In August 2017, Play With A Legend were delighted to host a delegation from China who were visiting the UK to embark on a bespoke 'football tour', arranged exclusively by Play With A Legend.
Wednesday 23rd August
At breakfast, our guests were handed their personalised England shirts as a gift to start the trip before we then headed off to enjoy an exclusive VIP tour of Wembley Stadium. The group were given access to the most famous parts of the stadium, allowing for some excellent photo opportunities whilst learning all about the most famous football stadium in the world.
Later, we travelled to the Emirates stadium, home of Arsenal FC, where Play With A Legend co-founder and former Arsenal footballer, Perry Groves took the group on an access all areas tour of the stadium. Play With A Legend were then challenged to a game of six a-side football, on the beautiful indoor pitch, next door the stadium at the Arsenal Hub.
We used our connections to bring in former Arsenal and England defender Nigel Winterburn in order to earn a credible 6-6 draw. Nigel then enjoyed a post match drink with the group, recalling life as an Arsenal player and life under Arsene Wenger during his early years.
That evening, James Olley the Chief Football correspondent for the London Evening Standard Newspaper - joined the group for dinner as a highly insightful speaker, talking about his experiences following the Premier League, Champions League and England.
Friday 24th August
We were delighted to arrange a special trip to St George's Park, the training base for the England national football team, where Liverpool and England legend Emile Heskey hosted our group.
Following a question and answer session over lunch, the group enjoyed a tour of the world class facilities before taking part in a coaching session led by a top FA coach, and then challenging Play With A Legend to a rematch! With Emile playing a half for both sides, Play With A Legend ran out 10-8 winners this time! The group then benefited from experiencing a hydrotherapy session just as the England National Team would (including testing out the ice bath!), before enjoying the hotel facilities at St George's Park.
Saturday 25th August
Saturday saw the group travel to Manchester, where we first visited the National Football Museum, learning a huge amount about football in the UK, before heading to Old Trafford for Manchester United's clash with Leicester City.
The group enjoyed some of the finest possible pre-match hospitality, with food and drinks laid on, before witnessing a fine performance from the Red Devils, as United ran out 2-0 winners. The day would not have been complete without the post-match trip to the impressive Manchester United megastore!
Sunday 26th August
Our final day with the group saw us travel to Liverpool, where we enjoyed lunch with Professor Rogan Taylor, a highly respected academic from Liverpool University who specialises in football and its governance. Rogan, a proud Liverpool fan, also joined the group in hospitality at Anfield, as The Reds beat Arsenal.
Later that evening over dinner, legendary broadcaster Jim Rosenthal hosted the group and spoke about his time in the sports media spotlight, giving insight from his many years at the very top of football broadcasting.
As always, it was a pleasure to host this group and we look forward to many of those we hosted returning for further trips in the months and years ahead.