Monday, May 07, 2007

New Wembley's first match, and Mark was there

Well it may not have made news back home, but the delayed opening of the new Wembley stadium was not appreciated at all here in England. Finally on the 24th of March the first competitive game was going to be played - England Under 21's vs Italy Under 21's - and I was going to be there (Yes, this is the first post from the until now silent member of the Weekend Tourists!!).

I was very lucky to get a ticket. The 55,000 tickets available sold out in about 4 hours, which was not surprising as they were only £10 each (they were selling for up to £250 each on ebay the week before the game). There were 3 of us at work trying to book them and in the end only one person actually got through to buy the maximum 4 tickets, this meant it was just going to be a boys day out with 3 friends from work.

So on the morning of the 24th Ahmad, Reshard, Michael and I all made our way together on the tube to Wembley. As soon as you get through the gates at the station, the stadium and its arch are there right in front of you. A short walk of about 500 metres and you're walking up the ramp to get inside.

After getting our programs and some food we went into the stadium proper. We had pretty good seats - fairly close to the ground, and almost in a corner so we could see the whole pitch quite well.

The game didn't start well, Italy scored first after only about 3 or 4 minutes - we'd only just settled into our seats by that stage! About 25 minutes later England scored their first goal and the noise from the crowd when the ball went into the net was amazing! It was at the end we were sitting at, and as it was from a free kick Reshard was ready and filmed it on his phone too. It was an attacking match, so it kept us interested even in the freezing cold even though the rest of the goals scored at our end were from Italy. An hour later and the match finished at 3-3.

Here's a couple of pictures...

The walk from the station

The view from our seats

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