The United way looks at grounds visited over the years, starting in a place with six towns…
The first time I saw a team cheat was Stoke. Well, when I say cheat, I mean “take corners effectively.” I assumed it was cheating as I’d never seen a good corner from us, so it was all a bit of a shock. Chip the corner to man at near post – man at near post flicks on – bulldozing centre-back piles in. Stoke may have scored against us using this approach, they may not, I can’t remember. But the fact that it sticks in my head 30 years on highlights how shit United were at corners.
I don’t usually let football ruin things. I’m too old and I’ve seen too much to let it get to me, but if we’d not beaten Palace it would have ruined my bonfire night. I love Bonfire night, and Christmas too, basically anything with shiny lights and that magical feel. I remember New York one November, cold, snowy, lit-up, Central Park skating with the wife, like John Cusack in Serendipity but with 300 other tourists and no film crew.
It’s September 19th 1990 at Old Trafford and United are taking on the mighty Hungarian cup winners Pécsi Munkás in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, first round, first leg. A 45-year-old dad leans into his 17-year-old, United-obsessed lad and casually says,
“If we get to the final, I’ll take you.”
For a certain generation of reds, there is still something special about the F.A Cup. Think 1976-85 and the hope-filled cup runs we had, with some enthralling quarter/semi-finals and huge turn-outs. Those feelings may not necessarily cross over to younger generations, but for those of a certain age it was all we had to look forward to.