We had trouble there countless times during the 1970s, but the worst of all was the 1992 last game of the season when Toon fans were ambushed outside the ground - before and after the game.
We were subject to missile-throwing constantly throughout the game, and there were pitch invasions from Leicester fans attacking our end after both of our goals.
It was certainly the worst I've seen (Millwall apart) in the last twenty years on my travels.
Have times changed? Let's just say "I hope so".
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away supporters are housed in the North East corner of the stadium, where just over 3,000 fans can be accommodated. The view of the playing action is good (although you are set well back from the pitch) as well as the facilities available. The concourse is comfortable and there is your normal range of hot dogs, burgers and pies available (including the Pukka Balti Chicken pie £2.50, served in a tray with a fork). There are television screens on the concourse showing the game going on within the stadium. My only slight grumble was that the gents toilets are poorly designed. They have a narrow 'zig zag corridor' of an entrance which hindered people coming in or out and didn't help the major traffic flow at half time! On the positive side though, the atmosphere within the stadium was good, with the home fans singing on both sides of the away section. The atmosphere is further boosted by a huge bare chested drummer, who is located at the back of the home section, immediately to the left of the away fans. The stewarding was also pretty relaxed. The teams come out to the Post Horn Gallop tune, reminiscent of horse riding and even fox hunting! (Leicester are nicknamed the Foxes).
Paul Groombridge a visiting Gillingham fan adds; 'From the far upper seats of the away section, the view was pretty good, though from there, you'd probably complain of being too far away from the action (I thought it was okay). One good thing about being at the top of the away section - you can use the plastic transparent panels as pretty good drums when singing!'
I have received a number of reports of away fans being treated somewhat heavily handed by the local constabulary around the stadium and of some even being 'frog marched' from the railway station to the ground. Although these measures may be deemed necessary, in order to prevent violent disorder, is doesn't do much for the overall away day experience at Leicester. Stuart Bible informs me; 'Just to confirm that the Police presence at Leicester Station is completely over the top. As a visiting QPR fan recently we were 'guided' to the Hind Pub & promptly asked to drink up at 2pm. All 25 of us were then escorted by 38 Police (I counted them) a Dog & 3 Police vans. Of the 25 were 3 children under 10! They should save their heavy handedness for the day that there might be a real threat of trouble'.
Where To Drink?
The ground is walkable from the city centre (15-20 minutes), where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Most of the pubs near to the stadium are home fans only. In particular 'The Victory' and 'The F Bar' pubs should be avoided by visiting supporters. Plus the 'Half Time Orange' pub located just over the road from the away end, is a members-only Leicester City bar.
Andy Jobson a visiting Southampton fan informs me; 'Probably the best bet for away fans is the Counting House pub on Freemens Common Road. It has a good mix of both sets of supporters, with all the normal facilities on offer'. Beaumont Fox adds; 'This pub is located just off the Aylestone Road, behind the Local Hero pub (home fans only) and next to Morrisons Supermarket. It does though exclude away supporters when the game is deemed to be a 'high profile' one'.
Andrew Whitefield a visiting Ipswich supporter also recommends 'The Leicester Gateway, on Gateway Street, near to the hospital. This is quite a big pub, busy but not overcrowded, with a mixture of home and away fans. It offers a wide selection of beers, including real ales and has a simple match day menu for food of burgers, sausage baps, chips etc... which were enjoyable and good value'. This pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and is around a 15 minute walk away from the away entrance. With the away entrance at your back, turn left and go along the back of the stand. When you reach the Leicester City Club Shop, bear right and cross over the road. Follow this road down to the junction with Upperton Road. Turn right at the t-junction and then you need to cross over the road to the opposite side and then continue right to you reach Jarrom Street. Go along Jarrom Street and take the fourth left into Gateway Street. The pub is a short distance along this road on the right.
For those arriving by train then 'The Hind' pub across the road from the station serves a selection of real ales. Otherwise alcohol is available inside the stadium, however this can be a bit of a 'hit and miss affair' depending on which team you support. Richard Aquilina explains; 'Certainly alcohol wasn't available in the away end on our visit. The pumps were covered with black bags and the signs were covered with cardboard! When I enquired further it appears that alcohol is not sold for high profile games. By high profile I think they mean more than a few hundred fans as there obviously isn't any history between Leicester and Rovers as this is the first time we met at this level'.
How To Get By Car & Where To Park
Leave the M1 at Junction 21, or if coming from the Midlands, follow the M69 until the end of the motorway (which meets the M1 at Junction 21).Take the A5460 towards Leicester city centre. Continue on this road, until you go under a railway bridge. Carry on for another 200 yards and turn right at the traffic lights into Upperton Road (sign posted Royal Infirmary) and then right again into Filbert Street. The new stadium is visible just behind the old Filbert Street ground.
Allow yourself a little extra time to get to the ground as traffic does tend to get quite congested near the stadium. Plenty of street parking to be found (especially around the Upperton Road area and on streets running off the A5460 by the railway bridge. It is then around a 15 minute walk to the stadium), although as Greg Barclay warns; 'don't double park as the traffic wardens tend to have a field day at every match'. Alternatively you can park at Leicester Rugby Club (£3) which is a ten minute walk away from the stadium.
The train station in the city centre is walkable from the ground and should take you around 20-25 minutes. There is normally a heavy Police presence around the station.
Thanks to Philip Draycott for providing the following directions from the station to the ground;
'Come out of the station, cross the road in front of the station and proceed to the left. Follow this round to the right and now you are walking with the main Central Ring Road (Waterloo Way) on your left. Keep this to your left as the pavement becomes a separate path and the road sinks down into a dip down to your left. A quick left and right to stay on the pathway as it crosses New Walk and you go down the left hand side of New Walk Museum. The pathway rejoins the main road as pavement again and you see a small recreation ground (Nelson Mandela Park) on your right. Turn right into Lancaster Rd and then cross the park to the crossings over the main road by the public lavatories. Head for the Victory pub opposite (not recommended for away fans), turn left across the front of the Leicester Royal infirmary. First right into Walnut St and you can see the stadium behind the old Filbert Street ground'.