Old Trafford is one of football’s most vibrant amphitheatres. There are people all around the world who would love the chance to one day get to sit in the Old Trafford to watch their team. It took me several years to realise just how lucky I was to live in London. I believe that when travelling the world, it should always be the goal of the traveller to seek out experiences that defy the imagination. That would be the way I would describe my first experience visiting Old Trafford, the home of the mighty Manchester United Football Club.
It may be hard to believe but the sun was shining in Manchester. When I arrived in Manchester on a warm February morning in 2012, I could barely contain my excitement. I have been a supporter of Manchester United since I was 14 and I have always dreamt of watching the team play live at Old Trafford. No matter how disappointing the results have been of late, I’d much rather share the anguish surrounded by Reds in the pouring Mancunian rain than watching the match anywhere else.
When I finally arrived, there was a sense of relief inside me. This wasn’t a journey from the London or a journey from Nepal but it was a journey that has been in the making for years. It’s from that point onwards that I start to get the match day buzz, whatever little tribalism there is inside of me kicks in and the pre-match nerves begin to brew. On arrival I sought out the Trinity first. The United Trinity is an iconic statue depicting three United legends, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, and Denis Law.
My favourite moment from that day was probably seeing the inside of the stadium for the first time. Roll on a couple of hours and… game day. A couple of minutes later, the match kicks off and it’s then, right there, that all the personal life worries and troubles dissipate. The match was Manchester United vs Norwich City. Thankfully the team won 2-0 with goals coming from Scholesy and Giggsy. That night I went to sleep with the biggest smile in my heart – I had seen my club win at home. I’ve got some incredible memories of going to games at Old Trafford over the years. It was during this experience that one really appreciates the fact that Football is not just a game but it is something we embody and carry with us.
I’m fortunate enough to have been going to Old Trafford regularly for 7 years. I’ll never forget that first time I emerged from the concourses and saw the green of the Old Trafford pitch; that first time the teams emerged to the roar of the crowd. It sent shivers down my spine then and, all these years later, it still does. Despite being a United fan since I was old enough to be told who to support, my first visit to OT wasn’t until I was 20. It is clear that Old Trafford holds a special place in the hearts of those who have been able to visit regularly. Perhaps the most emotive story, though, is the one that follows. Old Trafford is a magical place, steeped in history, and I feel so lucky to have witnessed so much of that.