No, I’m not talking about the sport that involves throwing an egg shaped ball to other players who hardly ever use their feet during the game. I’m talking about true, British football, a sport that has been the national pastime of British culture since before any of you were born. Since I’ve played football (soccer, but for this post I’m going to reference it as football) for my entire life, I decided to start following the British Premier League back when I was a kid, and following who has done well and who hasn’t. I’ve been a supporter of a team called Manchester City, and I’ve wanted to go to a game since I was a kid. I finally got the chance to last week.
Slight back story: last summer, I was committed to going to a game while I was abroad, so I bought a membership that would allow me to buy tickets to any game that I wanted. Tickets are a bit different in the UK, and it’s harder to find tickets on websites like Stubhub and Ticketmaster. Therefore, I thought it would be a good investment to buy a membership in the beginning of the year, and therefore would save money and time trying to find a ticket later on in the program. I actually bought tickets to a highly anticipated game against Liverpool, who has been one of Manchester City’s toughest opponents all year. I left on a train to Manchester in the early afternoon, as the game was at night. After going to a pub before the match, I walked over two miles to the stadium with other fans, which was a real cool feeling, as I truly felt like one of the locals. Once I arrived at the stadium, it was breathtaking how big the stadium truly was in person.
The game itself was quite entertaining, and although Manchester City lost, I got to see many of the players who I’ve only rooted for on TV for the last 10 years. I apologize for the lack of photos, but I really was so engaged in the game, I didn’t even care if I got any pictures or not. It was all about the experience.
The icing on the cake was staying at a hotel near Old Trafford, which even though it is the home stadium of Manchester City’s rival, it was cool to have a view of the stadium from my hotel room. Plus, the stadium is quite historic and famous, so to be able to say that I saw it is quite phenomenal.
This was such a cool experience for me, as I finally got to watch my favorite sports team in action after years of supporting them. I can’t wait to go back for my next game.