My family is pretty mad into the sport, so a trip back to the motherland usually involves something sporting, in the past, it would mean a trip to see Arsenal play, but with the cost of Premier League football skyrocketing my dad and brother had now got themselves into Rugby League.
I won’t go into the ins and outs of the difference between the two Rugby codes, but in 1895 the codes split, with Rugby League being predominantly a northern thing. London has one professional club, the London Broncos, who share a ground with Ealing Rugby Union Club, would you guess it in Ealing!
As it was also the day of Arsenal vs Spurs I was able to visit my sister at the Nags Head in Charing Cross to knock back a few double Gin and Tonics before we went our separate ways.
I like Rugby League, but had never been to a live game, and this was to prove a revelation to me.
Ealing Stadium is not exactly a metropolis, but this is literally where the genius part kicks in! Fans mix together, you can sit, or stand at will, and they have bars! At Rugby League people are allowed to act like people, and at 20 pounds a ticket are not financially raped for the privilege
As for the game itself? Well we (I am a London Broncos fan now) lost the game, and will probably be relegated to the Championship (the second tier of Rugby League in the UK), but they kept the bar in the stadium open, so we could watch the Arsenal come from 2-0 down to draw with Spurs.
If you fancy a change from dropping a hundred quid to watch the over-commercialized Premier League then the London Broncos makes a great alternative day out. And a lager costs less than 4 quid, whilst a VERY good burger costs 6 quid.
Randomly I also managed to purchase a Philippines Rugby League shirt (they see, to exist), and an Albanian Rugby League shirt, although I can find zero mention of them ever existing.
And of course, I purchased a London Broncos jersey, after all, I am a fan now.