Words + Photography by "Robert".
It's 4:30am on Tuesday, 11th October. My alarm wakes me up a few hours earlier than it does to drag me to work, but I find it just a bit easier to roll out and head to Gatwick for a 7am flight to Milan. I have stayed at my mate Dan's house the night before as he is a stone's throw from the airport and makes arriving at 5.30am a lot more palatable. We get through security and already see blokes in Stone Island jackets, drinking pints in the Wetherspoons. Something tells me we're going the same way. We decide they’ve got the right idea so go for the customary pint of Stella and a full English.
After that all-too-well-known shit upright EasyJet seat sleep, we land at Milan Linate at 10am local time. The plane is about 70 to 80% full of Chelsea fans. We took a punt on flights before the game tickets went on sale and our gamble paid off: at €60 a return, we did feel a bit smug as they ended up costing about €200+ afterwards. The thing I like about going to the football, and especially an away game, is seeing and meeting different fans at different points of the day. The flight, the pub, the metro and then the game itself; recognising them in some cases sufficiently more inebriated as the day goes on. I see some guy hobbling along in a moonboot and think that that’s brave. You'll hear more about moonboot later when he’s had a few too many Stellas.