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Trip of a lifetime --:I am a big fan of Manchester United Football Club. I hoped one day to see they play live other than watching them on TV. I was really surprised in early October when my father told me  he had booked tickets for all of us to visit Old Trafford. Most of the lads in the class wished they were coming as well, as did my teacher but we only had  three tickets. So,on the 5th of November my Mum, Dad and myself left home at 7 O'clock in the morning to travel to Dublin Airport. We were going to Old Trafford to see Manchester United play Leicester City. Our plane was leaving for Manchester at  10.40 am. When we got on the plane it was obvious  that a lot of  people were going to the match, from their dress; red and black, blue and yellow colours  were worn by almost all the passengers. 

The flight to Manchester only took 35 minutes, which was shorter than the time it took us to travel from home. When we arrived in Manchester Airport, we took the Manchester Flyer, which is a train, to the centre of Manchester.  As it was nearly 1 o'clock, we only had time to drop our bags in Jury's Hotel and get a taxi to Old Trafford. As we approached, we could see the stadium in the distance.  I was finally going to get to see The Theatre of Dreams.  The stadium is divided into four stands;- The North Stand, The South Stand ,the East and the West Stands.

Our seats were in the South Stand and were situated next to the players tunnel.  All the seats are red in colour and when you look across to  the other side of the stadium, you can see the name Manchester United  written across the seats when they are empty.  About 45 minutes before the game started, both sets of players came out to warm up.  My favourite player Mark Bosnich, was warming up in the goal next to us. At 3.oopm the match started.  There was a great atmosphere with the fans singing songs about the players. The stadium was full, with an attendance of 55,500.  During this half, Andy Cole kicked an over head shot and scored the first goal. A lot of people said that it was the goal of the season so far.  I had a very good view of this goal. Mark Bosnich also made a very good save. During the second half the play continued with most of the play in the Leicester half.

Manchester were playing brilliantly and deserved the second goal, which was also  scored by Andy Cole. The final score was 2 -0 in favour of Manchester United.  I really  enjoyed the match and as the day ended and we made our way back to the hotel, I was really looking forward to the next day as we had a tour booked to visit the stadium. The next morning we got up and had breakfast at 8.30am, as we had to be in Old Trafford at 10 O'clock for the start of the stadium tour.  There was twenty other people on  our tour.  First you went into the Museum, it's here that all the trophies are kept.  We saw the Premiership Cup, The European Cup, which was the biggest, and the Cup Winners  Cup.

At 10.20 am the official tour started. First we were brought into the press room were the press gather before the match.  Next we went to the room, were all the players have their meal before the match. The meal is prepared by their own chef and usually consists of either chicken or fish.  There are two exceptions to this;  David Beckam is allowed to eat bran flakes and Roy Keane is allowed to eat baked beans. The next part of the tour was to visit the dug out and we were allowed to sit, where the substitutes and management team sit during a match. Next it was to the Players Lounge, where the players and their families gather about two hours before the match.  Here they can have tea or coffee, no alcoholic drinks are allowed before the match. On the walls of the Players Lounge is a picture of all Manchester United Captains past and present.  It starts with an Irishman, J.Carey and the current captain is also an Irishman, Roy Keane.

We visited the players dressing room next.  This consisted of three rooms; a warm up room, (which was Eric Cantana's idea) shower and jacuzzi room and changing room.  The jacuzzi was huge and took up to eight players.  The tour guide told us that at half time the players are given bananas and Jaffa cakes to boost their energy for the second half. Finally, we were allowed to run down the tunnel like the players do before each match.  This was very exciting .  As  we made our way to the airport, that evening I was happy that I finally got to see Manchester United play live at the Theatre of Dreams. It was a dream come through for me.I would like some day when I grow up to play for Manchester United. Now that would be a dream come true

Ian Daly