Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe yet the hundreds of travellers crowded around Terminal 5 found time to take a look at the UEFA Champions League Trophy when it landed safely in west London on the latest leg of its tour of the UK capital.
Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008 at a cost of £4.3bn, Terminal 5 has increased the airport's capacity to 90 million passengers a year and today it provided a vibrant setting in which to showcase the biggest prize in European club football.
With just over a fortnight to go until the UEFA Champions League final it has been a busy week for the trophy tour, starting at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage on Monday before moving to the grand location of Trafalgar Square yesterday. With FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC set to meet at Wembley Stadium on 28 May, holiday-makers and aviation staff alike made one last stop before take-off to catch a glimpse of the prestigious silverware.
Andrew Whale, returning to London from Edinburgh, said: "I certainly didn't expect to see the famous old trophy at Heathrow. What a great advert for London, it really brought it home that the big final is only a couple of weeks away. I can't wait."
The UEFA Women's Champions League Trophy was also displayed alongside its men's counterpart, ahead of the 26 May final in Fulham between Olympique Lyonnais and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, while professional football freestylers kept the crowds entertained.
Both trophies will go on show at City Hall on the south bank of the Thames next week, before residing in Hyde Park for the duration of the UEFA Champions Festival from 21 to 28 May as the countdown to the final begins in earnest.
Supporters wishing to attend the 2010/11 UEFA Women's Champions League final in London can purchase tickets now priced at £3 for under-16s and £5 (€5.90) for adults. They can be bought via a portal on Fulham's official website or by calling +44 (0)843 208 1234 (option 1) 24 hours a day, seven days a week (no booking fees apply online).
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