Welcome to the blog about my first ever soccer match or as they call it, Football, in the UK and Europe.
I had wanted to go and watch a football match since arriving in the UK as I'd heard that the experience and atmosphere was amazing. My friend Rachel Cummings and her mum were going to a game just before I had intended to fly back into Europe and I thought it would be the perfect time to go to avoid awkwardly going alone. I booked my tickets on the Chelsea Football Club (FC) website for around 70 pounds and although I had seats in a different area to Rach I was stoked and excited about going to watch the Chelsea versus Reading match.
I met up with Rachel at Notting Hill Gate tube station and we headed off to the stadium which was in Fullham Broadway. It was peak hour on the tubes and I remember being squished in like sardines as we stood waiting to get off at our tube station exit. When we got to Fullham their were lots of pop up stalls selling official merchandise for both teams and I quickly bought a Chelsea scarf for 7 pounds to fit right in with the supporters. I hadn't heard of Reading before and had of Chelsea so that was the main reason for cheering them on that night. When we got there I wanted to buy some dinner from the kiosk and was excited to see beef pie with mash potato and gravy on the menu. We met up with Rachel and her mums friend in the stands and I sat with them until people came to claim their seats, secretly hoping no one would be in them so I could sit with my friend Rach, rather than in my designated loner seat. People started to arrive and I had to move to some empty seats in the row behind Rach and her mum but ended up chatting to a cheery old English lad who had been coming to watch Chelsea since he was 7 years old. He wanted to chat and fill me in on the game and the songs the supporters were chanting which was nice of him.
Before the game started the players were warming up and the MC was calling out the names of new players who had been signed up with the Chelsea club for the season and everyone was cheering as blue and white club banners were being passed over the heads of the supporters and around the stadium. When the game began everyone started cheering and singing Chelsea club songs and the atmosphere was awesome. About fifteen minutes into the game the stadium was getting packed and I eventually had to move to my own seat, making 50 people along the same row as Rachel's stand up so I could get passed ooops so embarrassing!The seats were very close together and I was amongst some crazy supporters right at the top of the stadium and across from one of the goals. I made friends throughout the game with an older English man and a young French guy who were really nice as we cheered and chatted about the game during the match. I was asking them who their favourite players were and they were telling me a little about some of the players best playing attributes and abit about the rules.
When I was watching the football game the soccer ball looked like it was floating along the field as they kicked the ball with such precision and skill. Chelsea was running all over Reading in the first half and looked like far the better team, much to the Reading supporters disgust who were huddled and all seated together in the away teams corner of the stadium. Apparently it is not uncommon for the supporters from opposing teams to get into fights during and after the matches so they are always separated and seated in their own section, usually with police surrounding them. The rest of the stadium was filled with Chelsea supporters and there was never a quite moment during the match as they chanted and cheered constantly to support their home team.
I ended up getting so into the 90 minute football game because of the great atmosphere at the stadium. The supporters went crazy every time Chelsea scored and the sound was electric as the ball hit the back of the net each time. I found myself jumping up, throwing my hands in the air and cheering after Chelsea scored their third goal to make it 3-2 during the second half. This was very unlike me especially watching a soccer game. The game seemed to go really quickly and was over before we knew it which was a shame because I could have watched them play all night. Chelsea won 4-2 with an exciting goal to secure the win in the dying minutes which was super exciting.
As I walked out the black security guard who scanned my ticket to let me into the stadium was waiting for me to walk out. He was being super sleazy and was saying how beautiful I was and was asking for my number which was really funny but creepy. I said I was flying home the next day and he seemed to get scared and leave me alone as Rachel's mum approached us. If only guys I actually liked could be so forward lol! We all packed out of the stadium after taking some snaps in front of the football pitch and outside the stadium on the way out. The tube lines were packed and it took a little while for us all to fit on and head home. I walked all the way home from Notting Hill to Ladbroke Grove still proudly wearing my Chelsea scarf.
I never expected to enjoy the football game as much as I did but after going once I would not hesitate to see another match. After the amazing atmosphere and feel within the stadium I feel so lucky to have been able to be there to see a game live. It is one of the highlights during my time in London and I am so glad it is something I can say I have seen in the UK.
Love The Chelsea Supporting Backpacker