This was our first stop on our trip to the north of England. After a three hour journey we disembarked from the coach, picked up our tickets and lanyards to hang around our neck as evidence that we were bona fide visitors. We waited a while in the café before making our way through the club’s museum, which was a revelation to many. Former winning cups and a solid gold football stood out in glass cases along with whistles and rattles – essential kit for die hard fans of yesteryear. We then took a tour through the team’s dressing room before we suddenly found ourselves stood inside the stadium itself.
We stood on the vivid green, carefully-manicured grass which we later learned was 90% real, 10% AstroTurf and cost £1,000,000! It stood out against the red seating area. We also saw the tunnel from where the team enter the arena. The sun shone, competing momentarily with the arc lights that lit up the goals. The excitement of what the stadium must be like when 75,000 people are in attendance was conveyed by its vast emptiness but audio links gave a sense of how it must feel, walking out to the applauding crowd.
A quick breeze through the gift shop allowed pupils to buy souvenirs, especially Manchester United T-Shirts, before we took ourselves to Trafford Park Shopping Mall to get the rest of the day’s purchases. This ornate mall replete with fountains and Greek Architecture on the outside was beautiful and proved to serve a Saturday afternoon chilling zone for many families and for the masses, some much needed retail therapy. We did some ourselves.
“I liked the construction of the stadium and the maze of the huge shopping centre.” – Rodrigo S. (one of our Peruvian pupils)