Manchester United

Old Trafford

Capacity: 76,100 (all seated)
Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester, M16 0RA
Telephone: 0161 868 8000
Fax: 0161 868 8804
Ticket Office: 0161 868 8000
Stadium Tours: 0161 868 8000
Pitch Size: 116 x 76 yards
Club Nickname: The Red Devils
Year Ground Opened: 1910
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Chevrolet
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Red, White and Black
Away Kit: White and Black
Third Kit: Blue With Red Trim

Sir Matt Busby Statue
Sir Matt Busby Statue
Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and Stretford End
Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and Stretford End
Sir Alex Ferguson Stand
Sir Alex Ferguson Stand
Stretford End
Stretford End
South (Main) Stand
South (Main) Stand
East Stand
East Stand
United Trinity Statue
United Trinity Statue
George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton
George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton
External View
External View

Old Trafford has always been a special place as it was one of the few grounds where the stands envelop the corners. Although more stadiums are now also totally enclosed, Old Trafford's sheer size still makes it a bewildering sight. It has been steadily expanded over the last couple of decades raising its capacity to a staggering 76,100, making it the largest Club ground in Britain. Both ends, which look almost identical, are large two tiered stands, which were originally built in the early 1990’s and had an additional tier added at the turn of the millennium. Each are quite steep, with a large lower tier and smaller upper tier. The three tiered Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, opened in 1996, at one side of the ground, is the largest capacity stand of any League Ground in England. The corners to each side of this stand are also filled with seating and extend around to meet both ends. These re-developed stands dwarf the older Main (South) Stand opposite. This stand (part of which dates back to 1910) is single tiered, with a television gantry suspended below its roof. All the stands have a row of executive boxes at the back of the lower tier.

The ground looks a little imbalanced with the smaller older Main (South) Stand looking somewhat out of place with its larger newer neighbours. However, in my opinion the best views of the ground are from the front of this stand and from the away section, as you look out upon the three newer, larger sides. Still, if this Main Stand was to be re-developed in the same manner as the others, then the ground would possibly be the envy of Europe.

Unusual aspects of the ground include the raised pitch, and that the teams enter the field from the corner of the Main Stand. Outside the ground is the Sir Matt Busby Statue fronting the impressive green glassed East Stand facade, whilst above the entrance to the Club Museum outside the North Stand is a statue of Sir Alex Ferguson. There is also a clock and plaque in remembrance of the Munich disaster. Across Sir Matt Busby Way is the recently erected United Trinity Statue of three of the 1968 European Cup winning team; George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton (now Sir).

Although there are no current plans to further increase the capacity of Old Trafford, the Club would at some point wish to replace the old Main (South) Stand, with a larger structure. The proximity of a railway line directly behind this stand has prevented re-development in the past, but I would not be surprised if this eventually happens as the Club have nowhere else left in the stadium that they can now substantially expand upon.

Away supporters are normally located in one corner of the ground, taking up part of the East and South stands. The view from the away sections are excellent and up to 3,000 away supporters can be accommodated. Entrance into the stadium is gained by first being searched by a steward and then placing your ticket into an electronic bar code reader. It is then up a few flights of rather steep stairs to the concourse. Although the concourse looks a little cramped, it is adequate and there seems to be enough food and drinks outlets that the queues never seem to get too long. These sell a range of pies (£3.50) and other refreshments, plus normally alcohol is available in the form of bottles of Budweiser and cans of Tetley beer. At the far end of the concourse is a large flat screen television showing Sky Sports. I don't know whether it is the American influence at Old Trafford, but I noticed on my last visit that after buying food or drink, that the attendant would always say; 'Enjoy the game' on giving back your change.

The away fans section is set back from the pitch as there is a disabled area to its front. The leg room between rows is a little tight, as well as the space between the seats themselves. This results in most away fans standing throughout the game. The good thing though, is that the away fans can really make some noise from this part of the stadium.

As you probably know Old Trafford is billed as the 'Theatre Of Dreams' and is certainly one of the best grounds in the country. However, if you have never been there before, be prepared to be a little disappointed, as the reality will probably not meet your pre-conceived expectations. Getting tickets for Man Utd home games is pretty difficult even if you are a member of the club, so make sure you have tickets before you travel.

The three pubs nearest the ground (The Trafford, Sam Platts and The Bishops Blaize) generally won't let you in if you wear away colours. The best bet is probably the city centre or along one of the stops on the Metrolink. On my last couple of visits I have drank at the Quadrant pub which had a mixture of home and away fans and a couple of handy Chinese/Chippies nearby. The pub is about a 10-15 minute walk away from Old Trafford, in the direction of the Cricket Ground (see Directions & Parking for more info). Luke Burns a visiting Birmingham City fan adds; 'There is also the Lime Bar in nearby Salford Quays. Good beer, quick service and good mix of home and away supporters'.

Andy Syborn adds 'away fans are okay to drink in the Bridge at Sale. It is two stops from Old Trafford on the Metro (about eight minutes journey time)'. Alternatively alcohol is normally served within the ground, although for some high profile games the Club opt not to sell any.

The Green Sports Bar - Located Near Piccadilly

The Green Sports BarThe Green is Manchester's premier entertainment venue and winner of the Best Sports Bar Category in the Great British Pub Awards 2014 for the North West. Split over two levels, we have 8 x 11 foot, big screens and 12 x 40 inch screens showing all televised sport especially football. Join us on our canal side beer terrace on sunny days and over the summer dine from our BBQ menu. A full bar food menu is available all day serving burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and sharers.

All this just one minute walk from Piccadilly Train Station. We welcome all fans into the venue and allow colours aside from Manchester Derby days. We look forward to seeing you soon at The Green.

Address: The Green, Bridge House, 26 Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2DQ (Location Map)
Telephone: 0161 2280681  Website: www.thegreenmanchester.com

From the South:

Leave the M6 at Junction 19 and follow the A556 towards Altrincham. This will lead you onto the A56 towards Manchester. Keep on the A56 for six miles and then you will come to see Sir Matt Busby Way on your left. The ground is half a mile down this road on your left, although on matchdays this road may well be closed to traffic.

From the North:

Leave the M6 at Junction 30 and take the M61 towards Bolton. At the end of the M61, join the M60. Leave the M60 at Junction 9 and follow the A5081 towards Manchester. After about two miles you will reach Sir Matt Busby Way on your right for the ground.

From The West:

Follow M56 until its end and then take the M60 (W&N) as for Trafford Centre. At Junction 7 leave M60 and take the A56 towards Stretford. Stay on the A56 for 2.1 miles then you will come to see Sir Matt Busby Way on your left. The ground is half a mile down this road on your left, although on matchdays this road may be closed to traffic. Thanks to Brian Griffiths for providing these directions.

Map showing the location of the Old Trafford Stadium (at the bottom of this page).

Post Code for SAT NAV: M16 0RA

There are lots of small private car parks near to the ground, otherwise it is street parking. Peter Bennett suggests parking at Old Trafford Cricket Ground (cost £10). Try to arrive early (before 1pm) as if you arrive later, it takes ages leaving the car park after the game. Gareth Hawker adds; 'I parked at the Salford Quays Lowry Mall, a ten minute walk away from the stadium, the cost of which was £3.50. There was virtually no traffic on leaving, and the road takes you straight onto the M601 which joins up with the M62/M6. This avoids the congestion of the traffic heading South'. This car park also offers free parking for four hours if you spend £5 or more in the shopping centre and then get a store to validate your receipt/car parking ticket).

Alternatively:

Park in Altrincham town centre and take the Metrolink to the ground (20 minutes). Some pubs such as the Bricklayers Arms in Altrincham town centre, will allow parking for the afternoon, as long as you enjoy a pre match drink (they also do good food). Kevin Dixon-Jackson adds; 'You can get the Metrolink to Old Trafford from Ladywell Halt, in Eccles, where there is also free secure parking. It is about a 15 minute journey on the tram and costs £1.20 return. You can reach Eccles from the M60 (take the Carrington spur J8 A6144(M)) or M602 Motorway (leave at the first junction for Eccles, turn right, and right again at the lights, onto Eccles New Road. Secure parking is immediately on your right). You are only 200 yards away from the Drinking Capital which is Eccles town centre!'

My Tip For Parking & Getting Away After The Game:

Going along the A56, as the stadium emerges in front of you, follow the signs for Old Trafford Cricket Ground, which means that you will bear off the A56 to the right. At the end of the park on your left and before you reach the Cricket Ground, turn right into Great Stone Road. Just over the hill you will see a pub called the Quadrant, which is next door to a chip shop. There is plenty of street parking in this area, up to around 1.15-1.30pm. You are only a ten minute walk away from the ground. The Quadrant pub itself, I found okay to have a drink in. After the game, head away from Old Trafford (keeping the Quadrant pub on your left) along the side streets. You will reach the A5145 (Edge Lane). Turn right down here and you will eventually join up again with the motorway and avoid all those traffic jams on the A56.

Manchester Airport is located eight miles away from Old Trafford. You can either get a taxi from the airport (cost around £20) or catch one of the regular train services (seven per hour) from the airport to Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station (journey time 15-25mins depending on service caught). Change there for another train or metrolink onto Old Trafford.

Manchester Coach Station is located three miles away from Old Trafford. However it is only a few minutes walk away from Piccadilly

Railway Station where a train or metro can be caught up to the ground or Piccadilly Gardens where buses can be located. As you come out of the main coach station entrance turn right along Chorlton Street. At the bottom of Chorlton street turn left into Aytoun Street. Proceed along this road and then turn right into Auburn Street. At the crossroads with London Road, you can see the entrance to the station over on on the right. If you continue past the station and at the next junction turn left, then you are in Piccadilly Gardens where there is a large bus terminus.

Buses From Piccadilly Gardens

Adam Hodson informs me; 'From Piccadilly Gardens you can get the Stagecoach Manchester Buses 255, 256 or Arriva North West No 263. These services all run down the A56 Chester Road near to Old Trafford. Journey time (depending on traffic) is around 15-20 minutes.

Manchester City, Liverpool and from a little further a field Leeds United.

Please note that home section tickets are normally made only available to members of the club, which are then normally allocated by a ballot system (unless you want to buy a corporate hospitality ticket). Tickets rarely make general sale, although it does sometimes happen (especially in the early rounds of domestic and European Cup competitions), so it is worth checking. There always seems to be a number of ticket touts operating around the ground, but I dread thinking how much they would be asking for a ticket.

Prices For Away Fans:

South East Corner: Adults £46, Over 65's/Under 18's £27.

StubHub (who are owned by Ebay) have a number of Corporate Tickets available for Manchester United matches played at Old Trafford. There are different categories of corporate tickets, but most allow access to a private suite, include padded seating and some also include a meal with wine. As these tickets are in Corporate Hospitality areas, smart casual wear is required and no team colours are allowed to be worn. Although these tickets are higher priced than normal match tickets, they are ideal for a celebration event such as birthday present, all those visiting from overseas.

Check their current availability of Manchester United FC Tickets.

SubHub logo

Manchester United fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Official Programme: £3
Red Issue: £2.50
United We Stand: £2.50
Red News Fanzine: £2.50

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance:

76,962 - Wolves v Grimsby, FA Cup Semi Final, March 25th, 1939.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:

76,098 v Blackburn Rovers (Highest at a UK all seated Club ground & Premier League record) Premier League, March 31st, 2007.

Average Attendance:

2013-2014: 75,207 (Premier League)
2012-2013: 75,530 (Premier League)
2011-2012: 75,387 (Premier League)

The club offer tours of the stadium, which are available daily (except matchdays). The tour also includes a visit to the Club Museum and costs; Adults £25 & Under 16's £18. To book your tour call the club on 0161 868 8000 or book online.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing includes details of how far they are away from the Old Trafford Stadium. 

Access their Manchester Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can also use the above link or the panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

 

Holiday Inn

The glass-fronted, 16-floor Holiday Inn Manchester-MediaCityUK is in MediaCityUK's studio block, in the middle of Salford Quays' cutting-edge digital and creative development. Our fresh Guest rooms are connected to complimentary wireless Internet and many look over the Manchester ship canal.

Holiday Inn Manchester-MediaCityUK is minutes from Old Trafford for Manchester United matches and a 5-minute walk from The Lowry Centre and Lowry Mall. Hop on the Metrolink tram outside MediaCityUK to be at central Manchester Piccadilly rail station in 10 minutes, a short walk from the bohemian Northern Quarter and Arndale Centre. Designer shopping is on offer at the Trafford Centre, 10 minutes' drive away. For more information and to book a room visit the Holiday Inn website.

TheHeart Serviced Apartments

Styled to appeal to both the business and leisure traveler, TheHeart Serviced Apartments consist of 50 fully equipped and beautifully furnished self contained apartments in Manchester’s newest landmark location – MediaCityUK

TheHeart Serviced Apartments are in an ideal location for access to Manchester and the wider North West. Old Trafford for Manchester United matches, the Lowry Centre, Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry Outlet Mall are all just minutes away, and Manchester City Centre is just a 10 minute tram ride away from MediaCityUK tram stop. For more information and to book visit TheHeart Serviced Apartments website.

Special Thanks to:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram
Doug Bagley for providing a photo of the Unity Trinity Statue
Gerold Rachlinger for providing a photo of the Unity Trinity Statue
Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of Old Trafford

Name Paul R
Manchester United v Arsenal
FA Cup 6th Round
Monday 9th March 2015. 7.45pm
Paul R (Arsenal fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the ground:

Because I rarely get to go to away games so the chance to go to the biggest club ground in England with just under 9,000 Gooners was too good a chance to miss.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took the official club coach and there was a fair bit of traffic north of the M6 Toll (not helped by the fact we had to go back to the services because the coach driver left some behind!) and around old Trafford. Again our driver couldn't find the coach park and we were going round in circles for a while.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I walked from the coach park to the ground with my Arsenal colours on full show but received no real issue from that. Apart from when I went to purchase a £3.50 programme, a United fan started singing that song about Wenger that they have (Which I will not elaborate on but most should know which one I mean) I just walked away. When entering you get your ticket checked then searched.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I was in E336 (which is normally the home end so this review is really for cup away fans or United home fans) and you have to climb a lot of stairs to get up there and I didn't see a lift there at all. I was second row from the back and the steps there are very steep so you have to be careful. Because of the roof overhang I couldn't see much of the rest of the stadium. There was a wall between us and the home support and there is a large amount of corrugated iron on the back wall and the dividing wall which is great for banging on (though the stewards don't like it for some reason) The seats are very cramped and close together so you may end up needing to stand. I noted a lack of a video screen and the electronic scoreboard which wasn't very good at giving information and right at the back you can barely hear the PA system.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The concourse was packed so I didn't get to order any food but I managed to get a £4 decanted Singha before getting to my seat. Arsenal fans were singing loudly even before the game had started. The match itself was a great cup game with Arsenal taking the lead through Monreal before Rooney equalised for United. In the second half, Welbeck scored and Di Maria get sent off (which because we were so far back, we could barely see it) When it comes to atmosphere, it was all created by the Arsenal fans, there was very little coming from the United fans. This was helped by the stewards being lassez-faire with us (which I later discovered one of them was an Evertonian!) only stepping in when we strayed into the aisles but that was because it was that cramped. The atmosphere was also helped by the low iron roof so there was amplification of our chanting as well.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

You exit the same way you come in, through the steep steps (which the wire mesh is also great for banging) The coach park was easily signposted but finding the coach in the maze of them was hard. It was slow leaving the ground until we got back to the motorway.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great night out, well worth taking two days off work to go. One of the best atmospheres I have ever experienced and would certainly go again if I could!

Manchester United v West Ham United
Premier League 
Saturday September 27th 2014, 3pm
Jess Rumsey (West Ham United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

This was the first time I have visited the ground since 2007 where we stayed up on the final day with a goal from Carlos Tevez. I was curious to see whether we could win again, seven years on...

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I took the train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly where enroute I met my friend. We had a lot to catch up on and time passed travelling with predictions and analysis of previous games. On arriving at Piccadilly we got another train to Old Trafford railway station, which is only a short walk away from Old Trafford.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I'd previously visited Manchester in May for the game against City so I sort of knew my way around Manchester. I took my friend to a pub i knew of from my last visit called the Waldorf where both home and away fans were drinking.

We then got the train to Old Trafford and entered the stadium of which I then grabbed something to eat and drink. We had no trouble with the home fans. They all seemed friendly and up for some enjoyable banter.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

It was a long time since I last went and I seem to remember the away fans being more behind the goal on my last visit. None the less the view was good from where I was sat. The concourse was fairly spacious and I managed to get served quickly. I was fascinated by the amount of banners around the stands. And the tributes to Sir Alex Ferguson.

View From The Away Section

View From The Away Section At Old Trafford

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

For the first 20 minutes of the game West Ham never got out of first gear, quickly conceding 2 goals. However we managed to get a goal before half time. In the 2nd half West Ham dominated the match but unfortunately couldn't find and equaliser.  Well not one that wasn't given for offside anyway!

I felt the atmosphere from the home fans was very subdued and towards the end the fans were clearly nervous. Our fans however were in fine form and supported the team pretty well. I do feel there could have been more toilets on the concourse. Having been at the opposite end to the female toilets. I had to make y way through the concourse crowd at half time. Otherwise the stewards and facilities  were pretty well organised.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I left the game just after the final whistle and got on the train from Old Trafford to Piccadilly and was back in the town centre within 20 minutes. Of which I met my friend for our journey home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Despite having lost. Our fans were pretty consistent and our team played a proud performance.

Manchester United v Sunderland
Carling Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Wednesday January 22nd 2014, 7.45pm 
Rory Murphy (Sunderland fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Sunderland had won the first leg 2-1 thanks to a Giggs own goal and a Borini penalty. Sunderland had one foot in the final for the first time in 22 years. Man Utd weren't exactly in fine form so I was really confident. Old Trafford's obviously a famous stadium and this was my first visit.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We set off from the North-East at 3pm hoping not to hit traffic. There was a bit of traffic on the M62 but apart from that the journey was fine. We reached Manchester at about 6pm. We had a cousin that lived near Old Trafford and he was fine with us parking there.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Me and my mate got a bite to eat from a burger van and headed towards the away end. The home fans seemed fine with the surrounding Mackems.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground is HUGE. Maybe not as nicely designed as the Emirates but when you're in the stadium you can really see how big it is. Sunderland brought 9,000 fans down on a cold Wednesday night in January which is great for a club that's been in a relegation battle for the last few years. We were allocated the usual corner and the upper tier of the East Stand. I was up in the God's in the East Stand and the long climb was worth it for an incredible view.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Well, what a game. United took the lead from the former Sunderland loanee Jonny Evans and the game was pretty dull. The Sunderland fans were excellent and tried to suck the ball in the net. United fans were very poor. Their away fans are excellent but very quiet at home. The game finished 1-0, 2-2 on aggregate so it went to extra-time. The game still didn't really pick up until the 119th minute. Sunderland were passing it round the box and the ball went to Phil Bardsley, he unleashed a shot and De Gea fumbled it in. We went ballistic. Just as we started singing "que sera, sera" United scored and it went to penalties. The penalties were truly awful and the penalties were 2-1 in Sunderland's favour with Rafael stepping up to take the last one to either make or break Sunderland's Wembley hopes. Mannone saved it and that was it. We were going to Wembley!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We stayed back for half an hour to celebrate with our fellow Sunderland fans. We got out of Manchester and the journey home was fine. We got home at 1.30am and went straight to bed!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

What a great day. Best day I've had while supporting Sunderland.

Manchester United v Chelsea
Premier League
Monday August 26th 2013, 8pm
Marcus Walker (Chelsea fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Old Trafford is the biggest club stadium in England so naturally it’s always an away day you look out for when the fixtures are released! This would be my third time to the ground as an away fan going with Chelsea every time.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We took the train from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly which took a little over two hours so not too bad. From there we took a taxi to Salford Quays to find a pub before heading to the ground. The ground is huge and very impressive from the outside so naturally easy to spot.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game we went to the Lime Bar in Salford Quays which was a mixture of Chelsea and Manchester United fans. There was a lot of chanting from the numerous travelling Chelsea fans and the Manchester United fans weren’t impressed and a few even came over to tell the Chelsea fans to quieten down. The police all of a sudden popped out of nowhere to keep an eye on our fans which was a bit of a shock but they only intervened a couple of times. Manchester United v Chelsea is a bit of a rivalry nowadays so it was a bit hostile walking to the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground from the outside looks very impressive. It’s huge, seating 80,000 fans and the exterior is well done. The away end is in the South East corner of the stadium where the maximum allocation is 3000. Chelsea had sold out all 3000 tickets so there was a large police presence outside the away end but it’s easy to spot because of this! There was a lot of police and sniffer dogs too which was a bit of a shock but entrance wasn’t too much of a hassle.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was a 0-0 for Mourinho’s first away game of the season at the home of the Champions and it’s a result that all Chelsea fans would have taken prior to kick off. The atmosphere from our fans was brilliant with non stop chanting throughout. I expected a lot more of the United fans though especially the ones in the Stretford End. There was good banter between the two sets of fans and a couple of United fans were escorted out of the East Upper due to badgering from our away support. The stewards seemed friendly though. The facilities are good in the concourse and it’s spacious. The queues for food and drink were very long so we didn’t bother so we joined in with the chanting and bouncing fans in the concourse.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As it was an evening kick off we stayed overnight in Manchester. We headed straight back to the centre and took the tram from Old Trafford to Piccaddily station. There were long queues and it took a while. Both United and Chelsea fans were chanting at each other with a mixture of banter and hostility.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall it was a top away trip. The stadium is very good and very accommodating to travelling away fans. It would have been great to return to London with all 3 points but we’ll take a point and move on.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Saturday September 29th 2012, 5.30pm
By Jonny Laybourn (Tottenham Hotspur fan)

Being in only my second full season of attempting to attend every week at Spurs (I’ve only just moved back to the area after a childhood-long absence) I was relishing the chance to go to see us play at Old Trafford, one of the most famous football grounds in the country. Before the game we hadn’t been bestowed with the best of records against United at their place, not having won there for 23 years. I admit I wasn’t hoping for much as I travelled to Manchester, but nonetheless I saw it as an ideal opportunity to visit both the city and the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, and hope for a shock result while having a good sing song for the lads. Every away fan enjoys a sing song! 

On this particular day I came from Peterborough, and got the rather slow direct train through Nottingham and Sheffield. Not the most memorable three and a half hours of my life, but I did get into Manchester in one piece and in plenty of time. 

After walking round the impressive city centre for a bit, I had lunch at a Chinatown buffet followed by a drink at the famous Lass O’ Gowrie pub near Oxford Road station. Both places come highly recommended, especially the Lass if you are a real ale drinker. I then took the tram to the ground. On first impression the tram was quite expensive at £2.50 for a single ticket, but I suppose the price is justified for the high level of investment going into the network. 

There was no trouble with the home fans. They seemed to vary in attendance habits with some proudly sporting their gold season ticket badges while some fans clad in United shirts seemed to not know how to purchase tram tickets! Interesting. As a win for them was expected, general talk on the tram was of how big the scoreline would be and which of their star players would be on the scoresheet.

It took about 15 minutes to reach Old Trafford tram station, and another 15 on walking out of the station past the cricket ground to finally reach the stadium. Another peculiarity I started to witness was the proliferation of half-and-half scarf sellers, the scarves themselves being half red and half white and sporting the names of the two teams. Even stranger that many people were wearing them! It began to feel more like a tourist attraction than a game of football. Given the stadium’s capacity, I feel hardly surprised now that I didn’t see a single other Spurs fan until I arrived at the ground!

The ground itself is huge, not like any other I’ve been to, save for maybe Wembley. Outside the East Stand, where the lit ‘Manchester United’ sign is and where news correspondents pose when reporting about the club, thousands of fans posed for photos. The buzzing atmosphere outside was indicative of the prestige of the club. I walked round the outside of the ground and noticed that the South Stand was a bit older looking than the rest of the ground, but I had read before that the club cannot expand this stand because of the railway line lying more or less directly adjacent to it. I then bought a programme and went into the away section of the ground, located under the Munich memorial clock at the corner of the South and East stands.

I enjoyed a Thai beer for the Londoner-friendly price of £3.60 and took my seat about twenty minutes prior to kick off. The ground was just as impressive on the inside as it was from the outside, with imposing stands on three sides (some seats were so high we couldn’t see them from where we were) and a great view from the away section. I heard United trialled moving the away fans up into the ‘gods’ à la Newcastle but decided to drop it for this season; please don’t do it, Old Trafford has one of the best away sections in the country! Although there wasn’t much leg room, I was stood close to the away section which led to much good-natured banter between the fans.

As for the game itself, just wow. Spurs had a dream start with Jan Vertonghen playing a one-two and dinking a goal inside five minutes. We continued to dominate with the brilliant Gareth Bale grabbing a second before half-time. I stayed in my seat during the half-time period. The second half was more nail-biting: for United, Rooney came on for Giggs and they looked a different side. They got chance after chance until Nani scored impressively from a Rooney cross to make it 2-1. However a minute later we countered and Jermain Defoe was at the other end; he crossed to Bale who forced a parry from Lindegaard, inviting Clint Dempsey to tap the ball in and send us into delirium. Kagawa then finished off a good move two minutes later making it 3-2. And, despite United’s total dominance from then until the final whistle, the scoreline stayed put. Spurs had finally beaten Manchester United away for the first time in nearly 23 years!

Our fans were brilliant all game and I personally was hoarse after about half an hour; definitely the most atmospheric of away experiences I’ve had. The United fans broke into song on occasion, but ours were the more consistent of the two sets of fans! I have heard however that the Stretford End is hard to hear from the away end, so forgive me if you were at the game and you disagree! The stewards were very helpful as well, showing us our seats and letting us stand for more or less the whole game, even smiling to us as we left. 

We continued to sing in our seats for about ten minutes after the game, after which the party transferred to the street. Unfortunately it quickly dissolved after we were outnumbered by the swathes of grumpy United fans in the dark! I personally then did the two and a half (ish) mile walk back to the city centre. A bit far for most, but I thought better that than waiting in the vast queues for the tram among seventy thousand disappointed Reds!

Overall, it was a perfect day as a Spurs fan. Fantastic and iconic ground to visit, easily reachable from Manchester city centre and one in which you get a great view and can easily create an atmosphere. Winning was just the icing on the cake for us! Will definitely be back next year though I’ll still be cautious of overrating our prospects, albeit less so after this great result! Manchester itself is also a lovely city with so much to do both pre- and post-match.

Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Saturday December 31st 2011, 12.45pm
By Tom Croft (Blackburn Rovers fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Although we were expecting to go to Old Trafford and receive an absolute kicking, it had always been a ground I was determined to visit and now with a bit of money behind me, I had to go. I was really looking forward to it mainly due to all the hype connected with Old Trafford; Being such a large and famous stadium and with the fact that on Boxing Day we gained a point at Anfield (1-1 vs Liverpool) I was rather optimistic about this day out.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We travelled by club coach so a very easy journey. Once we arrived we parked in the car park which was roughly opposite the away turnstiles probably about 100 yards away.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I asked a Police Officer about any pub's in the vicinity of Old Trafford that welcomed away supporters but he didn't know so we decided against going to find any and instead accompanied our friend who had lost his ticket to the ticket office to see if he could get it replaced. (Fortunately he managed to). We walked into the ticket office entrance - all dressed in our blue and white - and didn't have any trouble whatsoever. United fans didn't seem to bother with us too much although I imagine this would be different for teams such as Man City and Liverpool.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

When we first saw the ground I was amazed by it. It really is such an impressive stadium all the way around outside and inside doesn't disappoint either. The view from the away section is probably the best I have ever experienced although there isn't much leg room. The segregation however between the home and away fans wasn't massive which led to a lot of banter between both set's of fans resulting in one Man United fan being called Rooney, all good natured banter though and nothing went too far. 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was absolutely brilliant. United threatened a lot early on but didn't seem to have that killer instinct in front of goal. The game changed however fairly quickly when in the 16th minuted Yakubu was brought down by Dimitar Berbatov in the penalty area resulting in a penalty to Rovers which the Yak calmly slotted in to put Rovers 1-0 up. Again United poured on the pressure but couldn't find that killer goal. We got to half time 1 up and the 2nd half began much the same as it ended in the first half. Rovers then made a counter attack which resulted in Yakubu darting past former Rover Phil Jones to drill the ball through De Gea's legs to make it 2-0 to Rovers. At this point we couldn't believe it and were going wild although our celebrations were short lived as straight from kick off United pushed forward and sloppy defending allowed Berbatov to make up for giving away the Penalty and putting united back into it with a cool finish from close range. 2-1. 

Ten minutes later and the same again. Sloppy defending by Rovers resulting in Berbatov cooly finishing to make it 2-2. We thought it was over then however ten minuted from time De Gea seemed clueless as he came for a cross and Grant Hanley headed it past him into the net to make it 3-2 to Rovers! United then pressed more but just couldn't break through Rovers stubborn defence. Great result for Rovers and the atmosphere we generated was electric as we were singing for the full 90 minutes. The United fan's weren't in great voice although the roar when they scored was impressive. 

The facilities in the ground are very good. The concourses were very spacious and toilets clean. When in there we bought a bottle of Singha Lager (£3.20 I think for a 330ml) and a bottle of Bulmers (again £3.20 I think) so not the greatest choice of alcoholic refreshments but better value than some ground's I've visited. We had very little to do with the stewards but they seemed fairly relaxed and were helpful when helping us to our seats.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting to the coach wasn't a problem however once we got on the road it was a good half hour at least before we got moving properly. The roads were extremely congested so I would advise taking an extra hour out of your time for the journey away from the ground just to be safe. Once back on the motorway there were no problems at all though.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I would rate this as one of my favourite away days ever. Most likely because of the result but Old Trafford really is a splendid stadium and as an away supporter a MUST visit in my opinion. The pictures on television really don't do it justice because when you're there in your seat just knowing you are in what is regarded as one of the best stadiums in the world really brings an extra buzz about the place and if you are lucky enough to get three points as we did on this particular day (however not forgetting the humiliating 7-1 defeat last season) then your day will be even better. Definitely a ground I would recommend visiting.

Manchester United v Arsenal
FA Cup 5th Round
Saturday March 13th 2011, 5.15pm
By Harry Shaw (Arsenal fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Having only visited Old Trafford once before (for a meaningless England friendly) I jumped at the chance for a trip up to watch the Arsenal. An added bonus being they’d be even more Gunners fans there because of the bigger ticket allocation for cup games.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Got the train without hassle. Getting to the ground was a doddle albeit the tram from the city centre to the ground was quite busy. Not that you mind that after a few beers on the journey up!  I’m sure getting there earlier would see lesser crowds on the tram.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Didn’t have time to track down a pub but grabbed a burger from a van before going into the ground, standard grub, what you’d expect.  Didn’t have any trouble at all from the home fans.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

You can’t help but be impressed by the ground’s exterior, as much as I tried not to! But first time visitors may be expecting too much, whilst pundits on the telly can go over the top about it. It’s a vast, great stadium, but it’s definitely not going to make your jaw drop like the Bernabeu or San Siro for example, but then that’s just my opinion.  Inside the ground is even more impressive, totally enclosed, the impossibly steep stands meet the pitch mere yards from the players. It looks intimidating from the stands, I’d imagine it’d be even more so from the players’ point of view.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Stewards were polite and helpful which was good, pointing us to our seats with a smile! Toilets were clean and big, queues for pies etc. went down quickly as far as I could tell.  

The game itself was unfortunately one to forget, in typical Arsenal fashion we dominated possession had shots on target but never really threatened, one thing I suppose you could say was van der Sar had a very good game. United soaked up our pressure with little effort and scored their first on the break through Fabio, then shortly after the restart Rooney headed in from close range. Both goals came from rebounds if I remember correctly which was a bore. At half time only bottles of Singha were on sale for a mammoth 3 or 4 pounds so I gave them a miss. It was annoying they didn’t sell pints but there you go. There were the usual pies and hot dogs on sale.  Despite the magnitude of the game the United fans never got going, a shame with the ‘ammo’ they’ve got at their disposal.  Us Arsenal fans didn’t stop all game and towards the last 20 mins turned it up a notch chanting non stop that we won the league in Manchester, absolutely fantastic. 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground wasn’t a problem, however I covered my colours up after being accosted by a few Man Utd fans for a cigarette!  Getting the tram back into town to get the train back was a drag, unlike at Arsenal where everyone filters out to the different tube lines/stations etc. It seemed a vast percentage got the tram back to the town centre, we eventually squeezed into about the 6th one that came along, and that was still packed like sardines. Next time we’re losing two-nil I think I’ll leave a few minutes early!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall a great day out as the Arsenal fans were in full voice throughout, a shame about the result but hey that’s the way it goes. It definitely won’t be my last visit to Old Trafford, thoroughly enjoyable and no trouble whatsoever.

Manchester United v Leeds United
FA Cup 3rd Round
Saturday 3rd January 2010, 1pm
By Josh Grainger (Leeds United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

It was a huge game for Leeds and a great chance to visit a famous ground.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

Because of the winter snow, we thought it was better if we travelled the day before and spend the night in Manchester, The trip to Manchester was fine. There was a tram station was just outside our hotel, which made the trip to Old Trafford easy, then walking the last half a mile to the stadium.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

It was very crowded and because of the rivalry between the two clubs, we thought it was wiser to get into the ground asap. The rivalry between the clubs is massive and therefore a friendly atmosphere was in doubt. Outside the ground a Man Utd scarf seller, was friendly and gave us advice to hide our shirts after the game and the route back to avoid trouble, however he was the kindest that came, a young programme seller swore at us and told us his thoughts about Leeds, however as we got closer to the away section, there was more Leeds fans so, the Man Utd minority didn't act stupid and walked past.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground? 

The ground is very big from the inside, however doesn't seem like it from the outside. The lids fans were given 9,000 tickets all of which were sold and we were given the east stand upper tier and the south east corner. The stairs leading up to the upper tier were metal which created a racket and stewards weren't the most friendly, however other things were on their mind rather than to talk casually.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.. 

Leeds managed to create a huge shock and won 1-0 and the game was great. The atmosphere was also fantastic with 9,000 Leeds fans singing their hearts out, however credit to man u, and it was clear to see that even the glory supporters sung and the constant singing battle rarely got out of hand. The steward in front of me was friendly, and talked to us about football.  The toilets had Man Utd badges everywhere ( baring in mind that this section was the home end in league games) and the toilets were good as far as it can go. 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game: 

The Leeds fans were kept in the ground for quite a long time after the game (understandably). There were a few Man Utd fans outside the ground, however most were in the pubs, the 9000 lids fans all came out together and outnumbered the home support, so trouble was avoided. After a long wait for a tram we returned to the hotel and the journey back to lids was fine.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Definitely worth it, if you are supporting a team who isn't rivals with Man Utd, then you'll be fine and even if you are following one of man u's rivals, if you use your head, the police seem to have it sussed out...

Updated 26th March 2015

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