Hey guys! I’m excited to share with you all that on 26 March I got to watch my first ever live football match at Wembley stadium where England faced Switzerland in a friendly match. It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to return again when I can. The ironic thing is if you’d told me this time last year that I would’ve been having the time of my life watching England play Switzerland I would’ve laughed in your face. I first got into football when I was about 6 years old and built up quite an impressive collection of match attack cards. I can also remember watching bits of the 2010 world cup although I didn’t really understand the game at that point. However, soon after this, I went off it and somehow convinced myself that I hated it. I mourn those 11 years that I lost of enjoying football but luckily I rediscovered my passion for it last year during the Euros. I just happened to be in the room revising when my parents started watching England play Scotland. I quickly got really invested in it and abandoned my work in favour of watching it. Since that moment, I’ve been a massive fan and I’ve watched it as much as I can on the TV and followed the scores online when I couldn’t watch it. Football has become a really special part of life so to see the team that reignited my love of it live at Wembley was incredible. In this post, I’m going to share some of the highlights of our day trip to London to see England!
Me and my parents travelled across to London from Chesterfield where my grandparents live so we stayed with them the night before and the night of the matchday. This was mainly because it was cheaper to travel from Chesterfield instead of Hull and it’s a slightly shorter journey to make on the train as well. Upon arriving to London at about 2 o’clock, we had a late lunch at Pizza Express. This was due to the match having a later kick off at 5:30pm and we knew we’d have little time afterwards to have a big meal. I selected a margarita pizza with some halloumi bites on the side which was absolutely delicious.
After this we travelled to Wembley via tube along with so many other fans which was really fun to soak up their exhilaration even before the game had begun. Upon getting off the tube and exiting the station, we got our first glimpse of Wembley which is even more amazing in real life. Pictures cannot do this iconic stadium justice which is so recognisable by its eye-catching arch. We walked up to the stadium in the midst of the other red, white and blue football shirts feeling the buzz of excitement ringing through the air. I was struggling to believe that I was actually about to enter this stadium that I had seen so many times on TV to watch my favourite team in the whole world. But luckily for me this was reality and I knew then that I was making some really exciting memories.
We entered Wembley using our tickets and ascended up to the floor where our seats were. It was important for me to buy some souvenirs to commemorate the day so we queued to buy a lion teddy and a pin badge for me and a scarf for my Dad. I aptly named the lion ‘Wembley’ and he is sat next to me as I am composing this account of my day.
Finally, it was time for us to enter the actual stadium to take our seats and the buzz of excitement I had felt earlier fully encircled me. Walking up the steps to our seats and capturing that first view of the stadium’s interior…it took my breath away a bit seeing how ginormous it was and how many seats there were. A cloud of amazement enwreathed me as I took in all of the details of the stadium. There was already an atmosphere that built and built as more people came in and took their seats. The stadium exploded as the players ran out onto the pitch and began to warm up. Then it exploded again as the starting XI was announced. It was Pickford in goal, a back three of Stones, Coady and Guehi, Walker-Peters and Shaw as the wing backs, Henderson and Gallagher in the midfield and finally Mount, Foden and Kane leading the attack. Unfortunately, Stones was injured in the warm-up so White stepped into his place but he still did a great job and fit into the team well. It was a strong team overall with some exceptional players and I was looking forward to seeing how the match unfolded.
Finally it was time for kick off! It was pretty evenly matched in the first half with Switzerland exploiting the formation cleverly and eventually scoring first to take the lead. There was not much Pickford could’ve done about the goal and it definitely put the pressure on England to equalise. They left it pretty late into the first half with a cleverly placed Gallagher pass finding Shaw and then the back of the net. I don’t know about anyone else watching but I was getting Euro final flashbacks watching Shaw score and then celebrate afterwards. The atmosphere was electric as everyone celebrated and cheered. That euphoric feeling of your team scoring is one of a kind and I was hoping I would get to feel it again in the second half.
The second half was another push and pull match between England and Switzerland as the game was right there for either of the teams to take. Finally a chance came for England as a penalty was given for handball and Kane stepped up to take it. You could cut the tension with a knife as the crowd lulled to a deafening quiet and all eyes were on the England captain. He smashed the penalty into the net and the fans went wild, myself included. Conceding the first goal had been tough but England managed to pull it back around and secure a win. I don’t think it was their best performance but it also wasn’t their worst and some of the players had really good individual performances. My only sadness was that it had to end! I can’t wait for my next match there.
Thank you for reading this post! Are you a football fan? Tell me all about it in the comments below! There’ll be a new post out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull