Driving down the M6 on my way to Exmoor I passed lots of cars and vans and minibuses with Manchester United flags and scarves flying out of windows or strewn across the back windows. It was cup final day at Wembley: United vs Barcelona in the Champions League.
This made me think about the new Wembley Stadium and how I’d like to see it. I loved the old stadium with the iconic twin towers and it’s a shame it’s gone. But the new one looks like a pretty interesting piece of architecture too.
I first went to Wembley when I was about 14 and at secondary school. I went along on my brother’s primary school trip to see England vs Holland in a schoolboys’ under 15 game. We won 7-0 and I fancied the Dutch goalkeeper.
The last time I went into the stadium was when I worked as an extra for the day on a Persil Automatic advert. I had my face painted red and white and was part of an imaginary football crowd. It was a long day but I got paid £50 and well fed.
In between times I went to the market that was held in the car park on Sundays. I wonder if it still is? I’ve also been to a couple of concerts there. I saw Madonna in her ‘Who’s That Girl?’ tour in the 1980s. I queued up all night for tickets, ticking something of my ‘things I must do’ list of wishes at the time. The ‘thing I must do’ was the queuing up all night, not the Madonna concert. The other concert I saw there was the celebratory concert after Nelson Mandela was freed. The man himself was there and made a speech on stage, as well as a whole host of bands and singers.
So I have good memories of the old Wembley and I’d like to start getting some of the new Wembley. I’ve never been to an England game – the ‘real’ England, not the schoolboys – so it would be great to see them for the first time in the new Wembley. I doubt I’ll see them win 7-0 though!