Southern Manc: Why All That Matters Is That You Support MUFC!

Stereotypically us United fans down in London often get a bad reputation, which doesn’t do us nor the club we love justice. Where do I start when telling my story of how I became a Manchester United fan, probably with my 91 year old Nan.

When my Dad was a young boy my Nan always spoke about the great Busby Babes, and all of my Nan’s sons started to follow united.  This great following was given to me in 1978 by my dad when I was born.

He told me that my love of football started with the 1978 World Cup Finals, where “no nappy changes till half time” was always dads deal breaker for allowing me to stay up late to watch the games. 

I often stared at the adults while they were having their post match discussions, while enjoying a good old bottle of milk as most toddlers do of course.  Mum & Dad soon realised that I was at my most quietist when football was on, so I guess this made it easy for them.

After the World Cup Finals, at the tender age of 4 months, the new season started and so did my love for Manchester United.  As seasons past, this love grew with me as I went from a baby to a boy! 

In 1984 I remember getting my first united shirt, no other item of clothing that I possessed was a precious as that!  Every Christmas after that all I can remember getting was united memorabilia, and united kits, so much so that my entire room became decorated in united stuff.

In the late 80’s early 90’s I was always tormented and I can remember such things being said as “united who”, “What’s united won?”  & “support a local team” etc which of course was the norm in the playgrounds and classrooms during not just my childhood but many other United fans who didn’t live or near to Manchester.

For me at Secondary School all my mates were Spurs or Liverpool fans, now after all these years, I would love to see all those who dared to say such things, and see the look on their faces! 

For me it was simple I knew I would never leave United but at some point in life you leave your friends…Boy was I glad to get out of secondary school!

I can remember following old united players of the 80’s like Bryan Robson and Norman Whiteside when Ron Atkinson was our manager and how despite doing well in Cup competitions, we couldn’t sadly quite mount a good challenge to win the league title.

Of course things begun to change in the 1990’s which was to a great decade for the club. That decade is famous for that special breed of young united players who came through in our ‘Class of 92.’

Players like Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Butt, and the Neville Brothers have given so much to our club and without them, who knows how different our success might have been. It’s staggering how Giggsy at 37 is still one of our most important players and how he continues today to ‘roll back the years’ and star in games for us.

I can recall the momentous day we signed a player form our rivals Leeds… Some called him The King, Messiah, and God… whatever you want to call him he was Eric Cantona, the Frenchman who could change a game from a single pass. Eric was simply a pure genius!

For me at Secondary School all my mates were Spurs or Liverpool fans, now after all these years, I would love to see all those who dared to say such things, and see the look on their faces! 

For me it was simple I knew I would never leave United but at some point in life you leave your friends…Boy was I glad to get out of secondary school!

I remember my mum saying how proud she was that I passed my driving test in 1995, and for me & my dad there was only one goal in mind  a shared journey up the M6 to old Trafford, with my united mad sister tagging along for the ride!  We have been to countless united games since, too many to detail in this blog!!

Wednesday 26th May 1999.  Do I really need to say more?  I was just one of the many united fans around the world who know where they saw that night and how and where they celebrated in that moment when Ole Gunnar Solskjær knocked in Teddy Sheringham’s header to win the Champions League.

That night helped elevate United’s persona on the world stage again. People everywhere finally realised there was such a thing in the English game as ‘The Treble’ and that we sensationally had won it!

Life goes on and we move out, get married, have kids, get mortgages etc, and end up with tedious tasks such as going shopping every week, for me I know what items are on what isle, but I always forget something off the darn shopping list.  

Yet I can recall so clear the goal that Cantona scored in the 1996 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, and that volley that Mark Hughes scored in the FA Cup Semi Final against Oldham Athletic.

Come to think of it I can also remember the 1990 FA Cup final so vividly and how against Crystal Palace Hughes made it 3-3 after it looked like Ian Wright had single-handily won the Cup for Palace

To me it does not matter where you are from or where you end up in life so long as you keep the faith, and follow the religion UNITED!

As long as you stay true to the team and follow it no matter what and spread the love of everything that’s good about Manchester United, that’s all that matters.

By Paul Fox – @foxythered7