Shropshire Star

Safe standing launched at Shrewsbury Town ground - with video and pictures

After years of planning and tens of thousands of pounds being raised, Shrewsbury Town have officially launched the first safe standing area at the ground.

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More than 500 seats have been installed at one end of the stadium in Oteley Road, which allows a switch to a standing experience.

Supporters' Parliament chairman Mike Davis said the seats will be used for the first time at the beginning of next season – hopefully in the Championship.

He said: "It will first be used at the start of August for the first game.

"It has taken us two years to get to this point, once the installation started it's only taken a week to get it in.

"We have done it to try and benefit our fans who want to stand and improve the atmosphere in the stadium.

"We moved from a ground 10 years ago which was predominantly standing and then fans complained as they still wanted standing so this was our opportunity.

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"It is a proven safe way to stand at football. We're the first club in England and Wales to put this system in place.

"We're hoping as soon as ours is being used and everyone can see that it's working, it will persuade the Government to allow it elsewhere.

"I'm incredibly proud, being the first. It is something that football fans have been asking for for a long time.

The new safe standing section

"Roger Groves took the bull by the horns and took the idea to the football club, then conversations have taken place with safety groups and the local council.

"We also discussed it with Celtic who has the system in place already.

"It's been a lot of hard work but we've got there and we're very proud of it."

Last year £65,000 was raised for the Supporters’ Parliament-led initiative which has seen 555 rail seats placed into the Salop Leisure South Stand.

The rail seats have been made by local company Ferco Seating and the fitters started work at the stadium last week, which was scheduled to take two weeks.

Roger Groves, together with joint chairman Mr Davis and the rest of the supporters’ parliament were the instigators of the club’s historic safe standing initiative, which was backed by the club and CEO Brian Caldwell.