After 3 hours, the National Express train from London Victoria finally arrived at Manchester Piccadilly station. Having taken the tram to my hostel, I directly explored Manchester downtown. Manchester is a big city (well, in UK scale). This metropolitan city is situated in the south central part of North West England. Manchester is notable for its music scene, culture, scientific and engineering output, media links and sporting connections.
My ultimate destination is of course Old Trafford, the stadium and headquarter of Manchester United. To be exact, it was Irfan who sent me here to get its merchandises.
Manchester that day was not so busy. But the more I got closer to Old Trafford, the more people I saw. Not just more people, it was so many people. I wonder why it could be. I thought I came in the right time, on the low season in spring to avoid crowds. Later on I found that they are not tourists like me. They are the supporters of Manchester United. OMG, it is a match day? Most likely yes, since many of them wore red attributes and ManUtd attires. Red hats, red-devil jersey, red-painted face, ManUtd shawls and flags, those were explaining enough.
The euphoria even has started when I was on the tram. Only few passangers in that line who did not wear red or orange. Magically and thankfully, I wore RED that day, yay! Not that devil red, just my old pomegranate cardigan, but I feel lucky enough to wear it in coincidence. Police were everywhere with their horse or on foot. British polish have their distinguishing attire that I love. They wear classic black helmet, with black and white checkered stripes, and this time they ride their horse. Those police are quite polite when prohibiting supporters with beer in her hand and told her that no alcohols are allowed.
The opponent team’s supporters wore orange. I tried quite hard to identify the club, since I am basically not a big fans of soccer. I only know KNVB of Netherlands who wears orange, haha.. It was until the next day until I found on the news that Blackpool was defeated by Manchester United. Oh there it is, that orange team was Blackpool! When I told Irfan, he laughed me loud for not knowing what Blackpool wears.
Along the street to Old Trafford, there are many merchandise stalls selling many kinds of ManUtd attributes, from jersey, tshirt, flag, shawl, stationary, until bedsheet. I like those message tshirt, most of which make fun of ManUtd’s opponents. One of my favorite design says: “I’d rather walk alone” to mock Liverpool FC. I bought one tshirt for Irfan.
Arriving to the stadium, it was a huge crowd. I was planning to visit its museum and join the tour. Unfortunately, the museum and its tour are closed during the match. The megastore is another big crowd. I have to struggle among those people to find merchandises for Irfan, I got one ManUtd mug with name ‘Harry’ and doorsign ‘Home Changing room’. Although it was beyond my expectation about visiting Old Trafford, I was happy to experience the matchday 🙂