I live in North Liverpool, about a 30 minute walk from Anfield Football Stadium, home of Liverpool Football Club, the best team in the world. I’ve been to Anfield more times than I can count, including for my Year 11 Prom but I’ve never actually been to a football match…any football match. It’s been on my bucket list basically forever, but just seems to have been one of those things I’ve never gotten around to. Plus, tickets are expensive as hell.
Considering that, when we got given some free tickets in work (Since the University of Liverpool and the LFC Foundation are teaming up to sponsor an Into University centre), it seemed like a sign to finally tick it off my bucket list.
Since it was a first for me, and a pretty big first, I thought I’d do a little post on the whole experience – maybe shed some light on how it all works for any of you guys heading to your first match soon…or just give you football veterans something to laugh at, either works.
Okay so the first issue I encountered was ‘What on earth do you wear to a football match?’. I do own a Liverpool football shirt which my dad got for me forever ago, so my first port of call was grey, ripped up skinnies, high tops and the shirt. Great outfit, apart from where I’d eaten my body weight in Italian food the day before and the skinnies were essentially a form of torture. Switch to looser jeans and I was comfy…but looked really, really scruffy and hated it. An hour of me being extra and changing my clothes four times later and I settled on New Look dungarees, my LFC football shirt and Adidas Superstar high tops (Similar items linked!). I went with beachy hair, bronzey eyes and a red lip courtesy of my Kylie Lip Kit in 22. It was warm enough to NOT need a coat, but I definitely needed something, so I threw on a H! by House of Holland checkered shirt and embroidereddenim jacket, and I felt READY!
My dad gave me a ride to Stanley Park, which is a huge park just next to the football stadium and dropped me off with the instruction ‘Just follow all the people in red’. Right, can do. I made it to the ground with no real issues…and then faced a problem. Anfield is HUGE, and I had no idea where I was going. I figured it’d be pretty self explanatory…alas I was wrong. I started off by showing my ticket to a stewart for instruction, who sent me up some stairs. At the top of the stairs, it still did not become apparent where ‘The Anfield Beat’ (where my ticket instructed me to go) was. Cue a little bit of aimless walking up and down, till I eventually just decided to try a turnstile. It was, unsurprisingly, the wrong one. They sent me back the way I’d come…where I found another turnstile, which was still not the right one. Sigh. I think at this point I just looked really confused and out of place so the nice man at the turnstile summoned a steward to just take me to where I needed to go.
It turns out that the big fancy doors to hospitality, which I’d been walking past while lost, were actually the doors I needed. So the realisation that I had a hospitality ticket was REALLY nice…as were all the LFC Foundation staff in the hospitality bit who helped me out getting to the Anfield Beat bar where I met up with my lovely work friends. It was so nice to have a bar to chill out in before we headed to our seats!
We had pretty incredible seats, on Liverpools side, which gave us an incredible view, and the cute leather seats were a nice touch. As for the actual football…I’ve got to be honest, I think A LOT of it went over my head, but the atmosphere was so positive and excitable and the great weather helped so I had a ball. Since it was a Legends match (Liverpool Legends vs Real Madrid Legends) it was also pretty incredible getting to see all these players that everyone in Liverpool talks about like they’re deities in the flesh and footy kits…and seeing Gerrard score was definitely special! I’ll be totally honest though; I couldn’t have told you a Real Madrid player if my life depended on it. I had hoped for Cristiano Ronaldo, but in the bar before the match was informed he’s still a current player and so wasn’t allowed to play in a legends match. Sad face.
While I probably won’t be signing up for a season ticket anytime soon, I’d definitely go to another football match – maybe a league cup next time!
My top tips for your first football match:
- Arrive super early, to allow for the getting lost thing
- Maybe do your research a little so you know who the players are
- Take a small bag that zips up – crowds can get crazy and it’s better to be safe than sorry
- Wear really comfy shoes. You’ll probably have to walk some way to the ground, if it’s a good match you’ll be on your feet a lot during and realistically if you’re not walking home you’re probably walking part way to transport, or at least waiting in a queue for transport!