The First Journey.
Me and my 2 friends from Sweden have always talked about making a football trip abroad. When we finally chose to make this dream real, we began to look for alternatives. After many hours of planning, comparing, and deciding, we finally found the trip that fit us perfectly.
We choose England and Stoke-On-Trent.
We arrived by plane to Stansted Airport late at night on a Thursday. Early the next day we took the Stansted Express train from the airport into London and then walked to Euston Station to catch the next train to Stoke-On-Trent. The Stansted Express train was cheap, but the train to Stoke-On-Trent was kind of expensive.
When we arrived at the stadium we were so excited to get inside. Unfortunately we arrived too late to the stadium, because the club shop was closed. Instead we went to the stadium the day after to get our hands on their shirt.
When arriving inside the arena we got a feeling we never had experienced before. When taking the steps into the arena and seeing the pitch for the first time, we all had goosebumps.
We then watched Stoke win 3-2 against Blackburn Rovers. We sat in the homefans shortside, almost as far down as the pitch. The stadium was unfortunately not sold out – but the atmosphere was anyway amazing. We first saw Hoever put 2 in goal and then Campbell got 1 as well. Stoke was leading 3-0 and everyone thought the game was over. But then the mighty Ben Brereton Diaz scored in the 86th minute, and 4 minutes later Gallagher headed one in the net and the score was 3-2 with 6 minutes left of stoppage time. Stoke managed to hold on and got the full 3 points.
Getting tickets to the game was easy. You just had to create a free account on their website and then you are good to go. My ticket cost about 14€.
We have now officially begun our football shirt collection with shirts we bought at games we have been at.
(By @OliverLinbloom on Twitter)