Robert, who’s 12 writes:
Our family loves football so I was super excited when I found out that mum and I were going on holiday all about it. We travelled by train to Manchester where we checked in to Hotel Football. The hotel was really cool as so many things were to do with footie, from the wallpaper to the pillows to the astro turf pitch on the top floor. It is also owned by ex Man Utd players. Our room was really nice. It had an incredible view of Old Trafford, really comfy beds and a complimentary mini-bar that got re-stocked every day. What more could you want?!
On our first day in Manchester we went on a tour of Old Trafford, Manchester United’s stadium. Before the tour we spent some time in the Man Utd museum which was filled with information about the club and loads of cool objects to see. There were football boots, medals, kits and even the official Carabao Cup which United won last season.
The tour was brilliant! We started off by walking around the empty stadium and learning about its history. We then got to enter the Manchester United changing room where all the players would get ready. The shirts were on the wall next to where the player would sit and it was really cool to imagine that only a few days later footballing superstars like Pogba or De Gea would be sitting there. We also looked into the away dressing room which was nowhere near as fancy. This time the walls were lined with the shirts of the greatest footabllers who had players at Old Trafford including Messi, Ronaldo and David Beckham.
We then learnt more about what the players did before a game and re-enacted what players would do in the tunnel. I was the captain of my team so shook hands with my opponent before my teammates did the same. Music then started blaring and we walked down the astro onto the pitch that soon would be filled with 75,000 people. It was awesome! We then got to sit in the managers chairs before finishing the tour with a trip to the shop and some cool, free certificates.
The next day we went to the Football Museum, which was one of the best, if not the best, museums I’ve ever been to. The first floor was full of history and talked about how the game has evolved to what it is today. There were sections on stadiums, fans, media and of course the great legends and record-breakers of football. Throughout all the information boards and things to look at there were also loads of interactive things to do. There were games, quizzes, a chance to be a commentator and loads more. I especially liked the board that showed where your club had come every season for the last 200 years. I loved the first floor, yet the second was somehow even better.
The second floor focused on kits, managers and the rules of the game and it was a lot more hands on.There was a section where you could be a football referee and another where you had a penalty shootout against a projected keeper. There were times when you had to kick a ball at flashing lights on the floor or to try and hit targets worth different amounts of points on the wall. There was so much to do! There were also lots of old fashioned sports games on this floor as well, which you had insert old pennies for; they were really cool.
The third floor is an exhibition so it is always changing. The exhibition we saw was all about Brazilian legend Pele and I really enjoyed it. However a new exhibition about England’s 1966 world cup victory will be opening soon.
Finally, mum and I travelled to the Etihad, Manchester City’s ground. The stadium was much fancier with heated seats for rich people and a restaurant where you could see the tunnel, for even richer people. This tour was more focused on Manchester City as a business instead of a club, although it was still really fun. Once again I enjoyed going into the incredible changing room and was surprised at how bad the away one was. Our tour guide told us about all the tricks Man City did to annoy the opposing team and we got to walk out the tunnel and sit on the manager seats like Old Trafford. Personally I found the Old Trafford tour much more interesting but maybe that is just because I did it first.
Overall I had a brilliant time in Manchester. I loved visiting the stadiums which I see on the TV and will remember the Football Museum for years to come.
Disclosure: We were helped in our trip by Visit Manchester and our stay at Hotel Football was free. However, neither Visit Manchester, nor any of the places we visited had any input into this piece.
Read about our trip to St George’s Park, where England’s footballers train!