Day 215 - 1 October - Awesome Day with Man United

Trip Start Mar 01, 2011
Trip End Oct 24, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, October 1, 2011

Well this is the day. Fingers crossed I will be able to cross off this adventure from my Bucket List/Things to do before I die list.

Lovely day, blue sky and a little bit warm, about 22.  Walked across the road to our train station, found some Man U supporters (Grandma 75, daughter, grand daughter and grand son) all in their team's shirts, Grandma has supported Man U for 25 years.  They helped us get off at the right station and we followed them down towards the stadium.  We were already starting to feel the vibe, I thought this is going to happen. 

Came across an intersection where there was a pub, looked like it was already nearly full and it was only about 10.30 in the morning.  We kept walking down the road toward the stadium when we passed a man who said ''anyone want tickets''.  Here we go, we stopped straight away and I said what can you do for a couple of Aussies who have just arrive in Manchester, he said step into my office, which really was a way of saying follow me, I thought here we go down a back alley somewhere.  But no just into the side street to work out the price.  100pds Leon said no - too much, 50 each, the guy just laughed and said no, a moments silence and he said what about 80 ea I looked at Leon and then agreed.  OMG OMG OMG, we then realised we didnt have enough money so he walked us back up to a hole in the wall near the pub we saw and after having trouble getting money out, in fact we couldn't get money out, we pooled what we had in our wallets and between us we had enough for the two tickets.  OMG OMG OMG Tickets to Manchesster United at Old Trafford - within 24 hours of arriving in Manchester - a dream really -- not really a Man U fan - the experrience of the atmosphere was really what I was chasing.
Went to the pub, nearly full, getting fuller by the moment, bought a drink - took forever at the bar and then it started, the singing, just what you hear on tv, a ground swell of pride, testosterone, pride, beer, pride and the LOVE of this team.

So for the next 3 1/2 hours Leon and I were in the middle of this amazing atmosphere.  I guess it was more my thing but Leon had a ball as well. Great to have a friend to share these moments with.

Bought a 10pd cd being sold by a ''famous'' bloke called boyley who was a bit of a song writer, leader, singer.

Boy do they DESPISE Liverpool - and of course they HATE Manchester City.

So around 2.30 we wandered down the street, bought a match day scarf - stood out the front for a moment and then walked into the East Stand gate, up the stairs and out onto the seat area. OMG, the view, packed, 75,415 people under clear skies.

Cant quite believe it.  So even though we were scalped for the tickets the seats were quite good, behind the goal but up fairly high.  Man U played a very poor match - won by 2 goals in the second half, but Norwich were the better defenders by far. Rooney couldn't hit the side of a barn.

But the chanting and the atmosphere was awesome.  A small area set aside for the Norwich fans who also had their songs to sing as well.

After the game, sat there for a short time just taking it all in.  Then got ushered out by security and we decided that as Man had won, we would go back to the pub to see what it was like after a winning match.

Well - like before but drunker and louder, as those who didn't go to the game of course stayed there watching and singing. The few guys we had spoken to earlier before the game were still there and one - Jason - had a t shirt on which to our surprise he removed and gave it to me.  So special.  Got them to sign it.  There was about 5 of them who regularly appear on the Manchester United TV Channel - so are a bit famous in their own way.  Lovely lovely people, spent the next hour or so singing and chatting with them

Would be so great if all the amazing people we have met on our travels - including this mob - could make it to Darwin someday so we could return the awesome friendliness and hospitality that has been our great pleasure to receive.  Couldn't pay for these experiences.

Time to head back to our hotel. Caught train wandered back to the hotel and I said that I needed to go and thank the bouncer at the Crown and Anchor for starting the ball rolling regarding the tickets.  He and all the others were pleased we had had such a great day.

Chatted to a couple of ladies who had been to see the Peter Kay show.  Nice.  They left after a couple of drinks and then we chatted to a lovely local Manchester couple who were on a night out.  Really nice people, thinking about emigrating to Oz.

They left then we decided that even though it was about 11pm we needed to eat.  Wandered through town - had some greasy takeaway and went back to the hotel.

What a great great fun, awesome day.

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