handle crazy weekends was a trip to Manchester for the Rugby League World Cup
than it was but rugby league is not supposed to be gltiz and glamour…well
except for the cheerleading girls) around the age of 7/8 to watch Hull FC. This was my upbringing in terms of rugby
holders at one point. It being a game
mostly played in the industrial landscape of the north around the M62, and me
living in Royal Berkshire, along with my refusal to give Sky TV money towards
extortionate footballers wages means I hardly ever get to see a game nowadays.
So when the opportunity came to get a ticket to the World Cup Final, I jumped
at the chance and made it a Christmas present for my Dad.
been beaten with 20 seconds to go of the semi-final against New Zealand. Heartbreaking. But this is England after all. I expected nothing less.
World Cup Final in England. Something I
have in common with all football fans over the age of 47.
course, finally arriving, having a quick tour of Salford first (nowhere near as
beautiful as Slough), then onto a few pubs in the town centre of Manchester.
you really can see the difference. Lots
of really nice apartments, a very busy shopping area, some superb restaurants
and very welcoming pubs which are far better than all the bland monstrosities
of many towns.
Also featuring in Manchester is an extensive network of canals, alongside
remnants of the industrial heritage, to make for a pleasantly interesting area
to walk around.
Old Trafford, where many a rugby final has been held over the years.
Hull City, and of course I have had a fair few visits to the truly amazing
Wembley and it has to be said that compared to both of them, Old Trafford is a
little dirty. The seats are very tightly
cramped compared with the luxury of Wembley and the soundsystem is
shocking. Such a shit quality
soundsystem. How is that befitting one
of the supposedly greatest football stadiums in the country?
Australia have won around 8 of the last 9 world cups or something ridiculous. They are simply outstanding, almost
unbeatable. I knew if they scored first,
it would probably be game over.
New Zealand didn’t exactly come out firing like they did against England in the
semi-final – and Australia scored first.
By half-time the people next to us had had enough and left – wtf?! I don’t agree with leaving 5 minutes before
the end of the game unless your team has absolutely zero chance of getting back
into it but to leave the World Cup Final – the biggest game and a unique
opportunity to see this in England.
fact no team since England in the first game scored a try against Australia all
tournament. They are that good.
Pretty much the whole crowd were behind New Zealand so the atmosphere was a bit
flat and disappointed at times, leading to the inevitable Mexican Wave. New Zealand may have broke the collective
hearts of the English nation – but like hell was anyone supporting the Aussies.
hot and drunk New Zealand ladies sat on our row and then trudged off into the
Manchester darkness, walking through the council estates back into the vibrant
to choose from and we went to Bem Brasil.
An excellent choice – seemingly pricey for the north at £25.99 a head
but I absolutely loved this place.
(which could easily constitute a full meal in itself – the salmon was just
delicious) but you have to be careful not to put too much on your plate because
they bring round 14 – yes 14 different types of meat until you can eat no more.
before a night’s clubbing is not a good combination.
their breasts whilst we were eating. Those visions are for me only, sorry!
Reading. Fingers crossed.
Wetherspoons! Well a visit up north wouldn’t
be right without going into some kind of total shithole.
favourite days this year – I wish I had more time to spend in Manchester and I
really do want to go back very soon.