From our short-lived, yet enjoyable series of guides to Rovers away trips, here’s all you need to know about Yeovil.
Tell me more about Yeovil
Yeovil, short for ‘All Up In Yeovil’, is a town in Somerset, made infamous by its prevalent gang culture. For decades the town has been the setting of a prominent gang war between the Pen Mill Crew in the Eastside and the Westsiders from the Preston Plucknett Ghetto, making it the gun crime capital of the UK, and the go-to setting for many gritty urban films and video shoots. The original Grand Theft Auto video game used the town as its basis, and Yeovil has also been the setting for countless Spike Lee films.
What’s it famous for?
Gloves. Apparently a town can become prosperous on the back of making your hands warm, or given it’s gangster past, more likely, avoiding leaving prints on your fire-arms. However, Yeovil’s prominence in the world of glove means that to this day it remains a popular hang out for magicians and snooker referees alike. Up until his death in 2009 celebrated glove wearer Michael Jackson also often frequented Yeovil, indeed his 1975 hit ‘We’re Almost There’ was penned whilst waiting for a delayed connecting service to Yeovil Pen Mill.
How does one blend in?
Gloves. Stick on as many gloves as possible. Wear your jeans halfway down your arse, perfect your best gangsta roll and hang out near the Radio Shack on the corner of Franklin and 4th. You get me bro.
You’re Just a Small Town in…
Somerset. If you’re fond of accurate football songs then that’d be the ideal ending. Given the lack of large towns in this part of the South West then actual mock endings to the popular refrain are short in supply, so we suggest ending with ‘the grand scheme of things’.
What’s the Stadium like?
Yeovil’s Huish Park is the only ground in the England named after the noise a bus makes when it stops. A relatively modern football ground it was built in 1990, and is situated on the edge of town so visiting fans don’t get caught up in the town centre turf wars.
The modern-day Huish Park replaced Yeovil’s old Huish Athletic Ground which gained notoriety for its famous sloping pitch, which would often give visiting goalkeepers altitude sickness, and was used in the close-season for Cheese-rolling contests. The site of the old Huish is now a Tesco Extra supermarket, where in certain aisles you don’t have to push the trolley, but it’s quite a long arduous slog back to the check-outs.
Away supporters are housed on the Copse Road terrace behind the left-hand goal, or the right-hand goal if you’re standing on the other side. The terrace is open to the elements, so make sure you’ve memorised the periodic table before setting off.
How do I get to the Stadium?
I’m not a driver, so forgive these slightly vague directions. Head towards Birmingham, once you get there, go past it towards Bristol. Once you get there head south on the A37 to Yeovil. Just before Yeovil, take the 3rd exit on the roundabout for Thorne Lane and then keep going along there looking out the window for floodlights.
Yeovil has two train stations, only one of which, Pen Mill, is actually in Yeovil, so head towards that one. From the station you can get a number 68 bus into the centre of town if you dare, or you can take a taxi straight to the ground.
Lastly, any familiar faces in the Yeovil side?
James Hayter should be familiar enough, and if he’s not now, the inevitable goal he scores this afternoon should help jog your memory. Yep, that’s the fella. Also at Yeovil is ex-Rover Byron Webster, the central defender having joined the Glovers in the summer after spending last season at Northampton Town. Manager Gary Johnson should also be familiar, he being the man who took the credit for everything any football club ever achieved in the early 2000s during his first spell at Huish Park.