Sunday, February 7, 2010

Old Trafford Visit

Just back after a visit to Manchester to see Manchester United play and easily defeat Portsmouth and go tops in the Premiership. My first visit ever in spite of being a fan since 1958. Great experience, very enjoyable.

We booked the date because it suited a family event and were amazed to realise when we arrived at the stadium that it was the exact date of the Munich disaster fifty two years ago. This was only the sixth time that the team had played a match at Old Trafford on the exact date of the crash. Supporters held a commemoration at the Munich memorial (above) and there was a minute silence before the match.

We were high in the East Stand and had a great view especially of the three goals at our end in the second half. Quite a lot of Irish accents around and many on the flights over and back. We stayed in the Palace Hotel, right beside the Oxford Road railway station, one stop from Old Trafford. Very nice hotel, Brendan Shine is playing a concert there on March 10th. Tickets here!

Great atmosphere in the stadium and all kinds of drama being played out, not just on the field. Great numbers of supporters are wearing green and gold scarves as a protest againt the current owner of the club, Malcolm Grazer. The green and gold were the colours of Newton Heath, the club which was renamed Manchester United many years ago. Enthusiastic chants of "Love United, Hate Glazer" also featured.

The great cheer which greeted the Manchester City full time score (lost to Hull) also pointed to the great city rivalry and the recent efforts by City to compete with United.

A really enjoyable visit, didn't see much of Manchester, just lots of red brick building and lots of canals. Maybe the next time I'll stay longer. Must remember to enter the Manchester Cathedral Poetry competition - collecting my prize would be a good excuse!!

1 comment:

Peter Goulding said...

Good match to choose for your debut visit to Old Trafford.Loads of home goals, even if three of them were scored by the opposition.
My son, who is a Spurs fan, got his first trip to White Hart Lane last year for his 21st birthday. The match? The 9-0 drubbing of Wigan!