Craven Cottage is a historic stadium on the banks of the River Thames. It’s in the west side of London and within zone 2 of the transport system. As a result it’s extremely easy to get to the stadium.
How to get to Craven Cottage
For me, the simplest way to get to Craven Cottage is by tube. I took the tube to Putney Bridge on the District Line. From there it’s a pleasant 15 minute walk through Bishops Park to the stadium. You may also wish to visit Fulham Palace which is adjacent to Bishops Park.
Johnny Haynes Statue – Stadium Tour Meeting Point
Johnny Haynes is regarded as the greatest ever Fulham player. He played for Fulham for 18 years in addition to playing for the England National team. As a matter of fact, Pele described him as the greatest passer of the ball he’d ever witnessed. The Fulham stadium tour starts from the Johnny Haynes statue. However, they are not so frequent and you cannot simply turn up and expect a tour. For this reason, check the official website for tour times. Finally, they can organise you a special tour if you’re visiting as a group.
When was Fulham FC Founded?
Fulham FC was founded in 1879. However, on the Johnny Haynes stand it states that Fulham FC was founded in 1880. This was simply an error by whoever added this artwork to the stadium. Now of course, it’s a protected building therefore it cannot be changed.
The first stop on the Fulham stadium tour is the Fulham Press Room. This is inside the historic Johnny Haynes stand. You’re welcome to pose for photos where the manager would typically give a press conference. Famous Fulham manager include Kevin Keegan, Mark Hughes, Chris Coleman and of course, Roy Hodgson.
Craven Cottage Facts
The capacity of Craven Cottage is 25,700. Craven Cottage is in fact a cottage which lies within the corner of the stadium. The changing rooms, referees room, managers office and players tunnel all lie within the cottage. For this reason, it’s a truly unique stadium. The whole Johnny Haynes stand is a protected building by Archibald Leitch which dates back to 1905. Lastly, Pele, Eusebio and Cristiano Ronaldo have played at Craven Cottage.
Away Team Dressing Rooms
The away team dressing room is a cold, uninspiring place. For some reason, when I visited there was a packet of English tea on the bench. It’s located within Craven Cottage itself.
Fulham FC Dressing Room
The Fulham FC dressing room is a warm, spacious and also a homely place within Craven Cottage. It states on the wall, ‘Play every minute’ and ‘Give everything’. Ironically, the season I visited, Fulham would be relegated from the Premier League. Did they give everything and play every minute?
In between the Johnny Haynes stand and Craven Cottage is the players tunnel. At this point I recommend you look up to the iconic Fulham FC logo on the side of the cottage. This is arguably one of the most famous logos in football. It is to Fulham FC what the Shankly Gates are to Liverpool FC.
At pitchside you can sit in the iconic Fulham dugout. A photo in the Instagram worthy black and white seats with the Fulham logo is a must. In addition, there are excellent views of the historic Johnny Haynes stand.
VIP Seats / Royal Box
The directors box arguably offers the best view of the stadium. Not only is it facing the historic Johnny Haynes Stand but it also has the comfiest seats. Ibrox Stadium is famous for the royal visit of King George and of course Queen Elizabeth has visited Hillsborough. But which member of royalty has visited Craven Cottage? The King of Pop Michael Jackson has sat in the directors box to enjoy a game. It was 10th April when he witnessed Fulham beat Wigan 2-0.
Michael Jackson Statue
A Michael Jackson statue stood beside the Hammersmith Stand from 2011 and 2013. The former owner of Fulham, Mohammed Fayed erected it in his honor. Fulham had a new owner in 2013 who removed the statue. The following year Fulham were relegated and Mohammed Fayed said it was because they removed the Michael Jackson statue. I was lucky enough to see the original statue in the National Football Museum in Manchester.
George Cohen Statue
Did you know that Fulham had a World Cup winner? England famously won the 1966 World Cup and Fulham defender George Cohen was an important part of that team. His statue is adjacent to the Hammersmith stand where he looks out over the River Thames.
Fulham FC Club Shop
The Fulham stadium tour conveniently ends in the club shop. Any Fulham fans will enjoy looking through the merchandise. Alternatively, non Fulham fans can find some good souvenirs of their trip to Craven Cottage.
Enjoy the Craven Cottage Stadium Tour
Unfortunately, the Fulham stadium tour is quite infrequent. For this reason, I recommend you check the official website for tour schedule. However, it’s a historic British stadium you wish to see then Craven Cottage is definitely the correct choice.