Saddlers at Wembley
Well the day started early at Moor Street station to catch the 9.06 into Wembley station. A quiet train ride which was far removed from my memories of 'specials' to Shrewsbury etc and the chaotic events and singing. The rustle of newspapers and discarded coffee gave way to a buzz of rising excitement as a child shout there it is as we approached the station.
The station, well a train station is a train station but everything was running smoothly. As we came up the stairs and turned towards the stadia we had our first sight of Wembley.
The walk up to the stadium from the train station just isn't the same as the old jaunt up wembley way. Once there to me it seems very cold and clinical, the way modern stadium seem to be these days. The steps up and the peeling paint and the in's and out's of the old stadium have gone. In some ways it reminded me of Manchester City's Council ground (Man City fans).Only the arch distinguishes it from the outside, I must admit I for one felt let down at this point.
Once inside and up the escalators, you start to get a feeling of been in the national stadium. I can only speak for one section of the ground but the concourse was spaceous and smelt new, a food kiosk is a food kiosk but each one hada link with old wembley, my choice was 1982..Pope visits Wembley. Now this is where I expected to require a mortgage advisor to be able to buy food lets face it we have to pay for the stadium some how. Although more expensive than Bescot, it compares well with the Emirates, soft drinks £1.80 pies (which come in a box with a picture of the stadium on) £4.50 or buy them together for £6. Plenty of seating to chat and eat. Ther was also the East Cafe with hot food served in take away containers and carvery, Cumberland Sausage and Mash £7, sandwiches proper coffee Expresso or whatever your choice. My lad like the muffins and Chocolate chip cookies.
Now to the arena it's self, and to be honest pictures on in the press and on here don't do it justice, it is inspiring and I can't wait to experience it full. I can't imaging there been a bad seat in the house. Having the two giant screens is almost like watching it on tv and been there at the same time.It was a test event and as such there were problems just ask anyone who tried to get a drink just after the second half started! However when they played 'Football's coming home it meant as much now as it did when we first heard it in 1996, if not more footballs has come home a stadium to be proud of.
One word to those who travel by train home, you still queue out side the station, fine at the moment but just wait until a wet cold evening game, that will not be fun at all. (note to Wembley please build a canopy at least!!!)
Speaking of train stations some fellow Saddlers were spotted on the platform, so Walsall was well represented by Vital football and UTS.
From Wembley to Milton Keynes and the NHS, talk about back with a bump