Manchester’s National Football Museum: ‘The better of the gorgeous game’ – evaluate | Travel

In a nutshell

A big, engrossing assortment of soccer reveals and memorabilia over 4 flooring in Manchester metropolis centre, from shirts worn by greats comparable to Pelé, Stanley Matthews and Diego Maradona (the one he was carrying when he scored that purpose towards England on the 1986 World Cup), to a large homoerotic portrait of Eric Cantona (with Becks and the Neville brothers sitting at his ft like adoring disciples) and the ball used within the 1966 World Cup ultimate. It’s the very best of the gorgeous game on show.

Fun reality

The Jules Rimet trophy was stolen previous to the 1966 World Cup, solely to be found by Pickles the canine. For concern of shedding the trophy once more, the FA commissioned a duplicate and used it for all official features till 1970. It is now on show on the museum, together with Pickles’ collar and medals (one from the National Canine Defence League, the opposite from the World Cup Collectors Club). Pickles was adopted because the museum’s mascot in 2014.

Best issues about it

Spot the ball … attempt your luck with penalties within the shootout zone. Photograph: Jason Lock

It’s well-curated, so there’s a penalty shootout zone and different enjoyable stuff for youths that’s palms (and ft) on, however there are additionally in-depth reveals for greater youngsters on topics such because the historical past of the World Cup and the Munich air catastrophe. My favorite was the exhibition of pictures by Stuart Roy Clarke (runs till March 2019), who has been documenting British soccer for 30 years. His work captures the eagerness for soccer that so many supporters really feel however discover onerous to precise.

A visitor looks at a photograph in the Stuart Roy Clarke exhibition at the museum: Huddersfield Town at Southend United, Roots Hall, 1991.

A customer appears at (Huddersfield Town at Southend United, Roots Hall, 1991) within the Stuart Roy Clarke exhibition on the museum

Over the summer time it’s working a great deal of World Cup-themed occasions and exhibitions, together with “official Panini sticker swap sessions” (each Saturday and Sunday, midday– 2pm).

What about lunch?

There is department of the Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville-owned Cafe Football contained in the museum. Some wag has run riot with the menu, which incorporates The ’66 and Special One burgers (from £11.50) and a Mara Doner pizza (£14) – with shredded lamb, purple onions and mint aioli – that sounds so contrived it was invented purely for the pun of it. Sandwiches embrace the Nicky Butty (a membership sandwich, £12) and veggie choices function the Clean Sheet (£10) … again of the online! The unhealthy-sounding youngsters’ menu (£eight for a foremost, dessert and smooth drink) is made up of the standard fast-food/sugary suspects – and even contains the choice of a go to to the candy store.

Cafe Football at the National Football museum, Manchester, UK.

Cafe Football on the museum. Photograph: Carl Sukonik

Exit via the giftshop?

Yes, however there’s some attention-grabbing stuff amongst all of the soccer books and miniature reproduction trophies – nostalgic video games comparable to Subbuteo, and Stanley Chow prints of iconic gamers. For these with deeper pockets, there are framed, signed shirts, boots and gloves from well-known former gamers.

Getting there

It’s subsequent door to Victoria station, hub of the Greater Manchester tram community and departure level for trains throughout the north of England. And it’s a 20-minute stroll or quick tram trip from Manchester Piccadilly station.

Value for cash

the writer and his godson with FA Cup and Premier League replica trophies

Up for the cups … the author and his godson with FA Cup and Premier League reproduction trophies

Absolutely – admission is free, although (urged £3pp) donations are welcome. The optionally available £6 bundle permits guests to get their pictures taken with FA Cup and Premier League reproduction trophies and have a go on two of the half a dozen interactives, such because the penalty shootout – on the previous Wembley goalposts no much less – or the Match of the Day commentary problem. A £25 household day cross permits limitless entry to all of the interactive reveals.

Opening hours

From 10am to 5pm day by day besides Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.


9/10. There’s sufficient to maintain followers absorbed for half a day or longer; I went with my grown-up godson and 2½ hours wasn’t almost lengthy sufficient for us. There’s additionally sufficient of historic curiosity for the informal browser however non-fans beware: just like the game itself, you could marvel what all of the fuss is about.


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