An introduction to English football

Manchester Travel Blog

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Touring Old Trafford
English Football is unlike anything else I've experienced. For a start, planning a trip to see Manchester United play at home is an education in itself. It is impossible to purchase single game tickets if you are not a registered "One United" member, so I could only buy a packaged tour which included accommodation for a minimum of two nights, tickets to a pre-game tour and the actual match tickets. In addition, because of the strict security at premier league games, you have to declare which team you are supporting before you purchase tickets... and if you were to turn up on the day wearing the kit of the opposing team, you would not be allowed to enter the stadium.

I enjoyed the city of Manchester, although it was FREEZING cold, but I was excited to be in the home of Coronation Street! Our tour of Old Trafford was well worth taking the time to do, where we learned about not only the history of the club and the stadium, but also things like the fact that there are no rubbish bins anywhere in the stadium (because of bombs) and that every single section has its own exit stairwell, so the stadium can be completely evacuated in a matter of minutes.
Touring Old Trafford


On gameday we headed out to the stadium early to get situated and soak up the atmosphere. The road leading up to the stadium is completely blocked with 60,000+ people making their way to the gates. The police presence is huge, with a row of police manning the last rubbish bins about fifty meters before the gates. Once inside the stadium you drop your rubbish on the ground, where it is immediately swept up by staff... I've never seen a cleaner stadium anywhere! The fans at English football games are seated according to which team they support. About 80% of the stadium was red, and one small section was reserved for the Crystal Palace supporters and completely surrounded by a ring of police... you see firsthand that they take security seriously and are making every effort to ensure tragedies of the past are not repeated.
Once the kick-off whistle is blown the English fans launch into 90 minutes of fierce singing... this was the most unusual experience for someone who comes from a country where people focus on the game and cheer and clap only after major plays. The English fans - and I've seen this in both rugby and soccer matches - sing their hearts out in songs where everyone somehow knows the lyrics, and that are either supportive of their own team, or abusive of the opposition. It was one giant sing-off with the Palace supporters singing one thing, then the United fans singing something back in response... and with over 60,000 people in the stadium, it really was something to be experienced!
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Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
Touring Old Trafford
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
United vs. Crystal Palace
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photo by: klaaRA