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Reckless Guide to Halifax

16 March 2015

Reckless provides the perfect travel pack for all Barnet supporters making the trip up to Halifax on Saturday.

FC Halifax Town v Barnet FC
Vanarama Conference Premier
Tuesday 17th March 2015
Kick Off:  19:45

Stadium: The Shay, Shay Syke, Halifax West Yorkshire, HX1 2YS
Telephone: 01422 341222
Club Colours: Blue and White
Nickname: The Shaymen
Official Website:  www.halifaxafc.co.uk

Key Personnel:
Gateshead born Neil Aspin is in charge at The Shay and had a long playing career as a defender with Leeds United, Port Vale and Darlington between 1982-2001. He managed at Harrogate Town before joining FC Halifax in 2009.

Impress the Locals:
The club was originally formed in 1911. FC Halifax Town formed out of the ashes of Halifax Town who went into administration during 2007-08 season. Debts of £2million with over £800,000 owed to HM Revenue and Customs saw the club wound up. The Shaymen reformed in July 2008, be it three steps further down the pyramid, the FA placing them in the Unibond League Division One North.

Brief Directions by Road:
Take the M62 exiting at junction 24, follow signs for A629 Halifax (quite complicated after the slip road, just keep focused) and into Calderdale Way which becomes the Huddersfield Road After approx 4.5 miles on this A629 keep right into Shaw Hill where you will find the ground on your left and parking.

Car Parking:
There is parking  at the ground at a small charge but street parking locally is freely available.

Directions by Train:
I'm not providing any for this trip as I can't imagine it would be of any use as to get back on the same day would be a non-starter!

Supporters Coaches:
The supporters' coach will leave The Hive at 13:00 with earlier pick up points at Potters Bar Station, Barnet (three separate places), Whetstone and Edgware starting at 12:00. The price is £30 return. For further information on the Bees Travel Club, please call the ticket office on 020 8381 3800 and select option one or visit The Hive in person.

Eating and Drinking Locally:
The Three Pigeons, which you pass on the left when walking from the station serves up very decent pints. The Town Centre pub The Barum Top Inn is a good bet for food and beer selection.  Nearer to the town centre you will find The Pump Room in New Road. My Reckless recommendation – which is a tough pub to find but a real gem tucked away behind the old mill building to the east of the ground, is The Shears Inn. You will find it in Paris Gates/Boys Lane HX3 9EZ. It is the oldest pub in Halifax and a well worth seeking out. I will be in there for real ales and their range of hot sandwiches, with a side of chips and gravy dip, all are scrummy.

Social Club:
The South Stand bar is open to all before and after the match.

Ground Description:
The ground was originally laid out in 1921 and remained a very basic stadium with some area simple grass banks until as late as the early 1980's. The club now have an arena that could grace the Football League with very few problems. The recently refurbished East Stand has room for around 4,000 and houses all the office facilities plus changing rooms and corporate hospitality. At each end of the ground are huge “old school” covered terraces each offering a fabulous view of proceedings. Opposite is the old Skircote Stand, the oldest of the structures which has been converted from terrace to seating.  The current capacity is a healthy 14,000. Away fans are often housed in the Skircoat Stand and although covered it does have a number of supporting pillars that may hinder your view. Around 2,000 away supporters can be accommodated here. For a small away following (which I suspect will include us) then the Northern section of the Main Stand is allocated.

Admission:
Adults £17 Concessions £13 Under 17's £6 Under 7's £3

Rivals:
Rochdale traditionally, but the club are surrounded by some pretty fierce opposition. Oldham to the south east, Rochdale and Bury to the west, Bradford to the east and Burnley to the north. To the south lies Huddersfield and horror of horror the hooligan infested Holmfirth Rovers.

Previous Meetings and Memories:
Our last visit was in September 2013 when a Curtis Weston goal was not enough in a 2-1 defeat. However our visit in August 2004 saw us 2-0 down at half time but after an own goal, a strike by Liam Hatch and a sublime perfectly executed lob by Giuliano Grazioli the Bees ran out 3-2 winners. The previous season we picked up a 2-1 win (thanks to Graz and Ben Strevens) and even the terrace drum joined in the celebrations tumbling down the high terrace towards Shane Gore in the Bees goal...it could have killed someone for sure! I also had the absolute pleasure of visiting Halifax in the 2000/01 season by stretch limousine. Our little party shared numerous pints and vodkas in the lounge bar with John Doolan’s Dad before the game and numerous more after it. The result that day was...I can’t remember!

Celebrity Watch:
Halifax’s list of famous persons is mind blowing - US President George W Bush’s family tree was traced back to Halifax and his ancestors emigrated to Massachusetts in the 16th century. The Poet Laureate of 1984 Ted Hughes OBE lived in Halifax. 1970s legendary Blue Peter presenter John ‘Get Down Shep’ Noakes, wrestling giant ‘Shirley Crabtree’ aka Big Daddy, TV weatherman John Kettley and John Christie the infamous gas murderer of ‘10 Rillington Place’ in the 1940s also hailed from these parts. Daniel Defoe allegedly wrote the novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ whilst staying in Halifax around 1718. When you are driving home in the dark after witnessing another Barnet victory you should forever think of Halifax as the ‘cats eyes’ that illuminate the road markings were invented here too by Mr Percy Shaw. Mr Shaw has a Wetherspoons Pub in the Town Centre named in his honour.

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