One group travel around all of London’s football stadiums!

Hello everyone! I’m Jerry from China, a student at King’s College London and a keen football fan, whose favourite club is Tottenham Hotspur. On our “lazy” Tuesday (24th July 2018), Me and my group of Bucksmore friends visited five football stadiums here in London.

 

First of all, We went to Stamford Bridge, the home of FC Chelsea. This became our first destination because it’s the nearest stadium to our accommodation in Waterloo. After getting off of the District Line at “Fulham Broadway”, We immediately entered the unique atmosphere of the Blues. There were a lot of posters of Chelsea on our way to the stadium. After a walk around it, we could experience a lot of the club’s history, for example, the “Shed Wall”. Chelsea legends, such as Frank Lampard or John Terry, are introduced on this wall. we also went to the Chelsea Megastore, which is a huge fan shop. Besides the smaller items like key rings or mugs, there is a massive amount of kits for the new season. The whole upper floor of the shop is filled with the team’s jerseys.

 

With two blue shopping bags and plenty of photos, we left Stamford Bridge for Craven Cottage, the stadium of FC Fulham, which won the playoffs and is now in the Premier League in the starting season. FC Fulham is not only the derby-rival of Chelsea, it’s also the oldest football club in London. The club was founded in 1879, three years before the establishment of my favourite club – Tottenham Hotspur. The exterior design of the stadium actually reminded me of a fortress or a castle. You can enter the seating blocks by passing the doors of the brick wall. The fan shop is definitely smaller than Chelsea’s, but there is a lot to see inside, like the trophy of the playoffs. They have even got an extra shelf only for Fulham-teddy bears. Sweet! we left Craven Cottage with key rings, stress balls and the fresh air of the Thames.

 

On our way to pick up our Tottenham-shorts that we ordered at Nike town on Oxford Street, we found another stadium in White City, where we planned to jump off the bus for the Central Line. It’s the stadium of the Championship team Queens Park Rangers on Loftus Road. I’ve known this team since the season 2011/12, as they were beaten by Manchester City on the last matchday after a crazy comeback (don’t forget Tyler’s “Agüerooo!”) to secure their league title with a better goal difference over Manchester United. As I asked the QPR information desk for their fan shop, they seemed to be very happy and this gave me a feeling that QPR’s got very few supporters. And that’s maybe true: there was only an old couple in the store. I supported the club with a purchase of a key ring. Hopefully, they can get more fans in the future!

 

Just after we picked up my Tottenham merchandise, we carried on my stadium tours at the fourth destination: the Emirates Stadium of Arsenal. The stadium area is pretty big, with bridges and statues of Arsenal legends e.g. Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp etc. During the visit, some developers of the Arsenal fan-app invited us to do a survey. At first, they asked me if I was an Arsenal fan or not. I didn’t want to reveal which club I supported, so I declined to answer. They joked with me and told me not to be a Spurs fan. I could only mutter “Ok!”

Anyway, it was a successful conversation between Arsenal fans and a 16-year-old Spurs fan who had faked not being a Spurs fan. Wow!

My roommate at Bucksmore is an Arsenal fan and we always made jokes to each other. He has got an Xhaka shirt while I brought my Eriksen shirt. We wore them for the Bucksmore Camden selfie challenge in North London (one day before my journey) and we won the competition. That was funny.

 

After having a short break back at the accommodation, we all departed for Wembley, me in my Spurs kit. Wembley is the heart of football, according to Pelé. This extraordinary stadium was built from 2002 to 2007, as the successor of the old Wembley Stadium (built 1922/23). 90.000 people can fit in the new stadium and it’s even got a closable roof. It is also equipped with modern referring technologies, such as VAR, of course. Today, it is the home stadium of the England national team. Many important football matches are being played at Wembley, like the FA Cup final etc. My favourite club Tottenham Hotspur have played their home games here for a whole season due to the reconstruction of their original home stadium White Hart Lane.

Finally, we had less than 2 hours left to manage our whole trip from Waterloo to Wembley and back to our dinner at Strand, but we made it, thanks to the Metropolitan Line.

It was definitely the best day we have had with Bucksmore. we really enjoyed planning our free time and experiencing adventures like this. we all walked 33.214 steps on that day and I can write novels for each of them. I am also happy that I can share my experience with my new friends I met during my fortnight here and also with the staff, who really care about us and keep us smiling. I also want to thank football; our religion and our passion, which keeps us driving, marching and speaking the same language.