The London Premier League Tube Tour
It is considered the most popular league in the most popular sport in the world. We are talking about football -- soccer to some, futbol to many. And we are talking about the Barclays Premier League, the top flight of English football. And in the capital of England, London, you will find some of the greatest teams in all of world football.
London – The City of Football
In the city of Greater London, several of the greatest teams in world football are just miles away from one another. In fact, currently, six of the twenty teams in the Premier League make London their home: Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. If you are lucky, you can visit each of these team’s home grounds in one day and all you need to ride is the tube.
Team: West Ham United
Stadium: Upton Park
Tube Station: Upton Park
Lines: District and Hammersmith and City
Though named West Ham, this team is on the eastern end of Greater London. Formed by local ironworks and shipbuilding companies, West Ham is considered a blue-collar team that is closely related to its community. Though not a world beater and a recently promoted club to the League, the team boasts celebrity supporters such as actors Russell Brand and Ray Winstone.
Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Stadium: White Hart Lane
Tube Station: Seven Sisters
North of Upton Park and East London, one can take the Victoria tube line in Central London up to White Hart Lane, the home of Tottenham Hotspur. Also known as just “Spurs”, this football club has been a mainstay in the League since its inception. Despite never having won the League nor any major European competition, the club is still one of the League’s most followed. Its home ground, White Hart Lane, is an intimate and smaller stadium. And although it is not in one of the best neighborhoods in London, it is usually relatively safe during game days.
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Tube Station: Arsenal
Just west of White Hart Lane is Emirates Stadium, home ground of Arsenal. Due to its proximity to Tottenham Hotspurs, the teams developed a rivalry. The “North London Derby” is the annual matches that occur between the neighboring clubs. As for Arsenal, it is one of the world most famous clubs -- bringing international talents like Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and now Mezut Ozil to the world. The Emirates was recently built and it possesses all the amenities that modern stadia have. It seats over 60,000, it serves gourmet food and it offers stadium and locker room tours for fans of the “Gunners”.
Team: Fulham FC
Stadium: Craven Cottage
Tube Station: Hammersmith
Moving our way from North London, we go to the west side of the city. Located right next to the Thames River is Craven Cottage. This is the cozy home ground of perennial underdog, Fulham. Now owned by American Shahid Khan, Fulham is well known for having a family-friendly atmosphere coupled with close ties to the community. Another interesting thing of note is that Fulham welcomed many American players to its team most recently with national team member Clint Dempsey.
Team: Chelsea FC
Stadium: Stamford Bridge
Tube Station: Fulham-Broadway
We end the tour at Stamford Bridge, the hallowed ground for the “new money” powerhouse that is Chelsea FC. Always a contender but never getting quite over the top the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, Chelsea was injected with the money from its Russian billionaire owner. This gave them the ability to transfer world-class players like Fernando Torres, Michael Essien, and Ashley Cole. Just as Manchester United and Liverpool garnered a great history in decades past, Chelsea has forged similar success in a matter of a decade. Locker room and stadium tours are available along with a visit to the superstore, which is well sponsored Adidas and Samsung.
There is still one other London team in the Premier League we missed out, Crystal Palace. Unfortunately, they sitting at the bottom of the League table and may stay there indefinitely. But they are one of South London’s favorite teams and they have actor Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Actually) as a board member. But the teams listed above are absolute stalwarts with Arsenal and Chelsea being a couple of the most recognized teams in the world. When in London enjoy the best football, or soccer, in the world.