Earlier this month, four of Great Britain’s top athletes visited Old Trafford ahead of competing in the inaugural WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Manchester.
The event, which took place from 13 to 15 December, saw 250 of the world’s leading contenders from across eight weight divisions descend on the Manchester Arena to battle it out for qualification points to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
As part of their preparation, United fans Jade Jones, Jordan Gayle, Michael Harvey and Lutalo Muhammad all took their seats in the Theatre of Dreams to watch the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle. And although the result wasn’t ideal, the group were suitably inspired.
“It was amazing really and a really good experience,” Muhammad told United Review. “I have obviously been to Old Trafford before but never had the chance to stand on the pitch or anything like that, so I felt really lucky to be down close to where the players are.
“We have all performed on some big stages but nothing like this. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to step out at Old Trafford when it is full and everyone is cheering. Stepping back and looking around was amazing. The sheer scale of the stadium is incredible.”
Jones, who famously won gold at London 2012, was similarly impressed by the experience: “Getting so close to them was amazing, especially Ryan Giggs as he is my hero. The pitch just looked immaculate too; it’s incredible. It was an unbelievable day and a once in a lifetime