This was my first trip to Wembley so the game itself was less relevant than actually turning up and watching it.
The fact that San Marino were the visitors was far from a turn off as it meant this was the cheapest game of the Pilgrimage so far (30 quid for the two of us) and the place wasn’t overloaded. Only 55,000 people were there so it was relatively easy to get in and out.
When the Europa League group stage draw was being made I was hoping for a home game on Thursday October 2 which, among other things, happens to be Jean’s birthday.
Thankfully the UEFA gods were kind, giving me the perfect birthday present, and completed my pilgrimage match itinerary with an early-October Tottenham Hotspur double-header.
My holiday has kind of got in the way of keeping this blog completely up to date but, no matter, I can still remember enough from my second trip to Vicarage Road to scratch out a few words.
The ground is a 20 minute walk from where our hotel was and it took us through what appears, for London, a rather nice and safe area. I certainly didn’t get the impression anyone would be jumping out from behind a fence to mug us.
The Valley seems much larger on the telly. I guess that’s the case with many of England, particularly London’s, city and suburban grounds. They pretty much sprang up in the middle of their neighbourhoods with houses packing in against all four corners. On the train out, a longer than expected 20 minute ride, we passed by the New Den, Millwall’s home, and that really did seem like a box.
In a few hours I jump on a plane and head to the UK.
This trip is a World Cup-infused football pilgrimage, brought about by the fact I made a big mistake in not going to Brazil a few ago. A trip back to the motherland, particularly at this time of year, is always good as there’s a game on pretty much every night. And we’ll be doing a lot of that.
Unfortunately it’s taken me a few days to get anything posted about Sunday’s Wellington Phoenix v New Zealand A match in Rotorua, so pretty much all the words that could be written about that game have been written. And everyone’s moved on. But wait, I have here something a little different. Yes, there are the usual photos, but I also have some movies for you. It’s not quite like being there, but given the... Read More
Every time I visit a match I’ll take a minute long movie so readers can get a feel for the venue. In the latest in our One Minute At… series we’re at the Rotorua International Stadium. We were there for the pre-season friendly between the Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand ‘A’. The game finished 1-1. You can read a match summary here. Read More
It’s not often you watch someone die on a football pitch. I had that unfortunate experience during the 2003 Confederations Cup in France, not that I knew it at the time. My wife and I used this tournament as a good excuse to have a quick look around France and Switzerland. It was a piece of cake booking tickets, even though actually getting hold of them was a pain in the arse. Something blew up in the ticketing system, meaning... Read More