I have been living in the US for over 10 years now but I spent the first 20 years of life living in the UK. I, like many other people from the Uk, absolutely adore football, or soccer, and I honestly think that the English Premier League is the best in the world. Not many of my US buddies are fans of soccer but I have managed to convert my oldest friend Greg Lindae, to support my beloved Spurs with me, Tottenham Hotspur that is, not San Antonio!
Last year Greg and I made the Pilgrimage to the home of Spurs, to enjoy a proper British matchday. If you aren’t from the UK and you want to get the best experience, here is how I think you should do it.
Assuming it’s a 3pm kick off, I like to head out around 10 and get myself a hearty breakfast, a full english preferably, in a local cafe. From there the next step is to get some bets on for the day. Even if you don’t enjoy gambling, placing some bets on the game which you are about to watch really adds an extra element to proceedings, and you can just put 50p or a pound on the bet if you so wish.
Armed with your bet slip, the next step for me is to head to a proper English pub, relatively close to the ground. If you go to a pub that is too close to the stadium you will have problems just getting a beer, so look for somewhere around a mile outside. Make sure you check to see which fans are in the pub, if it is a mix or it is your fellow fans, dive in, if it is the opposition, better to search for another. Enjoy a pint and the atmosphere pre-game, to get you in the mood.
Drinking isn’t permitted at your seats in the stadium but you can enjoy one before kick off, and at half time, in the stadium bars, just watch out for the queues. For a truly authentic experience, make sure you try a pie at half time, as well as a bovril, a meaty-style drink which will warm you up for the second half.
After the game there will be madness as everyone looks to get home, I like to take my time, soak up the atmosphere, and try to find a pub or a cafe to relax in, until all of the chaos dies down. I particularly like heading to a pub as you can watch all of the other results come in, from the matches taking place around the country.
Everyone has their own favorite way to enjoy a game but for me, this plan is something of a ritual that I used to have, and the best way, I think, to enjoy a proper British matchday.