Must-Visit Football Stadiums From Old Trafford To Anfield
“It’s coming home!”
True football fans can never forget the exciting (but short-lived) run of the England national team in the 2018 World Cup. What followed were the roars of fans, chanting that football is finally coming home. Well, in a sense, they were right: England is (arguably) currently the home of the best football league and the top teams, from Old Trafford’s Manchester United to Etihad Stadium’s Manchester City, are slowly making their way to be the best in Europe again.
The modern day English Premier League has always been a sensational phenomenon to the whole world since its inception. It is often touted as the most competitive league out there with many exciting fixtures year round, and of course, as proven by the overwhelming roars of the fans on match days. For all football fanatics and pundit wannabes, watching your favourite team playing the beautiful game has to be at the top of your bucket list – even better if it’s a local derby!
Home Ground: Visiting Anfield, Arsenal, Emirates Stadium, Etihad Stadium, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge
Yes, nothing can quite compete with the excitement of seeing your team scoring a well-crafted team goal at the home stadium. However, if you’re a full-blown fanatic, an exclusive stadium tour would give you further insight to the wonders of the life of a professional football player. Here are the 5 most experience-lucrative stadium tours in England, and why you should put them all on your bucket list!
Etihad Stadium – Manchester City
The most recent inclusion to the so-called Big 6, Manchester City is now regarded as one of the biggest clubs in the league. With unlimited fundings and a deep squad depth full of young and experienced talent, the club has always consistently challenged for silverwares ever since the takeover by Sheikh Mansour in 2008. The billionaire’s journey of making Manchester City a big club did not stop there, with world class training and youth facilities as well as a super stadium to follow.
While Old Trafford might be considered one of the most popular stadiums, the new Manchester City Stadium Tour is arguably the most immersive tour experience you can have in the English Premier League, with the same gung-ho approach of unlimited fundings has taken the club to new heights. Using the latest technologiy available, a tour here would take you to the stadium’s exclusive Behind-Closed-Door makeover and an immersive audio-visual show on a 360 degree screen which is also the dressing room for the players. The club takes the virtual experience to another level where you would also be able to sit next to a virtual Pep Guardiola in the press room. A 90 minute tour with a professional guide will also take you around the state-of-the-art venue while you learn more about the club’s history, facts, and anecdotes.
Stamford Bridge – Chelsea
The Blues can be regarded as the most successful English club in the previous 10 years, amassing an impressive collection of 11 trophies throughout the years. The club owner and Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich has invested hundreds of millions of GBP since 2003 to take the ‘Pride of London’ to the top of English football; a period when the club was also synonymous with a resilient approach of managerial changes. Despite this, Chelsea never failed to find success, and hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
With the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, and Eden Hazard gracing the pitch, it surely be hard for a football fan to dismiss a complete tour around the Bridge. Apart from the regular all-access perk for visitors to visit the stadium’s dressing rooms, tunnel, and dugouts, the tour also offers complete guided insights to the club’s fascinating evolution and history. This entails a fun and interactive tour (including interactive games, trophies collection displays, and authentic Chelsea memorabilias to bring home) that will be conducted through the use of the latest technology and innovative displays.
Emirates Stadium – Arsenal
The only club to ever don the name ‘The Invincibles’, and a club which is known for playing beautiful football, Arsenal’s rich history of success is dearly missed by the fans of the Gunners. The club has been struggling of late, but that does not affect the ever-so wonderful atmosphere in the Emirates Stadium.
Built to replace the then-home ground, Highbury, an exclusive tour around the 60,000 capacity Emirates Stadium will give you all-access to the directors’ box, players entrance, Home and Away dressing rooms, pitch side, the press conference room, and more. Your journey of embracing the Gunners’ history will be narrated by club legend, Lee Dixon (or you can choose other narrators as well), accompanied by a unique handset technology. The highlight of your tour will be in the club’s interactive museum, where you will come across the infamous ‘Invincibles’ trophy, Alan Smith’s 1994’s European Cup Winners Cup Final shirt, and Michael Thomas’ boots from Anfield in 1989. If you are a fan, make sure to bring home the complementary Arsenal-branded headphones!
Anfield – Liverpool
Once a club revered by rival fans before the Premier League era, Liverpool is slowly gaining its momentum to once again become the biggest club in England. The Reds are the most successful club in the past few years across England, winning the coveted UEFA Champions League in the 2018-19 season and running away with a 17 points gap for their first ever Premier League title last season. Regardless of their performance, Anfield is always touted as a nightmare for visiting teams. The fierce atmosphere of the Scousers’ passionate cheers from the Kop End and the never-ending rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ will surely be a walking disaster for away teams, albeit a boost for the home team. Surely a mesmerising atmosphere for any fan!
The fierce illustrious history of the Reds are further highlighted with a complete package of a stadium tour. The all-access entries will allow visitors to embrace the feeling of being a Kopite. However, the highlight of the tour will surely be the chance of taking the famous walk along the players’ tunnel, passing under the legendary ‘This is Anfield’ sign. Apart from the regular entries to the press room and dressing rooms, a stadium tour in Anfield would also include a trip to the Trophy Exhibition Room; a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a photo with the club’s most recent success featuring the Premier League, 18/19 Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and Club World Cup trophies as well as a trip to the Boom Room; a brand new exhibition paying homage to the wondrous hard work and passionate journey of Jurgen Klopp and the Dream Team.
Old Trafford – Manchester United
The biggest club in England, and arguably one of the biggest clubs in the world, also counts its home grounds as the second biggest stadium in England (second only to the England National Stadium, Wembley). The ‘Theater of Dreams’ has been the home ground for the Red Devils since 1910 and has undergone several renovation and expansion projects to match the club’s legendary stature. The club’s history in the beautiful game is practically unparalleled, decorated with the illustrious careers of its many legendary players and the famed managerial stint of Sir Alex Ferguson that saw the club reach the milestone of 20 domestic league trophies.
Surely there is no better way to dive into the renowned history of this great Manchester club than through its stadium tour – a tour that should be on the top of a football fan’s bucket list. The tour provides the opportunity for you to walk through the players’ tunnel, one that has been walked by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes and many more legendary players. Through the immersive stadium tour, visitors would also stand the chance to pay a visit to the dressing rooms and take Ferguson’s seat in the dugout. The tour continues with a visit to the award-winning Old Trafford Museum, where you will be greeted by the extensive collection of trophies and a hologram of Sir Alex Ferguson; a historical yet interactive experience that will give you the Manchester United experience like no other.
So, if you’re making your way to London sometime soon, or visiting Manchester or Liverpool, you really should visit on the stadiums here, be it Old Trafford, Anfield, the Emirates Stadium, the Etihad Stadium or Stamford Bridge. These stadiums really are rather impressive attractions and any true explorer should experience at least one of them, whether they’re a football fanatic or not.
A football enthusiast and a casual gamer, Izzat Nizar has a soft spot for linguistics. Very much interested in different dialects and slangs around the world , he refrains from being a ‘Grammar Nazi’ while observing the way people use language in their daily lives. He has added to his experience in writing with his recent involvement in writing articles for Tourism Malaysia and Convergence by Malaysia Airports.