To celebrate National Football Week in February, 55 students took a trip to Manchester to visit the National Football Museum and learn about the history of the beautiful game.
Here is Mr Beattie’s account of the day.
On arrival we were greeted in reception by the sight of the actual FA Cup and League Cup trophies. We were allowed a close-up look at those famous cups, lifted at Wembley in front of thousands of cheering supporters by many a proud captain.
Once checked in we were led to the learning zone on the top floor. Here the students took part in a workshop on the history of football, learning all about primitive versions of the game from centuries gone by right up to the game we know and love today. This included fascinating insights into traditional games that people still participate in, such as the mob football event known as ‘Shrovetide’ which had actually taken place the day before in Ashbourne in Derbyshire (although thankfully it is a lot more civilised now compared to the original version!).
We learned about the history of the cups, about different clubs and how their names have changed over the years. Then it was time to get our hands on some football artefacts. We were able to have a kick of footballs over a hundred years old, as well as getting a feel of what football boots were like from the past, much different to the boots worn nowadays. Students were also allowed to try on old jerseys donated to the museum by former players.
In the afternoon it was time to take in the museum’s exhibitions. From a whole floor dedicated to Pele to England’s World Cup winners and more, the students found this thoroughly enjoyable. Finally, we headed back to Ridgeway after a successful visit that is sure to nurture students’ passion for football and sport in general.