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There are many reasons why we support a football team and we often can’t put those reasons into words. Sometimes as a youngster we have a favorite player and support the team they play for. Sometimes it happens in the school playground where we like the colour of a shirt (although this reason totally baffles me). Other times it is because we like to support the underdog.
For me the choice of football team to support was easy. I was born in Davyhulme, grew up in Swinton, now part of Salford near Manchester, and went to a school where 90% of the boys were Manchester United fans. I know this will dispel the popular myth that people in Manchester don’t support United but who cares. As Mancunians we know the truth.
I’ve been in life threatening situations, I’ve been carried away with immense emotion and I’ve screamed my lungs out so hard that my voice was left to the football God’s for days before slowly and painfully crawling its’ way back. I’ve witnessed decades where rivals have gloated over success while we continued to flatter to deceive. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve fallen out with friends and family alike.
Whatever the reason that you support your team; there is no doubt that the history of Manchester United is one without rival. We have suffered more tragedy than any other club and thankfully, we have had more triumph than most. Our history is one of the main reasons why we are supported by millions throughout the world. The other reason, no matter what the circumstance, Manchester United will always play the game the right way. From Busby’s magnificent Babes through to the current team, United have been unrivalled in their passion for open, attractive and entertaining football.
For fan or foe, the Manchester United story is one of highs and lows, of excitement, adventure and legends. My memories are through the eyes of an ordinary fan like you. They do not have the rose tinted advantages that modern day footballer has. My story is not the autobiography of a player yet to reach his prime, or one that will never be anywhere near as good as his ego lets him believe. I am not a journalist, or anybody with an insider view. My memories of football are all scratched deeply into my heart, all true, some joyous and some painful. Like every other United fan that I know, I live and breathe football. I cry when we win and I cry even louder when we lose.
So I ask; why do you support the team that you do? I was born in January 1960, less than two years after the disaster at Munich. Twenty one people lost their lives on 6th February 1958. Amongst them were eight of the finest players in the world at that time. A team of young men who were about to conquer the world. The legends who lost their lives that day should have been the first team I supported. I should have watched Tommy Taylor and Duncan Edwards in their prime, but like millions of others, I was robbed of that privilege.
I have been lucky to see some of the best players in the world wearing the famous red shirt. Manchester United today is the biggest sports franchise in the world, and currently the most successful team as well. It is easy to see why we are the best supported club at the moment but what about when success eluded us for twenty years during my formative years. The football team we support is often in our blood, it certainly is in mine.
I’ve recently returned home to Manchester having lived away for many years. I’ve travelled all over the world and always manage to find a TV to watch United play. Wherever I’ve lived I’ve always managed to keep the Red Flag of Manchester United flying high, all the way From Salford to Tucson and Back Again.
write by Sigmund