Thursday, May 13, 2010

The annual pilgrimage to Old Trafford

Last week I spent a few days with Manchester United supporters from South Africa in Manchester on their annual tour/ pilgrimage to Old Trafford culminating in the last game of the season against Stoke City. I have to confess that ever since I was a small boy at primary school, I've dreamed of going to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play but we could never afford to get to Manchester, buy the ticket and buy the shirt. I would never describe myself as a United supporter. I don't have any connection with the city; it wasn't until I was 18 that I made it to Manchester. I had posters on my wall; Beckham, Scholes, Jordi Cruyff(!!); a United duvet cover, a couple of videos and the 92/93 FA Cup Final song on cassette but I always consumed them from a distance. Many years on and I finally had the opportunity to do what I always wanted but I realised that while I wanted them to win, I just couldn't get as passionate as the people around me. For me, the game was entertainment; for them it was far more serious. I realised that I am not a United supporter, just a follower of sorts. I want them to win but it really isn't the end of the world if they don't. I'm more concerned about the plight of Tiverton Town...

The Stretford End (obviously)

My shirt!

I've never seen so much money spent on football merchandise

With a group of 20 United fans on a stadium tour of Man City's ground - great banter!

In the Bishops Blaize before the game

View from my seat


  1. Come on you Reds, come on you Reds!
    Just keep your bottle and use your heads
    For 90 minutes we'll let them know
    It's Man United here we go!

    Classic. Although it was the 1994 final. 1992/93 was Arsenal beating Sheffield Wednesday after extra time in a replay.

  2. My mistake. I also had "Move Move Move (The Red Tribe) the following year! Not so much of a classic though.

  3. Ah, yes. No-one can move, move, move like the red tribe do. There's no man that can stand in their way. Obviously.

    However, I do believe that the opening lyric alone does make even that particular number a true classic...

    "When they come like a hurricane, blowing everyone away, there's nowhere you can run and hide..."

    PS This wasn't the following year either, it was 1996. ;-) I'm fairly sure there must have been a Cup Final song in 1995 too, but since we lost to Everton, it has probably been lost in the annals of time.

  4. So my ability to recollect when I actually did things is proving to be dodgy. I'll have to find those tapes and play them again when I'm back in the UK! Talking of United cassettes, I also had an Oo-ah Cantona drum and bass single (or something to that effect).

  5. You mean this one?

    You beauty, I'd totally forgotten that existed. That's going straight into iTunes.

  6. That's the one! Cost me 99p from Woolworths. Bargain.


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