Glory, glory Man United (apparently)

Posted on March 10, 2013


I say apparently, because they are not my favourite team – I give my support to Aston Villa. But this is not my blog, it’s my 11 year old son’s and he is an avid Manchester United fan, so his choice of title and his story.

MU1aHe’s been a bit of a superstar recently, passing his 11+ and getting into the local Grammar School, so he was treated to a trip to see Manchester United play against Norwich City (now, I’m not sure I think football when I think about Norwich – the ‘quiz of the week’ and good train links to the East Midlands perhaps – but not top flight football, however, each to their own)

Anyway, enough of the background – here’s what happened, what it’s really like to watch Premiership football, through an 11 year old’s eyes.

“Well, it was four hours to get to Manchester, which was a bit boring – the stop at Burger King was good – but the hotel we stayed in was great. 

[As an aside ‘Once we found it’ with an 11 year old’s eyes raised to heaven remembering his dad’s navigation skills].

Staying in a hotel the day before was great, we could have a swim and play about, and of course, six croissants for breakfast, before we left for the game.  You need your energy, Mum, when you’re off to watch premiership football. [46 year old mother’s eyes raised to heaven]

We then caught a train and a tram to Old Trafford – I was gobsmacked when I saw the size of it; I had never seen anything so amazing before.  We went inside the stadium, Dad insisted I had a pie – apparently it’s football tradition – so I had a steak pie.  You would not believe it Mum, everywhere you looked there was a massive pie counter.

Then we went to our seats, I was flabbergasted at the size of the stadium, the pitch and all the seats – it took about 30 minutes for it all to fill up – and the noise filled the whole place.  The players walked out on to the pitch, the roar of the crowd was immense, I thought it was so cool, because I could see Robin Van Persie and Antonio Valencia, for real.

The game kicked off, and as soon as the ref blew his whistle we were all on our feet, cheering, whooping and screaming.  I was so excited. I could not believe I was there, watching my favourite team play.  I sang the United Anthem at the top of my voice ‘Glory, glory, Man United’, and so did everyone else – it felt like the stadium was filled with noise.

Just before half time, Kagawa scored the first goal.  The whole stadium erupted (well, the Man United fans anyway) – I stood up as fast as I could, shouting and waving my hands in the air.

The referee blew his whistle for half time, and everyone went off to get a drink – it seemed like the stadium emptied in a flash – Dad and I stayed in our seats, just so that we could soak up the atmosphere as much as we could.

1024x768_bestfitIn the next half, we all cheered when the players came back on the pitch.  Then Kagawa scored a second goal – everyone screamed and shouted – we were all chanting Kagawa, it was really cool to be able to join in the chant.  Then Kagawa scored his third goal, the first ever Japanese player to score a hat-trick in the premiership, and I was there to see it!

Just after the hat-trick was scored, I noticed some of the Norwich fans leaving.

[As an aside ‘I would never leave a game, even if Manchester United was losing, but then, I am a true supporter’]. 

But Mum, a game would not be a game without some Rooney magic – he scored a fantastic goal from 20 yards outside of the box and just gave a casual arms raised celebration.  A bit cocky, Mum, but still brilliant to see.  What a great game, my first game at Old Trafford, 4 – 0.

The next day, we did a stadium tour.  We looked at the stadium and museum, did you know Old Trafford can hold up to 78,000 people? Immense.  I saw over 200 cups, the history of United and a whole room dedicated the Munich air crash, what a nice thing to do to remember those players who died.

There was a touch screen computer and you could choose a player and watch every goal they had scored – I watched Beckham, Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy and Eric Cantona.  On the stadium tour, we got to see the Manchester United players changing room, and I got to sit in their seats; we also went into the players lounge [not as plush as I expected, Mum] and went into the manager’s area too. 

It was exciting to walk down the Munich tunnel, see the pitch at the end and imagine coming  out to play, but we just got to sit in the dug out as we weren’t allowed on the pitch [Dad said something or other about ‘Hallowed turf’]manu 2

At the end, we went to the Mega Store, where I got a football and a scarf.  It was a good tour and good to see, but to be honest, it wasn’t as great as the Nou Camp tour but still interesting to find out about the history of Manchester United and be at Old Trafford”

Thank goodness they won.  I am sure it would have been a completely different story if they’d lost!