family atmosphere (DRFC 10/8)
•    Pretty good. The bar is superb. (DRFC 10/8)
•    Ratcliffe Suite was good, made to feel welcome. Large screen TV's is a plus. People were pushing in in the queues for the bar, but I guess that happens everywhere. (SAFC 20/08)
•    Service good and quick ~ shame food concession that was there last year has gone? Pies from behind bar were poor (SAFC 20/08)
•    Ridiculously expensive. £4.30 a pint is daylight robbery!!! (SAFC 20/08)
•    Ratcliffe- as stated earlier. RIP off drink prices. (SAFC 20/08)
•    Impressed with Radcliffe, good location, full of away fans, decent pint, plenty of staff (SAFC 20/08)
•    Ratcliffe Suite - Terrible beer. MLA (SAFC 20/08)
•    Quick friendly service in Ratcliffe Suite (SAFC 20/08)
•    Ratcliffe Suite was good, plenty of space even when it got busy (SAFC 20/08)
•    Ratcliffe suite- exactly what you want, quick service near the ground and plenty of room. (SAFC 20/08)
•    The doorman bouncer was very very welcoming  (SAFC 20/08)
•    Ratcliffe Suite Good size venue and good lager at a fair price (SAFC 20/08)
•    Nice and welcoming in The Ratcliffe Suite and the ground staff were polite and helpful. Will definitely visit again. (LCFC 17/09)
•    Ratcliffe was very good too - friendly welcome and quick to get served. (ITFC 5/11)
•    Ratcliffe Suite - Really good for large away following, great friendly service & decent beer. (ITFC 5/11)
•    Ratcliffe. Very welcoming, from doormen to police who came in to check up. (ITFC 5/11)
•    Ran out of your very nice pies (ITFC 5/11)

Cemetery Pub
•    Friendly, and welcoming do enjoy coming Rochdale (BWFC 13/8)
•    Cemetery was good, went back after as well (SAFC 20/08)
•    Cemetery is an excellent pub and the season card discount is great touch (SAFC 20/08)
•    Cemetery great place, great beer, good atmosphere should have stayed there instead of moving on to the Ratcliffe Suite. (SAFC 20/08)
•    Cemetery Pub excellent. Great choice of beers,  very friendly  staff who clearly valued our custom. (SAFC 20/08)
•    The cemetery pub was very pleasant and good range of cheap beer (SAFC 20/08)
•    Friendly welcome, great value beer and food, free parking, what is there not to like. (SAFC 20/08)
•    Cemetery pub was very pleasant and friendly with good selection of beers (ITFC 5/11)

Willbutts Lane Chippy
•    Great old school chippy (BWFC 13/8)
•    Willbutts Lane Chippy still as good as ever (BWFC 13/8)
•    Excellent chippy (BWFC 13/8)
•    Excellent chippy😊 (DRFC 10/8)
•    Good chips (DRFC 10/8)
•    best chip shop I've ever visited, go here every time we go and never been disappointed (DRFC 10/8)
•    Best in uk. Go there whenever we play teams close by (DRFC 10/8)
•    Willbutts Chippy - Excellent. (SAFC 20/08)
•    Nice chips, gravy and batter from the chippy (SAFC 20/08)
•    Chippy was very good and the long queue moved quickly (SAFC 20/08)
•    Chippy not as good as some were making out (was fine though!) (SAFC 20/08)
•    Chippy busy but seemed well organised (LCFC 17/09)
•    Chippy outside the away end. Very good, recommend the Holland’s pie (LCFC 17/09)
•    Excellent chippy. Proper Lancashire pie! I had been told it was good and I was not disappointed. Very fair prices too. (LCFC 17/09)
•    Willbutts Lane Chippy excellent (LCFC 17/09)
•    Willbutts lane chippy is an institution and rightly so. Great pie and chips and friendly atmosphere. One for Dale to be prove of as a club and town (LCFC 17/09)
•    Willbutts Lane Chippy was excellent - fast service, despite a queue and good quality food at reasonable prices.(ITFC 5/11)
•    The fish and chips were very good, and good value and the staff were really well organised. (ITFC 5/11)
•    Willbutts Lane Chippy - Fantastic old school chippy. (ITFC 5/11)
•    Great chippy. Quick service despite big queues. First experience of a rag pud! (ITFC 5/11)
•    Good chips and fish cake (ITFC 5/11)

Spotland Social Club
•    Great bar (DRFC 10/8)
•    Social club.  Very friendly welcome and staff especially the 2 lads on the  door. wish we were treated as well at other  away games  (SAFC 20/08)

•    Rochdale sports club - cheap and welcoming (BWFC 13/8)
•    Spotland sports club was brilliant, cheap drinks and free food after the match. Looking forward to visiting next season (DRFC 10/8)
•    Sports club ..... fantastic place  (SAFC 20/08)
•    Baum pub, good selection of beer and friendly welcome for away fans in colours.  A fair walk but as good as anywhere (SAFC 20/08)
•    Fortune City Chinese Takeaway- nice curry, rice and chips and a good parking spot  (SAFC 20/08)
•    The Baum is excellent for away fans, the flying horse hotel seems good, the Regal Moon is very spacious. (SAFC 20/08) 
•    Baum - perfect. Cemetery & Ratcliffe likewise (SAFC 20/08)
•    Rochdale cricket club, ideal for parking and decent enough pint. Chippy great as always. (SAFC 20/08)
•    The Medicine Tap pub on The Esplanade was excellent. Great selection of ales and great service - my pint was slightly cloudy but tasted perfectly fine but the barman refunded the full cost saying that the barrel had been knocked in the cellar. (LCFC 17/09)
•    Visited the Flying Horse pub in town (50p per pint Camra discount on excelent real ale). (LCFC 17/09)
•    Had a nice pint and burger in the Medicine Tap in town - and then a £3 Uber to the ground. Staff in the tap were really friendly. Excellent place. (ITFC 5/11)


Further help
If you require any further help, you can email us at info@daletrust.co.uk 

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Cheers for that :good:


Were travelling tomorrow for a Friday night out in Mancyland. We’re meeting my newly single cousin and her mates. I can’t see anything going tits up there. Nope. Not with four lads away from their domestic cares for the night...





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36 minutes ago, PaddockLad said:

Cheers for that :good:


Were travelling tomorrow for a Friday night out in Mancyland. We’re meeting my newly single cousin and her mates. I can’t see anything going tits up there. Nope. Not with four lads away from their domestic cares for the night...





Sounds canny, I'll meet you in Mancyland. I'll give you and your mates the nod when I want you to fuck off and let Casadavey do his stuff. :good:


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6 hours ago, Ugly Mackems said:

The way our injuries are going it might be a blessing in disguise if we get knocked out. 

Great to see the way Bruce has re-invigorated your passion for the game, mate 👍

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17 hours ago, ewerk said:

Rochdale - a League 1 football club more successful in the FA Cup than Newcastle United over the last six seasons.

They read this stat out on 5Live the other day and all the 'experts' seemed shocked.

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