Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Moving On


When I first came to Manchester in 1967 I spent a couple of hours every Saturday afternoon at a place called Maine Road, where some mainly local lads (many still live in the area) kicked a football around with great theatre and skills.

The alternative to visiting the old stadium was listening to the roar of the crowd from my nearby lodgings, so it was better to be part of the event than to be on the fringe of it.

Once I moved away from the immediate vicinity of Maine Road, and the game seemed to me to be less attractive to watch, I slowly lost interest.

A new stadium was built for the Commonwealth Games, held in Manchester in 2002, the magnificent City of Manchester Stadium.  It was brilliant, and our visits to watch the athletics were memorable.

Since then the stadium has been adapted for other purposes and is currently known by the name of a foreign sponsor. Last week I received the kind offer of a pass into the stadium for a prestigious event.  I was curious to visit and made my way to the evening match.  The vantage point was excellent.  I watched for an hour and a quarter as some (mainly) foreigners in blue passed a white ball to some other foreigners in red, who then passed it amongst themselves and occasionally kicked it past the blue people into a net, before graciously handing it back to the blues to repeat the performance.  There was a large contingent of very red and very noisy supporters at one end of the stadium.  The rest were silent and blue. (And masochists?)

I wasn’t the only person to leave early.  I shan’t be going again.



Alan R said...

I downloaded a photo of Joe Hart. Now my computer won't save anything. Ha.

Phreerunner said...

Haha - nice one. At least he's English, though... I found I just couldn't relate to all these foreigners playing in a stadium with a foreign sponsor ... they may be the 'local' team, but local they certainly aren't.
Maybe I should go down to Alty instead.

But am I boffered? Not really.

Sir Hugh said...

I'm with you all the way. It's not really the game, but the people involved. Diving as an art form, arguing with the ref, chewing gum, philandering, crashing Ferraris, and almost to a man inarticulate. What role models for our kids.

Jules said...

Why not try some lower league football if you fancy a game? We watch the newly formed AFC Rushden & Diamonds who are in the 9th tier of English football. It costs £6 per game. the lads are local-ish, and we have seen 29 goals in the last 5 home games, including an 8-0 win! Plenty of entertainment for little outlay.

And it only takes 5 minutes to leave if you feel the need to get away!

Phreerunner said...

A bit harsh, Conrad!

Jules, you didn't notice I'd already suggested going to watch Alty, but in truth I've got better things to do.

It was interesting going to the City stadium though, and I do thank Andrew for providing the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity.