English fans return to football

English football is back and so are the supporters! After a season of disruption due to the Covid pandemic, when most matches were played in empty stadiums, the restrictions have finally been lifted and fans have returned to watch football in their droves.

Jim Stewart made a visit to the Spurs stadium in London for a Premier League fixture and shares his experience of watching football in England.

Tottenham matchday bars

This was my first Premier League match in more than 18 months and it was the game between the North London giants Tottenham Hotspur and newly promoted Watford. Like any game in England, the match itself is just part of the experience. Having caught a train into London, I boarded the London Underground through to Seven Sisters station. From here it’s a long walk down the High Road to the stadium. However, the good news is there are plenty of bars to visit along the way!

There are some unusual ones to try too! They include The High Cross near to Seven Sisters station, a new bar serving a selection of ales. So what’s different about it? Well, before it became a pub this building was a public toilets!

Further down the road the pubs are doing a roaring trade. The Beehive pub is a popular haunt for many Spurs fans with a large garden out the back and a barbecue serving up tasty treats for a Sunday afternoon fixture. The atmosphere is friendly with no trouble.

The Elbow Room and No 8 Tottenham are just a couple more of the pubs closer to the ground that are brimming with fans in the hours before kick-off. This is a very cosmopolitan part of London with many takeaways and cafes serving predominantly Turkish and Middle Eastern food.

See Tottenham Hotspur live!

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was opened in 2019 and was partly built on the site of the club’s famous old ground, White Hart Lane. The new stadium is stunning from the outside as you arrive, with modern glass and metal facades glistening in the late summer sunshine, and the giant structure looms above the neighbouring homes and shops.

It is considered to be one of the finest new stadiums in Europe and when you go through the turnstiles and inside the concourses under the stands you can’t fail to be impressed. There are a huge number of bars and food outlets with the aim of delivering your order in fast time.

The best bit of visiting any new stadium is that very first time you walk out into the arena itself. Holding 62,000 spectators, this is a magnificent bowl with all fans having a decent view of the pitch. Three sides of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium are on four levels – lower and upper tiers, with two smaller levels in the middle that are considered the premium seats.

The eye-catching stand is the South Stand, one giant tier of Spurs supporters. Housing more than 17,500 fans, it is the largest single-tier stand in England and this generates the atmosphere that rolls around the stadium. Behind the South Stand is a vast atrium with the Goal Line Bar, the longest bar in Europe, and many food options to keep the supporters satisfied.

NFL International series in London

The stadium was deliberately built to be multi-purpose, and alongside boxing bouts and music concerts it is able to host NFL International fixtures.

Two more games are lined up for the Tottenham stadium in October 2021, with the Jets facing the Falcons and the Dolphins going head to head with the Jaguars. The football pitch retracts to reveal the NFL pitch 1.6 metres below, allowing all NFL fans an excellent view of the field.

Even if you miss any of the action you may be able to see a replay on one of the four giant screens, two of which are among the largest in Europe.

Spurs success

For today’s football match, Spurs were able to record a third straight win as Son Heung-min scored the only goal of the game just before half-time. It saw Spurs go top of the Premier League at this early stage, but their fans were just as happy that their rivals, Arsenal, were bottom having lost their opening three games!

Tottenham Hotspur are one of the giants of English football with numerous domestic and European trophies to their name. However it has been 60 years since they last won the English league. But this is a club with ambition for the future, with an amazing stadium, a world-class training ground and a huge fanbase that sees the arena sell out for every league game.

When the match finished there was time to enjoy a drink in a nearby pub and watch the next Premier League match on TV before heading home. It was wonderful to be mingling with 60,000 fans again. English football is back!