Now I am not claiming to be a super fan or even someone who has traveled to every single game. However I am a manual wheelchair user and I wanted to share my season 14/15 with you as we head to the last 2 weekends of games.
Now firstly I want to thank a few people, firstly MUDSA for organising the wheelchair tickets for both home and away games, top job! Secondly to my friends, Shaun, dan, andy, Duncan, Peter and Martin as without you guys I wouldn't have been able to follow my team this season, luv you guys!! Thirdly to the staff at OT as they always ensure we have a great time! Thanks to, Southampton, stoke, Cambridge, Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton stewards for ensuring a mainly good experience! Final thanks goes to the lovely MUDSA members I've met this season, thanks for the chats and laughs :)
Now I've been attending home matches for a while. However this season I decided to take the plunge to away days my first in a wheelchair. I will openly admit I was apprehensive! But in true vicky style I grabbed it and went with it!
So we hit the end of June/start of July and I'm sat at home writing out my envelops ready to send off to MUDSA! Then my dad went off to post my big envelope and I could just wait and see , my home applications are made online! So here it goes, season 2014-2015
My first game was actually a friendly in August 2014! My friend Shaun picked me up from mine for the 200 mile round trip! We had a great time, my memory of this game is a bit scratchy, it seems so long ago now!
My next game was Southampton away. What a day that was! Due to a sickness bug I ended up traveling down to the south coast alone, hoping someone would get me off the train!! I met carol from my arthritis group who kindly took me to her house after a trip around my old uni town. We had a good chat and then rang st Mary's who said I could attend on my own, thank you Southampton fc! I was dropped off and at first they wouldn't let me in but I was adamant I was going in! Lucky for me the stewards could see I was a responsible person and knew I'd be ok! So a wave to carol see you in a few hours as she had plans and off I went to see the team win!! I shall never forget this game for 2 reasons, as we scored the second goal and our fans went forward so did my wheelchair .. Oh and the high 5s from fellow reds! Hello advertising bored! For the second reason it was my first away day in a wheelchair and on my own too!! After the match I meet back up with carol and we chatted til the early hours! Next day was an early start home, a good trip and 267 round trip for me!
My next trip was at old Trafford Boxing Day with my friend Shaun, we were lucky enough to have been invited into a box! It was a fanatic experience, well bar the fact I watched the game on the TV as no wheelchair access outside, least i had wine and a big tv .. Not a good mix with a migraine! A stop over in Manchester and then home and another 200 miles clocked up!
My next trip was stoke away on New Year's Day! It was a cold day, I think I had quite a few layers on that day! My friend can accompanied me to the game! The trip there via train was fine, but then we were on buses to the Britannia which was fun, mind getting back on after the match was even more fun! Thanks to dan, mufc fans who helped me get on the bus! A round trip of 108 miles in one day, for the love of football!
My next trip came in the FA cup. I headed down to Cambridge and first there was train issues and I was worried I wouldn't make it! Then I found myself and my wheelchair plonked in the aisle with no designated wheelchair space! Random convos with people and hoping I didn't run anyone's toes over as my breaks are a bit iffy! Eventually made it to Cambridge, saying bye to the train passengers I'd chatted too!! Oh what a relief, to meet andy outside and travel to the hotel! A quick change and then the push/walk up to the game, now it's not easy when the pavements are full of fans! But we made it, very happy to see the MUFC steward to get our tickets! The less said about my view the better! However I did chat to a few mufc fans who were stood by the wheelchair and a few high 5s and chats about my views! Then the long walk back to the hotel, we sat in the bar and had a drink and met two fellow reds, peter and Gordon! We chatted for ages and before I was asleep and andy was gone, as he had work the next day! Now the morning came, the staff at hotel were fab helping me! On to the train back home and another 230 mile round trip complete!
Next stop my favourite place, Old Trafford and seeing my good friend Duncan! Now you have to laugh we met up and had a beer and a glass of wine, best way to start a game! We made out way to old Trafford. Met up with andy to return his flag I'd taken home with me after Cambridge, sorry!! Then off we went in after chatting, Duncan's first trip to the disabled facilities at old Trafford! We made our way to our seats and chatted and made a predictions and well done Duncan, you won! Not sure if you were on the nose or very close! After the match the normal madness to get back into town, well we couldn't get a taxi! So Duncan ended up pushing me all the way from OT to town it took us 58 mins! Think he was knackered, thanks mate your a legend! Another 200 mile trip! I didn't even mention being left on a hill and having to pull my self up with my feet! I was knackered! On and a moany taxi driver to Piccadilly because my handles are loose, I'd worry more about me going back and forth in the back of your cab!
Next stop Newcastle! Thankfully Andy offered to drive, thanks mate! A long trip, my knees were hurting but it was worth it! Getting to Newcastle we were told to go to the area to park car then told nope your down there! Eventually we found our spot and stopped! We had a walk/push around the stadium and a quick pit stop at subway! Now Newcastle provided a lift, good job really!! The view was fantastic, although I'd have preferred people not to keep knocking my wheelchair, felt a bit unsafe looking down!! Met a few reds, had a few chats! Scoring in the 89th min was a particular high, think I lost my self for a minute! Nothing better than exiting with happy united fans! Until your told it's safer for you to walk with the Newcastle fans .. Scarf tucked down a bit! A phone call from peter and we eventually made it to the hotel just outside Newcastle and they had out me on the 1st floor and no lifts, you have to laugh! Lucky they had a spare room on the ground floor, silly hotel! A fun trip and a 445 round trip!!
Next stop was another FA cup game, we were playing arsenal! I attended this match with my childhood neighbour! Now once we had the wheelchair folded up in the back of his car, thanks dad for the instructions to Martin! We were on our way! Then we hit traffic lol! We made it in plenty of time! The result was disappointing shall we say, but we had a decent drive and Martin got to see the disabled facilities at old Trafford! After the match I got to catch up with peter and peter, or as I explained to Martin, Irish Peter and Scottish peter! We had a good chat and then off we all went our separate ways, with hand shakes, hugs and kisses! Then the traffic back home and diversions near home! Got home for 1am aprox and that's another 200 mile trip done!
My next trip was Liverpool away, I'll be honest I was a little apprehensive everyone knows the rivalry between these clubs! Well today was a new experience a coach trip! Oh yes I went with peter and Gordon to Liverpool! First of all, the wheelchair was lifted on to the coach, thanks lads! Then I was picked up and plonked on my seat!! The trip wasn't too bad, getting off, peter re made the wheelchair, after it had been folded away behind us! Then I was picked up and passed along and eventually made it to my wheelchair hurray! Now we didn't know where we were going so found some nice stewards who directed us back to the home end .. We both thought the same yes! The stewards were lovely and very helpful and we had an enjoyable game, I met Kevin and had a lovely chat to him. We then were given the option to stay with our fans "for our safety" or carry on up to us! We stayed for a bit and peter got a cracking video of the away fans singing! Next stop the coach after leaving in twos! Picked up, put in my seat, wheelchair folded, peter went to have a fag and I was thinking of the victory and the sending off!! A very happy coach back! I missed my train back so had to speak to assistance to get me on a later train and before I knew it I was on my way back home and being squashed by luggage and nearly didn't get off the train, I just love the danger! Another 216 mile round trip!
Next stop Chelsea away with andy! One man, one lady and one wheelchair in Central London .. Lol!! I got a train to euston and met andy there! Now first we were told we couldn't use the underground at euston as it's not wheelchair accessible great, we had to walk to kings cross, I took andy the back way, much quieter! After much discussion and being told we had to get off at a station that wasn't even accessible we found a route! Hello lifts! We made it to earls court! Another stop off for food and drink! Then a pleasant mainly flat walk to Stamford bridge! Where we met up with Jon and his son and saw the team busses arrive! Then off we went into the ground, large toilets, thank you Chelsea! Undercover so no weather issues, hurray! And polite reds making sure we could see, hat ruck of positives! We chatted with Jon and Kevin and other members! Then after the match we walked back to earls court and eventually got on the train, to Waterloo and then had to take about 4 lifts to each level of the station and then back down again! Hurray we made it to the tube for the last leg to the 02!! A bit of a climb and hope for the best getting in the car as the arthritis was giving me a bit of jip! Another 232 mile round trip!
Everton away and as I write this my last game of the season! We decided to drive up to Everton, so an early start, I wasn't even ready when Martin arrived soon got my ass into gear! Then off we went to Liverpool, following some directions! After getting lost and finding GPS on the iPhone we made it to Goodison! We then found parking £5 lighter but a wheelchair space so all was good! We had a walk to the ground, let's say Liverpool streets are not good for the wheelchair! We met Jon and Kevin for a quick chat! Then on we went into the ground. Now the plus the stewards were lovely and very helpful. The negative, the toilet was really small! And the box we have to sit in was a bit tight! Oh and I couldn't see the ball on one side of the pitch who knew it slanted! After the match we managed to get back to the motorway quite quickly and not to much traffic! Although I did fall asleep sorry Martin! Another 230 mile round trip!
In total this crazy footballing loving girl and her wheelchair has traveled 2,528 miles this season! As you can read it's been an adventure! I can not wait til August to start a new adventure, home and away PL, cups and Europe!
Have a great summer reds!!