Sunday, 25 March 2007

The Home of Football

Yesterday saw the occasion of the first football match to be played at Wembley Stadium for five and a half years. Courtesy of tickets costing a mere £10, I was there. I went to the old Wembley a few times and, like any English football fan, I held it in high regard. But the new stadium shows the old one up for what it was: a relic. The new stadium is the finest piece of architecture that I've seen since I visited Karnak Temple. To label it "stadium" sort of degrades the place - the last new stadium I visited was Sixfields and comparing that place to Wembley is like comparing Boyzone to The Beatles.

The match was good - England U-21s 3 -3 Italy U-21s -but that was merely a sideshow. The 55000 people who attended were there for the setting not the action. And I've never seen 55000 people populate an area so sparsely! You could have added the average White Hart Lane attendance and still not filled the place. It's safe to say that I was pretty impressed. All that needs to happen now is for Fulham to get to the FA cup final next year.
Something happened in the evening that may have never happened before - I missed an England match. I met friends in Eton where we couldn't find any room in any pub that was showing the match and then we went into Windsor and had the same result. It was of significant consolation that by all accounts the match was utter crap and I probably had a better time just getting drunk. I did this with considerable enthusiasm and earned myself extra style points by waking up this morning with a sprained ankle and no idea how I'd sustained it. Then, after a good half hour of pondering, I remembered stumbling down the stairs at Slough station whilst running for a train. The good news is that I caught the train, the bad news is that I had promised myself that I'd start my fitness regime tomorrow. Oh well.

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