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Live from Old Trafford: A travel diary of Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Through club sponsor Marriott, our correspondent got to experience Old Trafford from the best seats in the house

General Views of UK Sporting Venues Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Manchester United fans need no reminding just how historic, dynamic and successful this club is. Even in this period of “rebuilding,” there’s still an air of pride that United supporters have about the previous successes and future outlook of this storied club.

Marriott International know just how passionate the Red Devils fan base is, and they’re providing opportunities for longtime fans to see their beloved players perform in person. The hotel chain was named the Official Hotel Partner of United, and spring the October 20 draw against Liverpool unveiled the Seat of Dreams, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for United fans to watch the match from an incredible point of view, which is the first of its kind to debut in a sports area in the United Kingdom.

Marriott Seat of Dreams
Marriott International

It really is an incredible concept and one that United fans can certainly revel in knowing Old Trafford was the first to execute. Each home match, two fans will be chosen at random to enjoy complimentary food and beverage, gain entry into Old Trafford before anyone else and the get the chance to meet Manchester United legends. For my experience, Park Ji-sung and Wes Brown lent their time that weekend to welcome the first visitors and members of the press.

The Seat of Dreams will be presented to four supporters at every home match at random through a complimentary upgrade to their existing home match ticket.

Thankfully, this offer isn’t just for United fans trekking to Old Trafford. Per Manchester United, the Seat of Dreams will travel to United’s #ILOVEUNITED events worldwide. In addition, Marriott worldwide will host their own viewing parties featuring other United legends and club-themed refreshments. During this memorable trip to Manchester, we were afforded accommodations at the Manchester Marriott Victoria and Albert Hotel, and starting in 2020 United-themed amenities and suites will be available to book.

Marriott Seat of Dreams
Marriott International

As mentioned earlier, I was afforded the chance to secure an interview United legends Wes Brown Park Ji-sung for The Busby Babe. In the dialogue, we discussed a myriad of topics from the future of United as a club to the impact fan support has had on their careers. You can listen to the full interview below, but here are some notable points both Brown and Park provided to listeners:

  • It’s just as nerve-wracking watching Manchester United play than as a player, because you have a birds-eye view of everything happening on the pitch. “I watch the tackles, I watch the quick play, everything,” Brown said. The 40-year-old even reminded us that he’s been sent off against Liverpool in his career, and that’s a feat few United players can claim.
  • You have to take fan criticism in stride. “Smile, get on with it,” Brown continued, adding “You have to understand it’s football, it’s going to happen at grounds. I don’t really let it get to me one bit.”
  • As far as pre-game rituals go, Brown reveals he used to put everything on the left, and not for any particular reason. Then just before walking onto the pitch, the former Manchester academy graduate splashed cold water on his face five times without drying it off. Park is the complete opposite, however. The midfielder admitted rituals could often be distracting, so he shunned anything that would distract him from focusing on the match. “I try to be more normal, so I just try to avoid it. At the end of the day, it’s just a game.”

Before departing, Brown left United fans with some poignant words: “It’s the easiest game in the world when you’ve got it. Do everything simple.”

In a period where Manchester United is undergoing somewhat of an identity crisis, it’s refreshing to hear from two legends who still believe a resurgence is on the horizon.