Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 10:40 UK

Moscow bound: Stuart Gregory

Stuart is 50-year-old rail worker and die-hard Manchester United fan who has been abroad many times to support his team. He travelled to Moscow with his brother and two friends - from Mansfield via Riga, Latvia.

Age: 50
Occupation: Railway maintenance
Supports: Manchester United
Planned route:
Mansfield-Ayr, Ayr-Prestwick, Prestwick-Riga, Riga-Moscow

I like travelling independently to big games. I learnt my lesson in 1977 that travelling with the club is expensive and can leave you with little freedom.

We're going first to Ayr in Scotland. Then we'll get a plane from Prestwick airport to Riga. We're then flying on to Moscow. On the way back we'll take a train to Riga.

Me and my friends are always a bit slower getting tickets than some of the younger internet whiz kids - but we still get good deals. We're hoping the whole trip will cost each of us less than 1,000 for everything.

It's always a bit of an adventure going on these trips. And I like catching the sights by the day and drinking by night.

I'm travelling with my brother Paul and friends Peter and Terry.


09:30BST Moscow: We're all tired out but feeling happy - I've nearly lost my voice because I've been singing all night long. We've heard a few "viva John Terry" verses too! We're in the hotel now but will be heading back to Riga by train later today.


23:46 BST Moscow: We're stuck in the stadium, still trying to get out. It was really good, really brilliant. Haven't started celebrating yet, we'll wait till we get out.

19:47 BST Moscow: Still trying to get into the stadium.

17:15 BST Moscow: We're really feeling up for the match now. We're just in a pub grabbing some food before heading off. Actually, I'm not sure exactly where we are, but we'll just follow the crowd to the stadium.

Kremlin, St Basils Cathedral and Red Square (BBC photo)
A lot of fans have been doing the sight-seeing thing, says Stuart
14:00BST Moscow: We've done the Kremlin and Red Square now and we're just looking for a pub to relax in. There are lots of supporters on the streets - I think everyone's doing to sight-seeing thing. It's already been a great experience despite the fact it's been raining all morning.

11:00 BST Moscow: It's a nice hotel we're staying in, quite posh. There must be at least 1,000 people here and most of them seem to be football fans. We bumped into some friendly Chelsea supporters this morning - and they're going to look after our gear tonight as we don't have a room booked for the night. We're going to be doing a bit of sightseeing now before the excitement really begins.


20:05 BST Moscow: I'm currently in a taxi on the way to our hotel. I'm a bit concerned as the taxi seems to be going at about 150mph! There were quite a few Manchester United and Chelsea fans on our flight. I'm now looking forward to our two bottles of wine. Don't know when we'll actually go to sleep.

19:00 BST Moscow: We've just arrived!

Riga, Latvia (BBC photo)
Stuart says Riga is a smashing place
13:20BST Riga, Latvia: We're relaxing outside in the centre of the town, with the sun beating down. We've seen quite a lot of Manchester fans around today but not many Chelsea supporters. We take our plane to Moscow this evening.

11:00BST Riga, Latvia: Riga's a smashing place, much better than I thought it would be. But we've only just got my brother out of a police cell. Last night we bumped into some Chelsea fans and somehow we got into a verbal argument - in which the Munich air crash was mentioned. I think the police were being extra cautious, so they took a couple of people off to calm things down. Anyway, looking forward to the flight out to Moscow this evening.


18:30BST Riga, Latvia: Riga's a nice place, which is good because we will be here until tomorrow. It's quite a Westernised city actually - not much different from other places in Europe.

Stuart's friends
Stuart enjoyed his stop in Ayr
12:00BST Prestwick Airport, Scotland: We're sat in the Yates' bar having a relaxing pint before the flight. Our friend Terry has just joined us. I have to say Prestwick is a really nice place - so we're already having an interesting journey.

08:15BST Ayr, Scotland: My brother has just been reading out horror stories about the Russian prison population. Well, hopefully we won't have too much trouble! I've never been to Ayr before - and it's a beautiful place with the sun just breaking through.


21:15BST Ayr, Scotland: We've arrived in Ayr and popped into a Wetherspoon's' pub. Just seen a guy who looks just like Rab C Nesbitt. Looking forward to the flight from Prestwick to Riga tomorrow.

15:15BST Mansfield, England: Well we're off!

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