Whole new ball game

The National Football Museum moves to the Urbis in Manchester city centre - Bert Trautmann's neck brace

The National Football Museum moves to the Urbis in Manchester city centre - Bert Trautmann's neck brace

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WIGAN Athletic fans will have the chance to learn more about the beautiful game as the new National Football Museum opens in Manchester.

Packed full of some of the greatest memorabilia in history, the museum also introduces wider aspects of culture and history for football fans.

It also features interactive areas and has plenty of interactive areas for adults and children alike.

The National Football Museum (NFM), the permanent home of the FIFA Collection, is the leading museum of its kind in the world.

The museum had been based at Preston North End’s Deepdale home before the move to Manchester was announced in 2009.

The museum was originally due to open last autumn, but the launch was hit by a series of delays.

A total of £8.5m has been spent on rehousing the museum’s collection while £2m of council taxpayers’ money will be spent on it every year for the next decade.

Over four floors of football await visitors and starts at pitch level which allows you access through a turnstile into the Hall of Fame, including great players, teams and managers.

The first floor captures the history of the game including the original rules, penned by the wonderfully-named Ebenezer Cobb Morley in 1863.

Floor two houses most of the attraction’s interactive features. Here, visitors can become penalty shoot out heroes, test their reflexes against those of England stopper Joe Hart and bend it like Beckham on the ‘Pass Master’.

The third floor is the new home of Stuart Clarke’s award-winning ‘Homes of Football’ collection while an exhibition by African artists who use football to explore protest, politics and social engagement.

The museum is located in the Manchester Urbis centre and is open seven days a week till 5pm - entry is free. For more information visit www.nationalfootballmuseum.com