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
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Compare the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Tim Sherwood: The mavericks have always needed special handling – but Balotelli is not delivering his side of the bargain for Liverpool
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Modesty of Louis van Gaal makes nice contrast with his old pupil Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid analysis: Toni Kroos control may give extra edge that enables Real Madrid to retain Champions League crown
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Putin accuses US of causing global instability