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I have shared previously that Ben is a huge football fan and he loves stadium tours. We have been on the Wembley tour, Liverpool tour, Newcastle tour and Manchester United tour previously so when we were offered the chance to review the West Ham Legends tour with Buy a Gift, I knew he would love it.
The difference between a West Ham tour and the Legends tour
There are a few different options available for a stadium tour at the London Stadium, the home of West Ham United. We did the Legends tour with Tony Gale.
Whilst we have not done the standard West Ham tour we have done tours at other stadiums and read about the difference and discussed it with the staff so I think I can give you a fair description of the differences.
A standard stadium tour involves being taken around the stadium by a member of the stadium staff. All areas are covered from hospitality to the pitch side and including the dressing rooms, media areas and dugouts. Essentially a great tour of everything there is to see at the stadium.
A Legends tour covers the exact same areas of the stadium so you do not see anything extra. The difference is that a West Ham legend, someone who used to play for West Ham, shows you around with the tour guide.
The legend tells you stories and experiences on the way around the tour and gives you their opinions on areas as a player. For example, whether the layout of the dressing room is good for team talks and how the managers they played under talked to them to motivate them. This is full of anecdotes and stories that a regular member of stadium staff just can’t share in the same way.
The tour with the legend also includes a signed photo of you with the legend (one per group) and more photos can be bought. They are taken during the tour in front of a green screen and signed in front of you. I have not used the purchased photos in this review due to copyright but the photos were great!
Who was the Legend?
We had a tour with Tony Gale, probably one of the most famous 1980’s West Ham players. He played as a defender for West Ham between 1984 and 1994 and made 300 league appearances for them.
He is now a commentator for them so he was able to give us a lot of stories of how it was playing for West Ham as well as his experiences as a commentator.
Tony Gale was friendly and approachable and I would definitely recommend choosing a tour with him. I am sure the other legends available are just as good but we didn’t experience them so I can not comment on how they approach tours.
Ben is a huge football fan and whilst he isn’t specifically a West Ham fan he thoroughly enjoyed the tour and meeting Tony Gale.
Throughout the tour Ben found different things to enjoy and much to my surprise, having been on lots of football stadium tours with him, he loved every minute of it.
The tour group consisted of around 30 people altogether. Ben, due to his autism, can find big groups difficult to cope with but he found this group a perfect size. There was a mixture of young and older people and not all were big hammers fans.
My views as a non-football fan
I am not a football fan so going on these football stadium tours with Ben can be a little dull. After all, seeing the dressing rooms for different teams are essentially the same but with different shirts so it means nothing to me at all!
The West Ham Legends tour was very different we had predominantly Tony Gale talking to us as he showed us around as well as the tour guide Steve. I thoroughly enjoyed it as it was so much more than “here is the dressing room where ….. motivates his team, feel free to take as many photos as you like”.
I loved hearing all the anecdotes and stories everywhere on the tour. I realised that being a football commentator is much harder than I had imagined. Between Steve and Tony, it was both an informative tour as well as fun and enjoyable for football fans as well as people like me!
I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the tour and was impressed at how friendly and interactive it was in comparison to other tours I have been on. If you are debating whether to go with a football fan on a stadium tour then I highly recommend this one.
Cost of the Legends tour
We were gifted the tour from Buyagift in return for reviewing it for you however the tickets are usually £90 for two if bought through Buyagift.
The legends tour is more expensive than the standard tour but in my opinion very worth it and a perfect gift for a West Ham fan for Christmas or a birthday.
If bought through the stadium directly they are the same price but if you are new to Buyagift you can get an introductory offer! So, for this reason, I would definitely recommend going through Buyagift!
I have previously found for tickets for other places like The Shard can be cheaper when bought directly from Buyagift so do remember to check when booking anything like this.
Tips for your visit
I would highly recommend if you are driving to park in the Westfield, Stratford Shopping centre and ensure you spend a little time there too. There are lots of eateries and shops to peruse whilst in the area and the car park seemed pretty secure too. The walk from the car to the stadium was around 5-10 minutes depending on walking speed.
Arrive in plenty of time before the tour as it will start on time and you don’t want to miss it. The tour is booked downstairs in the shop outside the stadium and the group is collected from there to go into the stadium. In this area, there is a cafe and toilets so there really is no harm in arriving early and having a drink first.
There is time on the legends tour for you to have an item or two signed by the Legend himself so if you have something you would love to be signed be sure to take it with you. It doesn’t have to be a shirt, it could simply be a book like this.
If you go on the Tony Gale tour there is nothing specifically with him on in the gift shop so it might need to be something generic for West Ham or buy something beforehand.
After the tour, if you are looking for somewhere to eat then Westfield, Stratford is perfect as there are lots of restaurants but I would recommend booking in advance. We had booked in advance but noticed a huge queue of people waiting for tables!