My first Manchester United game came when I was 14 and it came four and a half years ago. As an early Christmas present, my parents surprised me and got tickets for United’s game against Aston Villa for our game at Villa Park.
Not only was the game just before Christmas but I was so excited as I had been waiting ages to go to a game. I was 14 years old and I had no paper round (like most kids do) so understandably I had to wait until my parents had saved up the money until I could finally see United in the flesh.
The wait though was worth it. I was excited leading up to the game as I could not wait to see my favourite players like Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Scholes. The one memory that I have, which all the other fans who went to that game will always remember was Paul Scholes’ amazing volley to put us 2-0 up.
For many years I had only seen great United moments on Television, wishing I was there like many other fans across the world watching the games on screen. So when I finally got to see a United game and witnessed the goal of the 2006/07 Premier League season, it made the day an even bigger occasion.
It was a moment of pure brilliance from Scholes who has been one of my all-time favourite players not just for United but in football in general. I will never forget the way Scholes’ volley bounced under the crossbar and went in.
The United fans behind the goal went wild. I think the Villa fans were completly stunned by the goal, most of us were as it was a stunning goal – one that fans will be lucky to see once in a decade of attending games.
Looking back on the game itself, it was a great first game for me to see United win 3-0 so convincingly. Of course the goal by Scholes stands out, but Ronaldo’s two goals were also great as well.
As well as Cristiano’s goals on the day, his overall play was great and this was the time where he was really ‘kicking on’ for us. Despite everything that’s happened since he left to go to Real Madrid for £80million, a bit of me still wishes that we had never sold him as he’s a spectacular player.
It was quite a nervy first half for us, as despite the game being goalless with Villa mainly defending our attacks, I just could not wait for us to go ahead and I was worried that the goal would not come for us.
Being only 14 I wanted us to win every game and would get really annoyed when we would lose or drop silly points. To a degree I am still like that now, but back then I was worse and didn’t have too much patience in games like lots of teenagers and young kids do when they are that age.
Shortly after half time we took the lead with Ronaldo getting his first goal of the game with a great individual goal. The relief I had when he put us in front was immense. After that it was plain sailing for us and when Ronaldo scored our third after Scholes had scored, I knew we had the game won and felt really happy.
The only slight down side of the game was that Rooney started on the bench. He came on shortly after Scholes got his goal. Finally another of my favourite players of our side had got on the pitch and for me the night was complete. He even helped play a part in Ronaldo’s second of the game that went in around five minutes from time.
On my way out of the stadium, I was still buzzing from the match. I could not wait to tell my friends and family that I was there at the game and saw the stunning goal by Scholes and that we had most importantly won the game.
It was a great result all-round and the fact a few of my friends are Villa fans made it even sweeter for me to brag to them about the match, something looking back at it now that I remember doing fondly.
For me it was a great moment and I look forward to seeing many more moments as a Manchester United fan for many years to come.
By Tom Bradley