Monday, 20 January 2014

Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes & Old Trafford

I've been meaning to write this post for a little while so finally here it is. As you know by now I’m a bit of a Manchester United fan, so when one of my friends asked if I wanted to go with her to Sir Alex Ferguson’s book launch talk in Manchester I could not say not.  As United were playing Norwich in the Capital One Cup the next day we decided to make a few days of it and stay for the match too. This gave me the opportunity to cross the Old Trafford Tour and going to a match off my list of things to do this year. It was an amazing few days but I guess I should start at the beginning.

With a storm brewing in London we decided to leave on the Sunday before it hit rather than wait till the Monday when we were originally planning on heading to Manchester, we were staying at my friends family home so had the flexibility. Going on the Sunday also meant that the Monday was free to do the tour of Old Trafford, something I have wanted to do for a while.

Manchester United, Old Trafford Stadium Tour
Old Trafford Stadium Tour

I really enjoyed the tour, it starts in the museum, which we went back to after and finishes as you would expect in the megastore, but along the way we visited a couple of different parts of the stands, the press area including the briefing room, the directors lounge which is very modern and posh, the players’ lounge which feels more like a working men’s club, I don't think this has been decorated in years and I'm sure the TV still had a video attached. From there we went to the dressing room where we had time to take photos with the players shirts, before heading down the tunnel to the dugout, here too there was time for photos. Our tour guide really knowledgeable about the club both its history and the day to day goings on. I would really recommend the tour to any United fan and even fans of other clubs as it really gives an insight behind the scenes. 

Manchester United, Old Trafford Stadium Tour, Dressing Room, Dugout and Tunnel
Old Trafford Stadium Tour, Dressing Room, Dugout and Tunnel

As part of the ticket for the tour you get to visit the museum, we didn't give ourselves long enough here really, it too is fascinating with areas dedicated to the Busby Babes, Class of 92 and the trophies, plus a full history of the club and information on different players etc and the chance to get our photo with the Premier League Trophy and the Community Shield.

Manchester United Museum at Old Trafford, Class of 92, Busby Babes, Ryan Giggs Treble Medals, Premier League Trophy, Community Shield, Manchester United Shirts
Manchester United Museum at Old Trafford

From Old Trafford we headed to the Lowry for the Evening with Sir Alex, and what an evening it turned out to be. There has been enough press about what was said so I won't go into that, for me though that was only part of it. Before the talk started we were having a walk round the Lowry when we saw Denis Law, a couple of my friends managed to get their photo with him. Then in the theatre we could see David Moyes, though he was nowhere near us. As we came out of the theatre we realised that there was an area that had been set up for a publisher’s drinks reception, then as we were waiting to get our signed books we saw David Gill and a few other people from the club heading towards the reception. The assumption was that Fergie at least would be heading there, so we along with other fans headed over. We managed to get our photo with David Moyes and for him to sign our books. Then Sir Alex came but we couldn't get close to him, we decided though that we had nothing else to do with our evening so we would wait. And wait we did and it was worth it, we saw various other ex-players and people from the club leave, Denis Law signed my book, we saw David Moyes go back to get his copy, which he was seen with at the airport a few days later. Then Sir Alex came out by this time we were the only ones left, he was so friendly we had a brief chat, he told us that United would be fine this season, though this is hard to believe at the moment and got our photo taken. We were all on a high after this, the wait had been worth it, I can’t believe that no one else had waited around especially as there seemed to be other people in centre having drinks.

An Evening With Sir Alex Ferguson, plus David Moyes & Denis Law
An Evening With Sir Alex Ferguson, plus David Moyes & Denis Law

The next day was back to Old Trafford for the match, although I had been in the summer for a legends match this was my first proper match at Old Trafford or any Premier League ground. As it was a cup match attendance was fairly low and it was a shame that the area around us was fairly empty, the atmosphere wasn't great where we were but from what I read that’s fairly standard. The match was great and we won 4-0 which was of course a good thing in itself.

Manchester United vs Norwich City, Capital One Cup
Manchester United vs Norwich City, Capital One Cup

I had an amazing couple of Manchester United filled days, I'm so glad I got to do the tour, go to a match and of course meet Fergie, these combined really did make it a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

What experiences have you had that have turned out unexpectedly to be once in a lifetime events?

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