Family friendly football

Matt Davis, Sept 2017
I live in South East London where the topic of footballing loyalty can often cause arguments over the dinner table and tears at Christmas, depending on your various family allegiances! With that in mind, this is not a blog aiming to cause divisions among fans or stoke the flames of rivalry. This is a run through of the three London clubs best suited to bringing your family to the footy.

These are not the capital’s most accomplished footballers, but they provide the perfect platform for you to bring the partner and kids and enjoy a spectacle of live sport – without exposing them to some of football’s uglier aspects.

I’ve specifically chosen stadiums which offer family stands, for obvious reasons. I’ve also factored in affordability because if you’re new to football, or aren’t sure what your kids will think, you don’t want to pay through the roof for a ticket to a match the kids lose interest in before half time. The other factor for family friendly football has to be atmosphere; you go to soak up a fun, exciting and passionate environment. Each of the venues I have suggested achieve all of that, but situated in a family stand. These are far more likely to be harmless, well spirited chants – rather than your more *cough*, classic footballing lyrics..!

Charlton Athletic
This is a club that has been on the receiving end of some friendly criticism from rival fans for lacking quintessential footballing atmosphere (it won’t surprise you to hear I am paraphrasing). It simply isn’t the case, the north end is full of noise and passion, with the family stand situated in the north-east of The Valley. Old and young fans are treated to regular visits from the Reds’ mascots Sir Valiant and Robyn to keep spirits up when the results can’t!

Growing up as a teenager, Fulham was famed for two things; family stands and Jimmy Bullard. One is still going strong in West London, and it isn’t Jimmy Bullard (despite being by far Soccer Am’s greatest asset). Fulham provides a fun and friendly introduction to the sport for young ones, and the football isn’t bad either.

Leyton Orient
An affordable place to bring the kids and get involved in a club steeped in history, despite a disappointing recent campaign that has landed them in the Conference Premier National league. You can take the kids for a fiver and show them the side of football rarely covered by Sky Sports.

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