February 7, 2015

Glory Glory Man United

One of the first things that came to my mind after I bought the flight ticket to UK was to watch a match at Old Trafford! I am a Manchester United fan yo! A loyal one since 1995. Fuhh~~ kagum dengan diri sendiri hahaha

It all started with my crush over David Beckham. Well tell me who wasn't? Because of him, I started following MU's news and stuff and slowly, my love for the team grew over the years.

I became a loyal supporter cos even after Beckham left for Real Madrid in 2003, my allegiance stayed with the club until now. *pats own shoulder*

So I began looking at their website for match ticket information. Two home games were scheduled during my period of travel;
1. vs Newcastle on Boxing Day
2. vs Southampton on 11th Jan

BUT!! Both of the games' tickets were sold out! T___T

So my only way to be inside the Old Trafford was to join the Stadium Tour. Check out Manchester United's official website for more details.

Took an early morning train from Euston Station to Manchester. The fare I got was GBP 19 for both ways, to and fro. The cheapest for that day. I saw the afternoon fare shot up to GBP 38 per way. Not sure whether it was because of the peak Christmas season or it is the norm.

The journey took about 2 hours with the train passing by some farms. Quite an interesting view.

I was lost for a while once I reached Manchester Piccadilly station. I didn't have a map with me and I only remembered I read somewhere that the stadium is within walking distance from the train station. Tried to look for tourist information centre but there was none.

While I was figuring out which exit to take, luckily I came across a station staff. Got the direction from him thank God. So actually, I had to take a tram from the station (it's the yellow tram, heading to Altrincham), and then stop at Old Trafford station. It's free! Or maybe not, cos I saw a ticketing machine nearby the station. But everybody ignored it I swear. So yeah.. maybe it's free!

You will see Old Trafford stadium right off the station but it is not the one you're heading to. That's a cricket ground. Walk straight for about 10 minutes and you'll reach the Theatre of Dreams.

The Theatre of Dreams. Yeah!! Standing in front of the historic stadium, I couldn't help but felt so proud of my favorite team.  

Three of the finest players of Manchester United; Best, Law and Charlton. The legends.

I booked my ticket prior to coming here to ensure I got the date and time slot that suits my trip. Ticket was GBP 18 plus GBP 1 administration (booking) fee. Showed my booking confirmation at the ticketing counter in exchange for my tour tag.

The tour lasted for about an hour or so, where we were brought to see behind the scenes insight in to the workings of the Club.

 Surprisingly, the stadium was very clean. But perhaps because they were preparing for Boxing Day's match versus the Magpies.

My group's guides, Duncan and Phil were fantastic! Both were very informative, insightful and funny which made the tour more enjoyable. And helpful too, to take pictures of moi. hahaha...

Seats at the Director's Box

Where the players hang out pre and post match. 

The players' tunnel

The pitch. If only I could jump in and roll on the grass.

Managers and Players' seat

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The only downside of the tour is that we didn't get enough free time to roam around the stadium. This is because they need to keep to a strict tour timetable as the tours run at regular intervals.

After the tour, I went to visit the museum. There are exhibits stretching all the way back to the clubs foundation in 1878. There is also a memorial area for the heartbreaking Munich air disaster, the darkest chapter in the club's history.  

And not to forget, the massive collection of trophies. You can have your pictures taken with the Premier League trophy, the 1999 UEFA Champions League trophy and the FA Cup trophy. But damn you have to pay for it so I only had pictures of the trophies from the side T__T

Entrance to the museum is free so if you don't want to spend GBP 18 to enter the stadium, you can spend your time here and at the adjacent Red Café.

The Munich Tunnel, a permanent memorial for the players who lost their lives in the Munich incident.

 Satisfied fan. Hehe.. 

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