The Brits are passionate about what they like to call ‘the Beautiful Game’, and every weekend sees football being played out from teams of friends taking over their local park, to the big name clubs battling it out on some of the most famous pitches in the world. Nothing beats the atmosphere of a match day,and those wanting to see the crème de la crème of English football will want to make a Premier League match part of their visit to Britain.
Such is the popularity of the sport that it isn’t always easy to lay your hands on a seat to see top-flight clubs play, unless booked well in advance (tickets are released around six weeks before matches).
Fixtures and ticket availability are listed on www.premierleague.com and individual club websites. Thomas Cook sells ticket and accommodation packages to Premier League games; see www.thomascooksport.com for info. The VisitBritain website has useful information on each of the 20 Premier League teams and the history of the league.
Football fans should also make sure they visit their favourite club on a stadium tour. Clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and more open their doors to fans of the game who want to get a taste of what goes on behind the scenes. Visit the players’ dressing rooms and walk out onto the pitch from the players’ tunnel, complete with the sound of the roar played out through speakers – an inspiring experience for would-be stars of the future! Many clubs offer tours in multiple languages. See the VisitBritain shop for details of how to book.
Last year nearly 20% of the visitors who came to Britain to see a game went to Old Trafford, arguably the most famous football stadium in the world and the home of Manchester United. Unsurprisingly then, Manchester was chosen as the site for the new National Football Museum which opened in May this year. A must-stop for anyone interested in football, the free attraction is suited to novices and footy experts alike, with three floors of football to explore. Learn about the history of the game, take part in interactive exhibits and even try your hand at a penalty shoot-out.
*The previous was brought to you by Visit Britain.