Guest Blog Post: In this article our Online Marketing Manager Khalid Amin reviews his trip to see Olympic Football in Manchester…
After trying and failing to secure Olympic tickets for the Athletics and Diving in London, I turned my attention to Olympic Football at Old Trafford Manchester for a football themed weekend break in Manchester. The main attraction was the appearance of the Brazilian team, an opportunity for me and my 8 year old son to see a little samba football and the potential stars of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It was a double header with New Zealand v Egypt on first, followed by Brazil v Belarus. Here are the high points and low points of my Olympic weekend break in Manchester.
The fantastic atmosphere was a little unexpected, after hearing 400,000 Olympic football tickets had gone unsold I was quite unprepared for how busy it was and the excellent carnival atmosphere. The Brazil fans were armed with samba drums and were Mexican waving at the drop of a hat creating an exciting buzz throughout the day. The official attendance was 66,000.
We had excellent seats, for £30 for me and £8 for my son (you pay the child’s age on the day of the game) we had superb seats for what was high quality international game. They were literally right next to the Brazilian dug out. We were in prime autograph hunting and photograph territory for the Brazilian stars of the future and boy did we hunt! You can find the autographs on e-Bay in 2014 when Lucas scores the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup Final!
The only let-down of our Olympic day out was the security. We actually missed the first half of New Zealand v Egypt because due to the security process. We took a small day rucksack as per the Olympic guidelines but ended up waiting 45 minutes in a queue for the least thorough security check I’ve ever experienced which was a bit annoying.
On Saturday we kept the sporting theme of the weekend with a visit to the National Football Museum. The museum was previously located in Preston but is now housed in the Urbis Building in Manchester. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon out, filled with lots of history and great interactive exhibitions including a virtual penalty shoot-out. The museum is also the temporary home of a photography exhibition by Stuart Roy Clarke. He’s an excellent photographer of football culture in Britain and overseas. He takes photographs of grounds and fans of both big and small teams across the world. If you attended football matches in the 1970’s and 1980’s there’s much here to make you smile. I even have one of his prints hanging in my home from his original gallery in the Lake District. His photography is worth the trip alone!
If you are on a Manchester weekend break my food tip of the weekend is This & That Cafe – a bit of a hidden gem that my friend introduced me to. It’s superb Indian food at quite unbelievable prices; it’s located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and makes a great lunch option if you are in that area. You can get rice and three curries for around £4!
Manchester as a city is changing constantly and every time I head back I find something to new to visit and a great new place to eat. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our sample of an Olympic Weekend Break in Manchester, high quality sport in a great stadium but it was the atmosphere that really made it. If you’re planning a weekend break to Manchester be sure to check out our amazing deals on Manchester hotels over on the Superbreak website.
National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG
This and That Cafe, Soap Street off Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1EX