Without doubt one of the reasons I’ve always wanted to live in London is for the sport. There is so much happening in and around the UK and having extended the overdraft and stocked up on two-minute noodles, I’m taking advantage over the next few weeks!
First up we’re heading to Dublin this weekend for something new… an International Rules Series that combines Aussie Rules and Gaelic Football. I’ve never seen either sport individually so this will be something completely different and I’ve researched the rules to ensure I can follow. Having been to Dublin once before to watch the Springboks, I also know we’re in for a fun, and large, weekend.
In fact, we’re only in Dublin for 24 hours! We’re on the first flight back on Sunday morning as we’re off to Wembley that afternoon to watch a NFL game as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, the second and final game of this season to be hosted in London.
I remember growing up in South Africa we used to get a weekly hour highlights package on the sports channel Supersport and as is natural when you don’t know much about a sport, you support the best team. In the 80’s, that was Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and the 49ers and I’ve been supporting them ever since. I’m particularly excited to dust off my #80 Jerry Rice jersey again after a good few years!
Before the traditional end of season rugby tours kick off, I’m off to the O2 arena for the season ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. This event features the top eight ranked players and is sure to provide some great tennis. Having been last year, I also know what a terrific venue and atmosphere it is so I have no doubt it’ll be a super evening.
Next up is rugby and this year I’ll be following the Springboks as they take on the Welsh in Cardiff and the Scots in Edinburgh. I’m particularly excited about heading to the Millennium Stadium for the first time and after hearing fantastic things about Cardiff, and knowing how the Welsh love their rugby, I have no doubt it’ll be a very special weekend.
Murrayfield, and Edinburgh, is certainly no slouch though and that too will be a fantastic weekend. I still recall the goosebumps from last year when a full band and some 60, 000 people sang one of the more inspiring anthems around – ‘O Flower of Scotland – and I’m sure this year will be no different.
November ends with my 4th world cup, that of Rugby League. Dyl and I bought our tickets just on a year ago now and we’ll be joining 90, 000 people at a packed Wembley for the double-header semi-final afternoon. While I haven’t watched much league at all, and South Africa aren’t in the tournament, it’s going to be a phenomenal experience to be there.
December kicks off with some football as Dyl and I visit the Theatre of Dreams to see Manchester United host West Ham. Although I’m a Liverpool fan, and have been since I was 6, I’m keen to watch at as many stadiums as possible and Old Trafford is certainly a big one. With Sir Alex gone, it doesn’t appear to be the fortress it once was but regardless, it’ll be special to experience it.
Sandwiched in-between a visit to Manchester and a second visit to my beloved Anfield to watch Liverpool play Cardiff City in late December, a few of us are heading to Alexandra Palace to watch Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and the Darts World Championship! I’ve never been to darts before so I’m really looking forward to hearing a few 180’s!
So that’s the line-up for the next two months and I’m obviously super excited. I’ll be writing weekly about all our experiences so keep checking this website for a few stories, many pictures and hopefully a video or three.