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Women's Football News
Two unusual passengers surprised London commuters this morning as the official UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League trophies travelled across the capital on public transport to celebrate the return of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League finals to London in May.
Hundreds of Londoners had the opportunity to get close to the iconic trophies as they were carried across London by UEFA Champions League ambassador Graeme Le Saux and UEFA Women's Champions League ambassador Faye White. The journey started from Stamford Bridge, home of the reigning UEFA Champions League champions Chelsea FC and the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final stadium and ended at Banqueting House, Whitehall, ahead of the official trophy handover ceremony. The trophies made their journey via London Underground, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary, via the iconic new Routemaster bus and by classic London black cab.
The official trophy handover ceremony will see UEFA hand the trophies over to London as host city for the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final and UEFA Champions League final, which take place on May 23 and May 25 respectively.
The official trophies of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League will be on show at the annual UEFA Champions Festival on 23-26 May, part of a week of activity taking place across London. The free four-day football celebration, featuring a series of family-friendly activities, will be the first major event to come to the home of the 2012 London Olympics since last summer, taking place on The International Quarter close to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. UEFA is inviting fans and families to visit the festival and take part in a series of free activities, including the opportunity to have photos taken with the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League trophies.
Graham Le Saux said: "Taking the trophies on the tube and bus was a great way to start the day and I'm sure it brightened up some of the commuters' morning. It's not every day you get to see the most prestigious trophies in European club football on public transport. The London Underground, bus and black cabs are iconic images of London and fitting that we should be taking the trophies on this journey, giving people the opportunity to get excited ahead of the finals."
Faye White said: "We got plenty of surprised looks on the tube this morning. We wanted to give Londoners a treat on their morning commute and the chance to see the trophies as well as have their photos taken. The finals are just over a month away now and I can't wait to be watching the top clubs in Europe play here in London."
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London's Transport Commissioner, said: "London's transport network carries tens of thousands of football fans to games each weekend, and supports all the associated jobs and industry that surround the nation's favourite sport. It's great then that the Champions League trophies have now shared the experience, especially during London Underground's important 150th anniversary year.
"With these events returning to London it's clear that the capital is now the go-to destination for major sporting events - a fact that contributes to our city's role as the power house of the UK economy."
The journey saw the travelling party ride the tube from Fulham Broadway to Westminster before going to Victoria where they jumped onto a London bus across the city to Shaftsbury Avenue and took their final leg of the journey in a London cab to Whitehall.
The 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League final, the biggest event in European women's club football, returns to London for the second time in three years. Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge, home of the 2012 UEFA Champions League winners, will stage the 2013 event on 23 May and kick-off is at 7.30pm. The UEFA Champions League final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 25 May.
Tickets are available for the UEFA Women's Champions League final via the Chelsea FC website at www.chelseafc.com/uefawomensfinal.
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