Manchester United: visiting the matches
Русская версия It is quite strange, that being a fan of Manchester United, Victor wrote about the Barcelona museum and Amsterdam Arena, but never told even a word about his favorite team. At the same time, Old Trafford was the first significant European stadium and football museum Victor visited in 2011. He managed to buy the match tickets, and the day after, visited the clubs museum. In 2012 he bought tickets again and took the Old Trafford tour. Today, he tells about Manchester United football club and gives some advice about trip organization.
Even if you are not interested in football, you’ve probably heard about the football team Manchester United. The 113-year old club won 20 league titles in England (best result) beating its old rivals from Liverpool with 18 titles. Numerous other cups and trophies have been won over the years. The FA Cup is very prestigious in England, and the players Manchester United became the owners of this honorary trophy for 11 times. The list of other more or less significant trophies includes 4 victories in the League Cup and 20 victories in the Super Cup. In the international arena the club got three victories in the Champions League, as well as victories in the European Super Cup, and former Cup Winners’ Cup. The history of the club has literally ups and downs. Munich tragedy was Manchester United most dramatic moment. In 1958, the aircraft with the players, team personnel and journalists crashed while taking off. As a result, 23 people died, among them 9 players. I recommend to watch the movie “United” about with disaster.
A story about Manchester United, its legendary players and coaches, the club’s relationship with its neighbors from Liverpool or Manchester may be very long. Our blog is not about football, so you can easily find more information from a variety of websites or the autobiography of one of the greatest coaches, Sir Alex Ferguson, who during the period 1986- 2013 led the club to conquer of the 38 different titles.
The club is known not only their success, but also for the legendary Old Trafford or Dream Theater, as it is often called. For me, a visit to this place was also a kind of dream that was realized in 2011, 17 years after I had started to follow the club.
To get the ticket, in addition to the British visa, I had to become an official member of Manchester United club for 50 pounds on their official website. After that, I had the opportunity to purchase a ticket in advance. The ticket cost about 44 pounds (there were cheaper options starting from 20 pounds). There is a possibility to take a low cost Ryanair or Easyjet flight from Tallinn to Manchester for less than 30 euro.
Football means a lot for England. In 2012, I quite an unpleasant experience due to it. It happened at the airport of Manchester, still close to Liverpool and Everton. Liverpool is one of the most hated clubs from the Premier League for Manchester fans and vice versa. The following dialogue occurred between me and the officer at the border:
– The purpose of your visit?
– Visit of the match.
– Which match?
– Manchester United – Everton, here is the ticket.
– Uh-huh. And what is the greatest English team?
– Manchester United
– Wrong answer.
– Well, Everton?
– I don’t know then.
– It starts from L … .
And you realize that this silly guy may not let you in. I tried to make a joke:
– Liverpool? Maybe, but United won 19 titles…
– I hope that your fucking United will suck tomorrow…
With these words, the border guard angrily put a stamp into my passport. He said it so loud that some people who stood behind me applauded. They probably were also haters of United.
The main purpose of the trip to Manchester was the football match. So I didn’t see any special attractions of the city, only had some beer beer.
However, my friends and couchsurfers Les and Helen, with whom I stayed twice, organized for me a wonderful ride through scenic surroundings and I want to share with few photos of this beautiful area:
and my heroes:
Of course, before going to the stadium I had to buy attributes. I bought one scarf in the city, but near the stadium the choice is better and the price is lower.
Nevertheless, all these scarves do not have the original logos of clubs.
The official products can be bought, as you may guess, in the official store.
It is most convenient to get to the stadium by train. Now there is the “Manchester United” station placed next to the stadium. Link to all modes of transport. Keep in mind that the capacity of the stadium is more than 75 thousands, so it is necessary to arrive in advance. There is no line to go inside the stadium, a lot of entrances, and no long checking. You just put the ticket to the scanner and pass through the frame.
It is better to come early. You can take pictures with nice backgrounds,
eat and drink beer inside the stadium.
There are screens with other matches broadcast.
If you wish, you can watch how teams warm up,
or take a picture of yourself with the stadium.
During the match, the atmosphere is really hot, but there are many tourists. Visiting supporters sometimes get together for a few minutes to show their skills.
Two matches I visited were very different, but with the same result. The first was goalless 0-0, while the second was 4-4. In the second case, Manchester could easily win, so the disappointment was everywhere. Some kids were crying.
Both times I stayed after the game to meet the players at the exit of the stadium and both times the result did not give a reason for joy to them. The first match ended late, the players were far away and my amateur camera flash was not enough. After the second, some players found the strength to come to the fans.
The other players with just went to their cars.
The hero of the match and the future player of Manchester United and his fan:
After the second game, I went to the pub, which is just a short walk from the stadium with my new companions to watch the rivals from Manchester City. Unfortunately, they won and we realized that United missed the title.
Next time I’ll talk about the museum of Manchester United and Old Trafford tour.