A lot of wives hate the football season; at least once a week, they lose their Husbands to the TV or even stadium if they’re lucky enough to live near their chosen team and if their team isn’t doing so well, their moods can seriously suffer! However, here in the Mum’s the Word house, we’re a family of football lovers, so match days are a family affair, though sadly our team is Liverpool FC which means that the commute from Essex is a little far to make a regular pilgrimage to Anfield.
Back in 2013, we were lucky enough to be invited along by Liverpool FC’s PR team to visit Anfield for a stadium tour, museum visit and family fun day, all before watching a home game against West Bromwich Albion. It was an incredible day; we got to see Luis Suarez score his first home hat-trick and we eventually won the match 4-1. I was 5 months pregnant with Burrito Baby at the time, so whenever we talk about that day, we always say that all four of us have been to Anfield! It was an amazing experience and something I’m SO glad we got to share with Sausage – she still talks about that day over a year later and would love to go back again now that BB is here.
Liverpool FC is a really family oriented club, so supporting our team as a family is really important to us. On days when the matches are on TV, all of us congregate in the lounge to watch together and on special game days, we often have Husbands’ Dad and his wife over as they’re Liverpool supporters too. We love nothing more than sharing a pizza together and watching the match…there may even be a beer or two involved on good days, too!
In return for telling you about our football watching habits, Betfair has sent us a gorgeous Pamper Parcel, a new company started by a fellow blogger, Rosie Shelley, and in the spirit of equality, Husband and I have been sharing the contents – of course, the chocolate was yummed down pretty quickly between us and the girls, and I’ve slathered myself in the rich, firming moisturiser included in the box, but as Husband is the bath-lover amongst us, the bath bomb is being saved until the next time he has time for a soak!
Are you a family who watches sport together? Does your family all support the same team, or are there any major rivalries going on? Are you a family of pamperers who love nothing more than soaking in the bath? Do you make good use of match days by waiting until the footy is on to give yourself a pampering? Leave me a message below, I’d love to hear all about your sporting (or NON-sporting) habits as a family!
If you read this post, you’ll know that last weekend we were invited by Liverpool Football Club to attend a match at Anfield, as well as taking in their new Family Fun zone, Stadium Tour and Museum. We’re all huge Liverpool fans, Husband having been a life-long supporter, and we were all so excited to have this opportunity.
Our trip started on Friday afternoon, as we decided to travel up early and stay in a nearby hotel before the match on Saturday. One EPIC 8 hour car journey later (it’s supposed to take 4-5 hours from where we live. M6 toll road of a Friday night? Awful!) and we finally arrived at our destination, tired and achey, but excited about the events ahead. We got our heads down at the hotel (review to follow later) and woke up bright and early the next day to travel to the stadium.
Although the game against West Brom didn’t start until 3pm, we arrived at the stadium for 10.30am to start the tour. We parked in the Stanley Park car park which was really well staffed and just a couple of minutes walk away from the stadium, so we didn’t have far to go. The day started for me when we got out of the car – Liverpool is an iconic city for more than one reason, a hive of political importance, and drinking in the sights on the way to the ground amplified my excitement. I’ve seen pictures of the rows of boarded up houses in pictures before, but seeing them in real life was both humbling and surreal.
Walking past the Hillsborough Memorial and into the Main Gates, we made our way to the museum entrance and joined our tour group. We were taken into the Players Entrance of the stadium, where the teams disembark from their coaches and go through to their changing rooms and one thing that strikes you is the size of the corridor – it’s tiny! We walked past all of the filming areas where the players stand to give their post-match interviews, and they’re literally just a couple of alcoves with the sponsorship on the walls!
On non-match days, tours are taken into the players locker room, but as it was match day that was off the cards. However, the West Brom kit man Pat Frost (who’s also England’s kit man) was kind enough to let us take a look around The Baggies locker room. It was a lot smaller than I’d imagined (although the tour guide told us that it was roughly the same size as the home team’s room) and we saw all the kit that West Brom were wearing on the day, laid out for them – including a pile of pants in the entryway!
Next on the tour was the legendary ‘This is Anfield’ sign – something I’ve seen on the tv literally hundreds of times. Walking through the tunnel, onto the pitch side and touching the sign was a dream come true for Husband and me. Anyone who supports Liverpool or follows the premier league will know how iconic and important that sign is to Liverpool FC – Bill Shankly put it there during his time as manager as a way to remind the oppositions that they were in the best stadium in the world. As the tour guide pointed out, it’s not a ‘Welcome to Anfield’, it’s ‘THIS IS ANFIELD’, a powerful statement which gives you one final jolt of nerves before walking out onto the pitch to face The Mighty Reds.
We sat in the dugout while the guides gave us some history of the ground, before moving over and sitting in the Kop, another iconic place in the world of Liverpool FC and football in general. The tour guides were so warm and welcoming and all of the information they gave was interesting and accessible. The tour group consisted of 5 year olds and 65 year olds, as well as everything in between, and they all managed to stay engaged during the talks.
After the tour, we made our way to the museum, which is packed with memorabilia from the 116 year history of the club (a particular favourite of mine being the huge Robbie Fowler board which simply proclaimed his as ‘God’!), and got our photos taken with Stevie G and a replica of the European Cup (not the real Stevie, obvs, but almost!). There were optional headsets that we could have all used, but Husband and I opted to take it all in for ourselves, while Sausage took full advantage of the extra information available on the headset unit.
Once we’d done the tour and museum, we made our way to the Fun Zone, which is just across the road from the main gates of the stadium, and were really pleased with what we found. Entry was free and the area was filled with food stalls, picnic benches, and lots of fun set up for the whole family. We were peckish by this point, so we grabbed some burgers and sat and watched the Silky Skills man do some amazing things with a football and a keepie-uppy challenge. Sausage got her face painted with a Liver Bird and we bought some souvenirs (including two newborn LFC babygros for the baby!).
Soon, it was time to take our seats…
Tune in for Part Two of our Liverpool Experience to find out how the rest of our day went!