Wembley Stadium is a great venue. Step out of Wembley Park Underground station and there it is. Looming large over the long walk down to the bowels of the stadium. It is something special when the final is at Wembley. So if you get the chance to stroll down the walk, why not take a look at the new Champions League exhibition?
Items belonging to Europe’s most iconic names in football from David Beckham to Di Stefano have been on display at Wembley Stadium from Monday August 29 as part of a new ‘Exhibition of Champions’.
Supported by UEFA, the exhibition celebrates 56 years of glorious European Football history and forms part of the Wembley Stadium Tour. It features prize exhibits including inspirational Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard’s 2005 captain’s armband, David Beckham’s jersey from Manchester United’s nail biting victory in 1999 and Graeme Souness’ three winners’ medals from ’78, ’81 and ’84.
The UEFA Champions League Final is the most prestigious event in European club football and since 1963 Wembley Stadium has hosted a total of six finals including the most recent final in May. A record breaking audience of over 300 million people tuned in worldwide to see Barcelona take on Manchester United at Wembley and TV ratings in the UK reached a high of 11.1 million. History was made in the US when the final drew in an audience of 4.2 million, a 91% increase on figures from 2010.
Following the success of this final, widely recognised as one of the very best in Champions League history, Wembley was again chosen by UEFA to be hosts of the final in 2013 – the 150th anniversary year of The Football Association.
Chairman of Wembley Stadium, Melvin Benn, said: “Wembley is a stage for the big football finals and they don’t come much bigger than the Champions League final.
“Never before has a stadium been awarded this prestigious final twice in three years and so when Wembley was chosen to host the final again in 2013 we were thrilled. It is acknowledgment of Wembley’s status as one of the very best football stadiums in the world. With such an impressive Champions League history, it feels very appropriate to bring the Exhibition of Champions to Wembley for football fans to enjoy.”
The ‘Exhibition of Champions’ supported by UEFA through content and memorabilia will kick off on August Bank Holiday Monday just before the group stages of the UEFA Champions League get underway and features over 700 artefacts including:
- The match balls from the last seven finals
- Denis Law’s jersey from 1968
- The original Intercontinental Cup – valued at approximately £225,000
- Johan Cruyff’s jersey from 1972
- David Villa’s signed shirt from 2011
- Celtic signed frame from their 1967 victory
- Di Stefano’s 1959 jersey
- Van Basten’s jersey from 1990
- McGovern’s shirt from 1979
- Eusebio‘s shirt from 1963
- Zidane’s boots from 2002
The Wembley Stadium Tour has welcomed millions of sports fans since it first opened in 1978 and now from Monday visitors will be able to enjoy the ‘Exhibition of Champions’ as well as the England changing rooms, players tunnel, trophy winner’s steps, press conference rooms and Wembley’s famous Royal Box.
To book a place on the Wembley Tour and see the ‘Exhibition of Champions’ visit www.wembleystadium.com/tours or call UK 0844 800 2755.
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