It’s one of the biggest arguments all non Manchester United fans have against United, that none of United’s fans are from Manchester and that where all glory hunting supporters that don’t truly follow the club, well here’s my retaliation in defence of myself and United’s foreign fans all around the globe.
You always hear something among of the lines of “So who do you support? – I support Manchester United – Really? So what part of London are you from?” when jokes are made about Manchester United’s fan base. You’ll see in many different internet debates someone mention the line “I bet your not even from Manchester”, or “I bet you haven’t been in Old Trafford” or something among those lines.
As an Irish Manchester United Supporter I’m here to tell you why foreign fans ‘can’ be just as passionate about the club as a person from Manchester. While I do admit there are some so-called Man Utd supporters who still think David Beckham and Roy Keane still play for the club and when they refer to the team they say the offensive name of ‘manu’ instead of Manchester United and the only reason they follow the club is because they win so many trophies and its much easier to say they follow United rather than say “I don’t watch football”.
I was born into a family of Manchester United lovers who were big supporters of the clubs during their long wait for the title. I was born the day before Manchester United came back from behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 at Maine road where they came back from 2-0 down after enduring some ‘Turkish delight’ in the Champions League days before.
My father was convinced I was good luck and he wanted to take me to a game as a baby! My mother heard my name Ryan from my brother mentioning Ryan Giggs during a game, or so they say (more likely they just said that to make me feel like I was named after a true legend).
I’m a Manchester United season ticket holder who went to 18 Premiership, FA Cup and Champions League games last season (would have been more had we not lost 1-0 to Leeds in the 3rd round and to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in a game I wish I could just forget about).
This season I’ll be spending games at Old Trafford in the north stand (was a member of the east stand last season) in the most expensive seats that are not boxes or corporate seats and I intend on paying for every game I go to, to my father, who I’m so very grateful for taking me to so many games. Every game I go to do mean I travel a fair bit and what to I usually see, hundreds upon hundreds of United Irish season ticket holders, and I usually see the same faces every time. This is an average match day myself and my Dad:
- 6 AM: its time to get up and off to the airport. Flight at 8.30.
- Check in through security and wait an hour for the flight.
- On the plane now for an hour flight.
- Half 9 we arrive on time in London.
- Get the tube to Euston train station.
- Have my breakfast and wait until half 11 for the train.
- On the train now a further two and a half hours until we arrive in Manchester.
- Around one o’ clock we’ve arrived in Manchester.
- Check in to our Hotel.
- Have a look around the Arndale Center until an hour before the game.
- Get on the packed tram to Old Trafford.
- Arrive around 15 minutes later and off to the ground.
- Take our seats and wait for kick off.
- Around 1 and a half hours later the game is over.
- We get our traditional burger and discuss the match.
- Back to the hotel room.
- Out for dinner and then back into the hotel room to watch Match of the Day.
- Bed time twelve o’ clock.
This is our usual three or later kick off game. Waking up at 6 in the morning to arrive in Manchester at one in the day. Now you might say why are you going to London? Well we don’t always go to London but we do when we can because at the end of a day were just after suffering a recession and money is tight!
Sometimes if our hands are tied we take the option to travel directly to Manchester other times we travel to Liverpool and get the bus to Manchester which is very popular option for many Irish people and sometimes we fly to Birmingham. Next season we’ll probably have to take the ferry at some point. This is the normal routine for many Irish season ticket holders, and anyone from Manchester will tell you especially taxi men that we come in herds to support our beloved team.
On one occasion we were getting the train from Birmingham to Manchester to see Man United play Tottenham only to find two stops down the line they had to get everyone off the train and out of the station for technical reasons so we were forced to get a taxi to Manchester with two Dublin people who were, wait for it, Tottenham supporters!
So this is why when people write and say stuff about Manchester United I act like a child throwing a tantrum because while some of the abuse is completely justifiable some of it is not completely fair, because the amount of money city’s generate from foreign fans is huge so really where doing England a favor!
Also many Irish players and foreign players have proved good player’s for there clubs like Roy Keane and Niall Quinn and Paul Mcgrath so why can clubs play Irish and foreign players but shouldn’t have any foreign fans?
Look this is a message to many anti-united people who will read my blogs and go are you even from Manchester? I support them just as much as anyone could in my situation I despise Liverpool just as much as people from Manchester do because they are plenty of Liverpool fans who love to see United fail and when United beat Liverpool I can walk down to my friends with a cheeky grin and my head raised high.
However when Liverpool do get one over on us, the next day I tend to avoid as many Liverpool fans as possible. I love United and I always will, I make videos of Manchester United players, I’m writing articles about United and I go to plenty of their games so please future readers please don’t question my loyalty and the loyalty of many other United fans because a lot of us do the same.