Lee Scarrott enjoyed his Match Break last season, which saw him take in the West Bromwich Albion fixture on April 25. Below, he takes us on his journey, including the build-up and the game itself…
It’s Monday, April 25, it’s 8.15am and my father and I are heading to London, which can only mean one thing; it’s a matchday at the Lane! However this isn't any normal exciting trip to the Lane, we are heading down to experience a Tottenham Hotspur Match Day Break... Thomas Cook style! The nerves are certainly present between us, I can only imagine 36,000 Spurs fans will be feeling the same emotions tonight!
10.26: After a pleasant journey down to the capital we arrive for what is going to be a day out to remember. It's early doors but that was the plan, after all it is a Match Day Break, and what better way to spend the morning and afternoon than taking in the sights of London?
11.00: So much to see and do in the wonderfully cosmopolitan city that is London. You could spend an entire year here seeing the sights and visiting all the amazing shops, bars, restaurants and tourist attractions. First stop was Covent Garden where we had a wander around the main square – my dad and I love the London vibe! It was then time for a spot of lunch and we opted for Camden Food Market, it didn’t disappoint. A short tube journey took us to the hustle and bustle of the mesmerising town of Camden – anyone who visits London has to experience it. The food on the market is just amazing, your typical street food with so much choice on offer. Located right next to the canal, on a sunny day, this is a perfect spot to just sit back, relax and take it all in.
16.00: Only four hours until kick-off, we arrive at our Match Break hotel. On arrival we are greeted with a pleasant welcome and the offer of some drinks – how could we refuse? We are joined in the bar by some Spurs fans, three gents who had come over from Ireland. We discuss our predictions for the game and how the team will put on another entertaining show at the Lane! The room we had was perfect with tea and coffee facilities and, best of all, we could actually see the towering cranes overlooking White Hart Lane. I didn't realise how close we actually were – what a fantastic location for an overnight stay.
18.00: We picked up our tickets up from the collection point – this was easy to find and we were greeted by the very friendly staff. A quick browse in the megastore on the High Road followed for some new merchandise and of course the matchday programme.
19.00: With kick-off looming just around the corner we decided to squeeze in a quick drink at one of the surrounding bars. The atmosphere was great with fans singing, I could feel some natural pre- match anxiety but we were positive.
19:30: We headed over to the East Stand on Paxton Road before taking our seats in the upper section. Spurs and Thomas Cook hadn’t disappointed, the seats were amazing. The players were out warming up, looking sharp and ready to entertain. Another evening down the Lane under the floodlights, the goosebumps were building nicely.
19.50: The players had left the field, the stadium was filling up, the pre-match video began with thunderous noise and I felt like I was at a huge outdoor gig all of sudden – I couldn’t tell you how amazing it sounded! The video on the big screen went back through the years of all the Spurs legends; Bill Nicholson, Pat Jennings, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie, Ricky, Teddy Sheringham, David Ginola, Ledley King and Harry Kane. My dad and I were absolutely buzzing.
20.00: The players line up, the atmosphere builds yet again and it’s the loudest I’ve heard at the Lane. I was confident it was going to be our night.
20.33: Goal… The crowd erupted and we went in front following a dominant first half. We looked on fire, just as we had done many times during the season.
21.28: Goal… West Brom had pulled one back, it was disappointing but the crowd grew to rally the team on for the final minutes. Unfortunately we could not seize the opportunity and the game finished 1-1.
22.00: We decided to head on back to the hotel, this time opting for a stroll back past the shops. Back at the hotel we joined our fellow Spurs fans enjoying a reflective beer – we love to analyse the game afterwards!
The next day we had a delightful breakfast and our train was leaving in the afternoon so we had plenty of time before checking out. We both agreed that we will definitely stay over again – Thomas Cook Sport took care of everything and it was a pleasant stay all round.
After a quick browse around Leicester Square and Covent Garden for a bit of shopping, we headed back to the station. It had been an amazing trip but all good things come to an end. We will certainly be doing it again!
To see the Match Break packages for the coming season go to Thomas Cook Sport.