Manchester’s National Football Museum ‘reaps reward of footballing passion’ after topping 300,000 visitors

By John McDougall

Sports fans are flocking to Manchester’s National Football Museum in their droves, sending the total number of visitors past the 300,000-mark this week. 

The museum was transferred to the Urbis Centre, near Manchester Cathedral, from Preston last July and has attracted the huge figure in less than a year.

Kevin Moore, museum director, believes the only way is up and admitted they are well on target to surpass the 350,000 visitor target they set on opening.

“The National Football Museum continues to reap the reward of footballing passion,” he said. “Manchester is one of the world’s most famous football cities with millions of fans and other tourists visiting every year.

“The feedback from visitors has been absolutely fantastic. People really seem to be able to relate to the stories we are telling here.

“Everyone who has come through the door has been hugely complimentary of the museum and we are very proud of what we have on offer.”

Attractions such as the ongoing Strike a Pose exhibition – celebrating football and fashion’s unique 50-year relationship – have helped swell visitor numbers.

It shows northern England’s love affair with the game and Christian Spence, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s research manager, feels football contributes to the regional economy.

“Manchester’s position is helped by its global reputation as a football city,” he said.

“Tourism and the visitor economy is a significant driver to the vitality of the region and the success of Manchester as a regional, national and international centre.

“In addition to the football success, Lancashire County Cricket Club at Old Trafford and the National Cycling Centre all add to the city’s profile as a first-rate sporting area.”

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