Don’t say you’re a football fan if you don’t do these 5 fun things when you visit England. England is a country known as the birthplace of football. Starting as a game to relieve stress after work by urbanites during the industrial revolution, British urban residents made football a place to meet the community and have fun. So do not be surprised if the culture of watching football for British citizens has been formed for a long time. Even England has the oldest and most numerous football clubs in the world.
So, what are some fun things you can do in England as a football fan? Here, I will share the cheat sheet before you leave for England.
1. VISIT THE CITY OF MANCHESTER
Located in northwestern England, Manchester is a metropolitan city that is home to two of the main football clubs in Europe, namely Manchester United and Manchester City. Apart from using the plane, you can take the bus or train from Victoria Coach London Station to the city of Manchester. In this city, football fans can visit the National Football Museum and Old Trafford Stadium.
The National Football museum was built to preserve the football association’s collection. The collections contained in this museum come from the FIFA Book Collection, Football League, Football Association, FIFA Museum, and National Football collection. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Old Trafford Stadium is located 4 km from Manchester city center. This stadium is the second largest stadium in England and has also been the headquarters of Manchester United since its inception in 1910. The stadium is divided into 4 stands namely Sir Alex Fergusson Stand, Sir Bobby Charlton stand, East Stand, and West Stand.
2. FOLLOW THE STADIUM TOUR
If you have a favorite club, then you should take a stadium tour to get to know your favorite club further. Apart from the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, in London, there are several other touring stadiums such as Emirates Stadium- Arsenal FC, Stamford Bridge – Chelsea FC, and White Hard Lane – Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Due to limited time, I only had time to visit one of the stadiums, namely Emirates Stadium-Arsenal FC. To reach the stadium which is located in north London is not too difficult. We can take the tube and get off at Arsenal station. From Arsenal station, we just have to follow the directions to the station.
The proud stadium of The Gooners was inaugurated in 2006 with a capacity of around sixty thousand spectators. There are three tour packages offered by Emirates Stadium, namely the Museum Package for £ 8, the Legends Tour for £ 40, and the Self-Guided Tour for £ 20.
With a Self-Guided Tour you are given a virtual guide that you can listen to while walking around the stadium. Meanwhile, your Legends tour will be escorted directly by an Arsenal Legend like Lee Dixon around the stadium. The place that we explored during the tour is the Changing Room which is divided into two, namely for Arsenal and the opposing team and the Director’s Box where Arsenal officials and VIP guests can watch matches with the best views.
3. WATCHING A FOOTBALL MATCH
If you like watching football matches at stadiums, you can’t miss watching football at English stadiums. That said, the best atmosphere to watch a football game is in England. At least I felt it from the moment I got off the tube and joined the stream of football fans that filled the station. They move regularly towards the Emirates Stadium wearing slayer, head coverings, and their pride club shirts while shouting slogans or singing.
The atmosphere in the stadium was very lively because almost all the spectator seats were filled. You will feel the excitement of the football audience in England cheering and singing in support of their favorite club until after the match. British people have loved football for a long time so a culture of watching sports that is sporty, respectful, and regular has become their habit. Watching football is a culture that is exhilarating and contagious for visitors like me. If you go to England, don’t miss the opportunity to watch football at the stadium.
4. SHOP FOOTBALL trinkets
You definitely won’t be returning to Indonesia without a memento from your favorite club. So, you can shop for soccer merchandise as souvenirs at The Armory, Stadium Megastore, and Lilywhites. The Armory is located near the Emirates Studium and sells various Arsenal football kits. If you are a fan of the Arsenal club, you can get souvenirs and knick-knacks here.
Located at Stamford Bridge, the Stadium Megastore sells a variety of Chelsea club paraphernalia. If you are a fan of the Chelsea club then you can shop for all football equipment and souvenirs here.
Meanwhile, Lilywhites is a department store that sells sports equipment. Here you can get all the football equipment from various clubs in England.
5. ABSORBING THE ENERGY OF FOOTBALL SUPPORTIVELY
Apart from visiting exciting places and shopping for ball accessories, there is something we should absorb from this trip, namely the support of the match players and match spectators. If you are not a prospective soccer player, at least we can follow the example of how British people watch football in an orderly, safe, and supportive manner.
Indeed, the habit of watching football for English people has been formed for a very long time, but there is no harm in taking something good from them. Watching a football game is a joy to be gathered with a lot of passionate people. Winning or losing in a match must be accepted with a big heart and joy. Do not destroy what is a place where we can all gather and have fun.
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