SPC Tour of Ireland – Day 12

April 4, 2016

SPC Tour of Ireland and the UK -“ Day 12

If there is any city in the world which could lay claim to being a better sporting city than Melbourne, it would be London.

Today, our boys were presented the opportunity to experience two of the iconic sporting venues in this wonderful city.

First stop was Stamford Bridge -“ the home of the famous Chelsea Football Club. A guided tour through this iconic venue brought wide eyes to the many EPL fans among our touring group.

We were privileged to be able to sit in both the visitors’ and home teams’ changerooms, run down the player race, sit in the coaches’ seats pitch side and pretend to host our own press conference in the media centre.

We were amazed to hear tales of the wealth of club owner Roman Abramovich and his multi-billion dollar investments in the club.

We also learned of plans to destroy this 42,000 seat stadium in the next year or two and replace it with a brand new 60,000+ seat stadium on the same site.

A visit to the interactive museum followed by a spend-up in the club merchandise store completed a memorable morning.

Groups then separated to make their way to the north west of the city for an afternoon tour of the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground, home of the Marylebone Cricket Club and the birthplace of cricket.

Along the way many groups chose to walk around the area of Westminster to take in some of the sights of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey while others chose to head to the famous intersection of Abbey Road to recreate the iconic album cover made famous by The Beatles.

The guided tour of Lord’s once again provided our touring party with unique insights into a stadium many had become familiar with by watching hour after hour of Ashes cricket on TV.

We were allowed access to the famous MCC Long Room (where all photos were banned) and also to the visitor’s dressing rooms where we were able to fill the same seats used by the likes of Messrs Bradman, Warne, Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting.

Boys were able to get up close to the original Ashes urn and marvel at its minute dimensions and, of course, no visit would be complete without a detour to the souvenir shop.

Once again groups separated after the tour to take in more of the countless sights to behold. Some took the opportunity to enjoy a guided cruise along the Thames while others headed straight for Piccadily Circus and the much-anticipated Lilywhite’s Sports Store which stretches over six levels.

We regathered as a group for dinner near our hotel before many chose to once again venture out to explore the city by night.

It was a long but wonderful day of touring which no-one in the group will ever forget.