Is That The Programme?

There was an air of uncertainty and discontent in 1987 as Red News first graced Warwick Road with its presence. The magnitude of the job Alex Ferguson had in front of him was becoming increasingly apparent and whilst it was early in his incumbency, such was the turbulence of Manchester United’s season, there wasn’t 100% confidence on the disgruntled terraces of Old Trafford that he was the man to repair the debris left to him by Ron Atkinson.

30th anniversary edition of Red News, where this piece was originally published

In the wider world, Margaret Thatcher’s government were continuing their vendetta against football fans. One of these ideas was to make every football supporter carry membership cards for the club they were affiliated too when attending matches. It was around this time that United introduced their own shitty membership scheme, the benefits which included 10p off a pencil rubber in the newly fangled superstore for the commencement of the 87/88 campaign. One of the most controversial measures of this scheme was making the Stretford End terrace members only, where the Stretford Paddock was fine for anybody who wanted to attend. This resulted in a lot of refuseniks (this writer included) moving over to the Paddock and it’s also this writer’s opinion that the Stretford End was never quite the same after this. Continue reading Is That The Programme?

Presented John Stones Roses – Liverpool 26th April 2015

It’s always good to be at Goodison Park. Along with Villa Park, White Hart Lane and Loftus Road, it’s a proper football ground in a proper footballing area. Like the aforementioned stadia, Goodison has houses, shops and pubs, glorious pubs nearby. Then we have St Lukes Church on the corner of Gwladys Street and Goodison Road, a place where you could pick up a drink and a butty for a reasonable price. I couldn’t believe how quaint and civilised it all was. Goodison isn’t perfect. The Bullens Road and Goodison Road stands are archaic, they have huge pillars which can occasionally block the view. However, compared to being stuck on the back row of the Anfield Road stand, it’s a relative minor inconvenience. Whatever imperfections of Goodison, give me there anyday over being stuck in a concrete bowl in the middle of bleeding nowhere. Like Stoke, Derby or the Riverside in Middlesbrough. Those places are so bland and dull that the rats give them a wide berth.

View from the back row of the Goodison Road stand’s upper tier

A final score of 3-0 looks bad, but to me, it was just one of those days. Manchester United were nowhere near as bad

Continue reading Presented John Stones Roses – Liverpool 26th April 2015

We Are All Bitters Now – Manchester, 6th of May 2014

The most celebrated event for reds this week has undoubtedly been the misfortune of Liverpool in their last two games. Their good luck seems to have run out at the most crucial time of the season. I should perhaps feel sorry for them, but I don’t remember the scousers being too upset when United blew the league two years ago at home to Everton. Reds with longer memoies, like me for example, will remember the glee the scousers had in April 1992 when their win over United made Leeds United champions. With those memories still quiet fresh, their defeat to Chelsea and their outright implosion at Selhurst Park last night, where Crystal Palace tapped into the spirit of Istanbul if you will, had me pissing myself with laughter.

Liverpool fans celebrating winning the League at Old Trafford in March just passed, steady on boys…

It was said to me before tonight’s match that with our reaction to that result, in effect we are all bitters now. Perhaps we are Continue reading We Are All Bitters Now – Manchester, 6th of May 2014

The Ball Control Of An Elephant – Manchester, 4th May 2014

At Anfield on Friday night, United beat Liverpool 1-0 in the Under 21 play off semi final. A pretty scrappy game was settled with a goal from Andreas Pereira on 44 minutes, a goal that I missed as I’d stole a march to the bar for a half time pint. I knew it was a great goal though as I was suddenly inundated with text messages by smug twats watching the game on MUTV all saying a variant of “What A Goal!”. 

United reserves at Anfield on Friday night, photo taken from the Anfield Road end, looking out to the Kop

There was about 300 reds in the Anfield Road End. I would say most of them were gobby teenagers whom were probably out of Manchester Continue reading The Ball Control Of An Elephant – Manchester, 4th May 2014

Watching A Game Of Tennis – Manchester 21st April 2014

Being in the Bullens Road stand at Goodison Park is like stepping back in time. We found ourselves right behind a pillar propping the upper tier. We swung our heads like people watching a game of tennis to see what was happening on the pitch. We bemoaned the fact that we had a lousy view of the pitch and about sixty minutes into the game, we were very grateful for the same reason. For all the poor view, there is something quaintly old fashioned about the Bullens Road stand. The concourse was tight and before the match beer was being served. When Kevin Mirallas put Everton 2-0 up just before half time, we had the consolation of knowing we could have a pint or two at half time to anaesthetise us from the shite we had just witnessed. A stream of reds went down to the concourse, every one to a man gagging for a pint. Getting there, we found that Police had banned the sale of alcohol for half time and for once, I don’t think they were acting out of order. This was down to people with beer prior to the match throwing it indiscrminately on the concourse. Just to clarify, people were paying £4.00 for a pint of beer to throw it around like they were at an Oasis concert. I’ve been boozing since the late 1980s and trust me, I can think of far better things to do with a pint of lager that’s cost £4.00 (or even £2.00 come to think of it) than throw it around. I do wonder sometimes what kind of dickheads we have following United, who in their right mind would want to throw a pint of beer up in the air? There was similar goings on in the Wetherspoons Continue reading Watching A Game Of Tennis – Manchester 21st April 2014