Fan's Eye View: Over £800 quid to watch a 0-0 in freezing Moscow... and I loved it
I've just got back from a trip to a bitterly cold Moscow where I watched my team, Newcastle, grind out a 0-0 draw with those super-heavyweights of European football, Anzhi Makhachkala, in the Europa League.
It cost an arm and a leg to get there (almost £800 including food and refreshments) and there were massive visa hassles, which was made more problematic because the club gave us very short notice about the procedures. We had little more than a week's notice for the £200 visa. Many more than the 70-odd fans would have made it to Moscow, given time and better assistance from the club. On top of that, the flights cost over £250 and the hotels were not cheap either: £100 a night and more.
Unlike other European trips to follow Newcastle, when cities or towns are swamped by United fans, we were outnumbered by the police and Anzhi's following. We had to endure five or six searches from security and police just to get into the stadium.
However, it was well worth it. Moscow is world-class in every sense. The generous hospitality of the Russian people, the intricate beauty of the Metro stations and Red Square. But to go and see your football club play in the Luzhniki Stadium is as good as it gets... bar winning something!
The best part of the night was Anzhi lads going daft in the Metro back to the city centre. An explosion of noise and identity was unleashed as both Geordies and Dagestanis shook hands, sang our songs and took countless pictures.
The cost, the visa, the numbing cold, the searches, the lack of goals... it was all worth it.
Guy Hannay-Wilson is a lifelong Newcastle supporter
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Fernando Torres to AC Milan: Jose Mourinho talks up Mattia Destro with Torres on verge of Chelsea exit
Mario Balotelli has been 'spoken to at length' and Liverpool have ensured he lives on Merseyside rather than Manchester
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Hugo Lloris expects Spurs to wipe away shame of 4-0 and 5-0 defeats last season
Tim Sherwood column: I've been impressed with my Tottenham successor Mauricio Pochettino
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward