Tottenham Hotspur vs Gillingham

A visit to White Hart Lane for the first time Gillingham had played my second club, Tottenham, since November 1982 – back when Spurs won 4-2 at Priestfield in the League Cup third round. This time the scoreline was an even more one-sided 5-0, but playing against top Premier League opposition it’s the experience that matters more than anything else. Gillingham sold out their 3,000 allocation so I sat with the home fans – and had a good look around a classic ground before it is demolished to make way for the new stadium.

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Corner of the South and West stands
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Brickwork exterior of the East stand
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On Park Lane, behind the South stand
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South stand sign
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“To dare is to do”, Tottenham’s club motto
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The West stand from High Road
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Inside the ground just after kick-off
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3,000 Gillingham fans in the corner of the West and South stands
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Vincent Janssen scores a penalty to make it 3-0
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Gillingham fans and players after the full-time whistle
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South stand
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North stand. The club has dismantled the corner so it can begin to construct the new stadium
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White Hart Lane panorama
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West stand from the halfway line
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Corner of the East and South stands
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Underneath the East stand
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The two scarves!
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Programme stall
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The two teams
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Matchday programme
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West Ham’s first match at the Olympic Stadium

West Ham beat Slovenia’s NK Domzale 3-0 in a Europa League qualifier – the first game since the club moved from Upton Park to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

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Walking to the stadium via Westfield Stratford shopping centre
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Coverage in the London Evening Standard
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Unofficial merchandise in the Olympic Park
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The outside of the stadium, now with West Ham colours and imagery
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Open-air concourse
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View from the concourse
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Inside the Olympic Stadium, now with a slightly reduced capacity and designed for football
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View from the stadium towards London
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View of the stadium from the press box, with the Orbit tower in the background
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Inside the stadium, looking towards the new Bobby Moore Stand
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The stadium clears after the match

Schalke 04 and OH Leuven via Brussels

Trip to Brussels with a detour on a quiet day to see some German football. It being a Friday night, the one match taking place was Schalke 04 v Hannover 96 in Gelsenkirchen – some 160 miles away. The enclosed, indoor stadium feels like it would have a capacity of around 50,000, but thanks to the standing terrace at one end the attendance was 61,646. Schalke 04 won 3-1. The atmosphere throughout the match was impressive, especially from the visiting Hannover fans and the home supporters behind the goal at the opposite end.

The next day we headed back to Brussels and took in another game in nearby Leuven. Oud-Heverlee Leuven are the minnows of the Belgian Pro League, but they managed to record a 5-1 win over fellow relegation prospects KVC Westerlo.

Schalke 04 vs Hannover 96

Oud-Heverlee Leuven vs KVC Westerlo