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The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sun Jun 13 22:10:19 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. RED" Tip of the day:
2. United to launch Davids bid «« 
3. ITV miss out on a slice of Euro Reds
4. Aalborg Champions of Denmark ..... see you all NEXT SEASON!
5. Keane's going nowhere - Ferguson 
6. Trip Diary Part Two - Taking over Barcalona by Sean Hennessey


Latest Sound: Nostalgic Eric! Available from today:
 Eric Cantona's Farewell Speech recorded 18th August 1998
   http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/eric_farewell_speech.rm   121k
     59secs  Enjoy!  
  Also running the run the lap of honour!  55000 sing Ooh aah Cantona!
   http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99/eric_lap_of_honour.rm  137k  1m 07
ENJOY! its heaven
 Barry  [To stream these 2 files write ram instead of rm]

  THE TRIPLE  -  www.red11.org CHAMPIONSHIP Sound Archive x 5 
ENJOY THE GOALS recorded from * GMR * BBC RADIO 5 * ITV * SKY * DANISH TV !!!!
   INDEX:  http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/99

SPECIAL SPECIAL  Mp3  "REDS Going to Barcelona"  3megs hifi-sound
Download here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/mp3/99/Barcelona.mp3

Daily RED Trivia  Saturday 12th June 1999:

 United heroes Denis Law and Jim Holton make their first ever appearances
 in the World Cup Finals. They help Scotland beat Zaire 2-0 in Dortmund, with
 Lorimer and future United star Joe Jordan getting the goals.


Barry Daily Comment:

Good news from today Teddy and Keano 100% to stay at OT.
Other news is that Andy and Dwight are signing a massive 10 million Nike boot deal
which includes 25.000 quid everytime they score next season!!!!

Latest MUFC Squad song is now available in stereo at www.red11.org

Stereo Sound: REAL AUDIO:  607k 4mins "stereo"
 MP3  4.6meg  4mins "stereo"

RED sky at night BARCE' delight
 More fun here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/barcedance.htm

Latest sound interviews in Real Audio here: 

If you want the Giggsy FA CUP goal in Real Time Video 300k now thanks to RED CAFE!

FA Cup Semi Final Replay
14 April 1999
Manchester United 2:1 Arsenal
 Villa Park
  Download Ryan Giggs Goal! (Real Video: 300K)
Thanks to the Theatre of Dreams


Previous News:
 BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
  Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
 Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games:  ****Pre season tour JULY 1999 ***

Melbourne  Sydney  
Thu 15/7 MAN. UNITED V SOCCEROOS evening in Melbourne 
    at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) kick off 20.00hrs.
     Ticket prices are AUS$60, AUS$90, AUS$135 and AUS$155. 

    Homebush Bay, Sydney  NEW SOUTH WALES  15.00 local time 
     Tickets for Sydney game try here:
   then type MANCHESTER in the search field.

   + Far East

Wed 21/7 Shangai first time ever!!!
Sat 24/7 Hong Kong  Repeat of the 1997 game

"ALL matches will be shown "the same day" om MUTV.

August 3rd Omagh Town, St Julian's Road ground
  Temp seating will be erected to increase the
   capacity to 7,000 for the game.

UNITED Stats v All teams:


Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    38 14  4  1  45  18   8  9  2  35  19   43   79
 2  Arsenal              38 14  5  0  34   5   8  7  4  25  12   42   78
 3  Chelsea              38 12  6  1  29  13   8  9  2  28  17   27   75
 4  Leeds United         38 12  5  2  32   9   6  8  5  30  25   28   67
 5  West Ham United      38 11  3  5  32  26   5  6  8  14  27   -7   57
 6  Aston Villa          38 10  3  6  33  28   5  7  7  18  18    5   55
 7  Liverpool            38 10  5  4  44  24   5  4 10  24  25   19   54
 8  Derby County         38  8  7  4  22  19   5  6  8  18  26   -5   52
 9  Middlesbrough        38  7  9  3  25  18   5  6  8  23  36   -6   51
10  Leicester City       38  7  6  6  25  25   5  7  7  15  21   -6   49
11  Tottenham Hotspur    38  7  7  5  28  26   4  7  8  19  24   -3   47
12  Sheffield Wednesday  38  7  5  7  20  15   6  2 11  21  27   -1   46
13  Newcastle United     38  7  6  6  26  25   4  7  8  22  29   -6   46
14  Everton              38  6  8  5  22  12   5  2 12  20  35   -5   43
15  Coventry City        38  8  6  5  26  21   3  3 13  13  30  -12   42
16  Wimbledon            38  7  7  5  22  21   3  5 11  18  42  -23   42
17  Southampton          38  9  4  6  29  26   2  4 13   8  38  -27   41
18  Charlton Athletic    38  4  7  8  20  20   4  5 10  21  36  -15   36
19  Blackburn Rovers     38  6  5  8  21  24   1  9  9  17  28  -14   35
20  Nottingham Forest    38  3  7  9  18  31   4  2 13  17  38  -34   30


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171
20/02/99    Coventry City            Away     W  1-0     1    22,596
27/02/99    Southampton              Home     W  2-1     1    55,316
13/03/99    Newcastle United         Away     W  2-1     1    36,500
21/03/99    Everton                  Home     W  3-1     1    55,182
03/04/99    Wimbledon                Away     D  1-1     1    26,121
17/04/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home     W  3-0     1    55,270
25/04/99    Leeds United             Away     D  1-1     2    40,255
01/05/99    Aston Villa              Home     W  2-1     1    55,189
05/05/99    Liverpool                Away     D  2-2     2    44,702
09/05/99    Middlesbrough            Away     W  1-0     1    34,665
12/05/99    Blackburn                Away     D  0-0     1    30,436
16/05/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Home     W  2-1     1    55,189


HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052)
BEST WIN:                06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:         20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)
BEST HOME WIN:           17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1)
HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT:    19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3)
BEST AWAY WIN:           06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:    20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)*****
Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd  2 v 0  Inter Milan
 Real Madrid     1 v 1  Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus        2 v 1  Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich   2 v 0  Kaiserslautern

**DYNAMO KIEV      2 v 0  REAL MADRID         (Agg:3-1)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Finals 
Manchester United v Juventus  4-3agg 3-2 [1-1]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev  4-3agg 1-0 [3-3]

Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain 
Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) 



SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

Subject: "RED" Tip of the day: Tip of the day from http://www.red11.org Bookmark this url: http://nav.webring.com/cgi-bin/navcgi?ring=manufan;random This will randomly find one of 366 Manchester United sites on the WWW. Simple? Have a RED summer!
SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

Subject: United to launch Davids bid «« Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wants to sign the best midfielder to come to Old Trafford without a red shirt last season - Juventus ball-winner Edgar Davids. The newest football knight is keen to sign the player with the biggest ego in the game but knows he will have to tread carefully in negotations with the vanquished Italian giants. Sir Alex is wary of Juventus blindsiding the deal with an attempt to lure Roy Keane - a trick the manager has now come to expect from the Italians. United could afford an £8 million bid for the opinionated Dutchman who could be assured an automatic first team place next season and the signs are he would fancy the move. But Juventus are expected to block any deal as they rebuild their side around the 26-year-old former Ajax prodigy. Davids, who was spotted lunching with Dutch teammate Marc Overmars last season, is likely to attract bids from Arsenal, Real Madrid and other top Italian clubs but craves the success only United may be able to offer him.
SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

Subject: ITV miss out on a slice of Euro Reds By Jon Henderson Sunday June 13, 1999 (Guardian) Three of Manchester United's opening six matches in the European Champions' League next season will not be available live on ITV, even though they bought the rights to the competition and gained massive audiences last season showing United's triumphant progress. Instead they will be shown on the fledgling ONdigital, who were subcontracted the subscription rights when ITV struck the ?250 million, four-year deal with the European Football Union (Uefa) last February. Under the new, 32-team Champions' League format, matches will be played on two midweek evenings rather than one with ONdigital showing the Tuesday night games on their primary channels package (9.99 a month) and ITV screening the Wednesday evening matches. Many United fans were no doubt hoping the title holders would retain what has become their traditional Wednesday-night slot on ITV. But Uefa have decided that each country's champions and runners up - Arsenal, in England's case - will split the Tuesdays and Wednesdays equally, which means United will play three of their six first-group matches on Tuesdays in front of ONdigital's cameras. Sky, having made a better offer, were none too pleased when ONdigital acquired the subscription rights to the Champions' League and have exacted revenge of sorts by doing exclusive deals with Leeds, Tottenham and Newcastle for next season's Uefa Cup. But as ONdigital were quick to point out last week their service includes the Sky Sports channels, so they will also benefit. And Sky's deal applies only to the three clubs' home matches. They will have to dig even deeper to tie up the away games with the BBC and Channel 5 expected to compete vigorously once the draw is made later in the summer. Channel 5 are again likely to profit from being part-owned by Ufa Sports, the Hamburg-based company who broker TV deals for a number of European clubs. It was thanks to this Ufa link that Channel 5 bought up three of England's away qualifying fixtures for Euro 2000 for ?2 million, including the key match against Poland in Katowice on 8 September.
SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

Subject: Aalborg Champions of Denmark ..... see you all NEXT SEASON! "OFFICIAL" with one game in hand today Aalborg won the Danish Championship with a future Schmikes look alike in goal Jimmy Nielsen. Aalborg P32 63-34 64 pts Brondby P32 67-35 58 pts AB P32 49-35 56 pts Lyngby P32 53-54 52 pts Brondby came 2nd this year. So I am planning a Champions League match next season Manchester United v Aalborg FC :))))))))) It could happen? Just as it did with Brondby. I will personally open a night club in Jomfru Ane Gade, Aalborg "ALL day + night long" if it happens We can take around 800 REDS in there so lets make it a date!!! Barry in Aalborg, Denmark "also" Champions, there's a party going on right NOW! TV pics from today: http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/99/aab_champs99.jpg http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/99/aab_champs_2.jpg http://www.red11.org/mufc/images/99/dk_table99.jpg  Barrylee@post3.tele.dk Denmark http://www.red11.org/barry
SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

Subject: Keane's going nowhere - Ferguson Italian target: Keane scores for United against Juventus in the European Cup Manchester United are ready to resist attempts to prise away their inspirational captain Roy Keane. United's newly-knighted manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will fend off a £20m approach from Italian side Lazio. Sir Alex believes he can persuade the Republic of Ireland midfielder to sign a new contract sooner rather than later. The Treble-winning manager told the Mail on Sunday: "Roy will be staying at United. Negotiations have almost reached a settlement and I'm confident his new contract will be sorted out in the next couple of weeks. "The players got me this knighthood. The most important thing to me is that we stick together. It's behind everything we achieved last season. "It's vital that we keep the skipper. He is the driving force behind everything we achieved last season." Eriksson waiting Ferguson's comments seem designed to throw would-be suitors off the scent. Lazio coach Sven Goran Eriksson has told the Serie A club's directors that they should table a bumper £20m bid for Keane - if there is any hint United will try to cash in on the highly-rated player. Keane becomes a free agent when his contract expires next summer, so United must sell or secure a new deal if they are to gain any value for money from their prize commodity. Blackburn Rovers are reportedly waiting in the wings to offer Keane a £5m signing-on fee if he decides to see out his contract and leave Old Trafford in 2000.
SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

Subject: Trip Diary Part Two - Taking over Barcalona by Sean Hennessey (This is really sickeningly long, so read it in bits. I warn you now!) Hi all, Where I last left it (all so long ago, I've got to work on these timing things...:) I had gone to stay at Mike Dobbin's after a party celebrating the FA Cup win. I was on a high as I woke up, nice hangover, nice mood. seemed fitting. After a quick cup of tea, Mike and I went off for papers and I headed back for my 'home base' in Algate. I spent the next couple of days not driving to Spain with Andy Walsh as originally planned as I'd been given a last minute 'ticket and flight' deal through United and the USA Supporters club. Instead I spent it buying Star Wars Legos and Austin Powers videos (wedding presents for my best mates and hosts Humph and Fi) and searching for the perfect miniature Mini for my car collection. As I reached for Tuesday, I contacted Stephen, and exile living in the States who was my contact for travel to Barcalona. At his suggestion (and the fact we hd to be at Gatwick at 6am on Wednesday to collect tickets and flight), I moved to stay at the Travel Inn at Gatwick Tuesday night. With my usual timing I failed to meet them at the bar at 9, arriving at a nice quarter to eleven, so I rushed through dropping my gear and headed to the bar for last calls and was joyously rewarded with a late license and a couple of Reds to show off my Eric tattoo to... Morning then came rather too quickly for my tastes and I loaded my head (rather too heavy with beer at this point) and bags to the front where I finally met up with Steve and the bloke who's really really nice and I always forget the name of even after destroying his t-shirt at Highbury when I used it to control a three seat downward fall during the crush of the Nicky Butt should-be-not sending off. They went off in search of petrol station sandwiches and newspapers to find the thing had been knocked over the night before (police wouldn't let them in, the woman in charge in a state) so they got papers and the really really nice bloke went hungry (and we heard all about it). Clive Halliwell eventually joined us and we started nattering with a father and son on their way as well (they noticed Clive's '68 rossette and the father had been there as well!). Clive and I talked of our chances and possible formations on the bus to Gatwick, and on our arrival we happily assaulted all and sundry security guards to find out where to go. Eventually we joined the queue with Steve taking off to verify that we were in the right one. Upon his arrival back, we US Reds were treated as a separate group and had our tickets for the flight made in front of us. Unfortunately we got news that one of our members who was due to land 15 minutes before then had his flight cancelled and was flying directly to Barcalona. Steve, acting in his newly assigned role (by the flight people) of Groop Leada (he'd have us say it no other way!) sorted out our tickets and returns, etc. 'Cept me, of course, I had to be difficult and have a flight out of Barca to Madrid and back to the States. Eventually this worked against me, but there you go. Eventually we had flight tickets in hand (we were told we'd get our match tickets on board) and Clive and I headed to join the customs queue whilst Steve and the others headed to shut up the really really nice Bloke by feeding him. Clive and I whiled the time in the smoking section of the duty free area, even tually meeting up the lads eating in there(! again?) and headed to the flight where we were booked and sat. I was fortunate to get a seat with no one next to me as the others filled up the row in front of me. They got chatter and I got to share the rest of my row with the SPS. Typical. I flew in quiet waiting for the tickets to be handed out. They took names of people waiting, handed out a few, and we landed still waiting for tickets as the stewardesses lamented lack of organisation to get out tickets done. In the end those with the names from 'b' on up had to wait on board for the tickets. They then split the bloody thing down and I ended up nearly last! One bloke mentioned that getting the tickets was more nervous that the match! Finally getting off the plane and into Spanish heat, I lugged head and baggage through customs and into the airport to meet the lads and headed to the buses where I got another seat to myself. I was starting to practice speaking to myself in case I forgot how to when we arrived at Nou Camp to the accompanyment of a Spanish tour guide who tried her best to answer our questions and show us a bit of culture in a language foreign to her. Fun fun fun. We got little maps of Barcalona, a well wish, and told we couldn leave our bags on bus, so I wandered off with the lads with bags and head getting heavier by the second. Firstly we went to the Nou Camp to try and get a look (with me saying, 'oh come on, I've got to meet up at the Hard Rock in ten minutes'!) and bought our programmes early. Then we went to find a cash point (we'd all borrowed off of Steve who was the only one smart enough to get money before travelling!), and I tried to actually get in the bloody bank. Not smart - they had an airlock-like system that also was a metal detector and were only letting one Red in at a time! After loosing my place in queue about five times having to ditch baggage and badges (and hat), I got my dosh and we spent the nect 20 minutes trying to get a taxi before we discovered the joys of the rank 50 feet away from us. From there we all piled in (lost Clive somewhere in there I think) and headed to Las Ramblas finally. The taxi drove us past the Hard Rock, so we got lost and ended up on the other end, walking and lugging head and bags. I was about to give up and scream when we finally got to the other end and I spotted the Hard Rock. I was a mix of emotions - practically shitting myself over the match, nervous about finding Mark Roberts (who I'd made plans to leave my bags with but hadn't been able reach him after the Wembley accident), and elated to be surrounded by singing Reds. I sang with them all (as much as I could as there were 10 different songs going at any one time, so I just chose my favourite). Even in my rush, I watched flags being hoisted and the atmosphere was electric. At the Hard Rock we queued for a bit and finally got in, where I dumped bags and did a circut. No-one I knew. Damn it, I knew this would happen, we were an hour and a half late! As I was about to head out the door to look outside, I heard a 'that's Sean!' and turned to get an American Football style tackle from Barry Leeming, who went on to strangle me in a half-nelson while telling me it was so great to see me. How I'd missed him on my circuit alludes me, but must have something to do with not smelling potato-based intoxicants... As it was I'd walked straight past Duncan (who I failed to recognise to his face as well, idiot me. Still hungover is my guess, sorry about that Dunc) and Mark (of the Chinese Wall fame! :). Barry found drink to put in my hand, as of those of the other USA group, and photos were taken (not by me, I couldn't find my girlfriend Kat's bloody camera), and old home day started up in ernest. Between talking with Dunc and Mark (who offered to take my bags, bless 'em, in their hostel room), I made the rounds, finally found our Mark, Steve, and gang all about, my eyes finally opened to all the mates who must've been staring at me like I was mad as I walked around so blankly before... :) Eventually, even the Boston Reds returned, and I spent my time getting seriously pissed. Spying Linda in the queue, I jumped outside to give her a massive hug and we got her past the guards and in. I was nearly chucked out shortly there after by opening a side door to let in even more Reds (one who kissed me on the cheek and said he'd remember me forever... I don't remember that greeting from before...:). A lovely time was spent going from friend to friend and chatting, getting seriously pissed, and trying to buy everyone drinks (few let me, but most put more beer in my hand. This has got to stop! A man must buy a round eventually!). At the bar, Tim Emmanuel recognised me from somewhere and we had a chat. I got to buy him a beer I believe... :) I have to say a big thanks here to our Barry who managed to help sort out the Boston Reds (PJ and Ugly Jon) who didn't have tickets (I did as did Andrew who paid extortion money in England but was rewarded with a fantastic seat). That's a big personal favour, mate, and I owe you one. I couldn't stay and talk with anyone too long, though, as there was sooo many mates around, and it was even remarked that I seemed to know half the bar. We tried to get some songs started until the head bloke of the Hard Rock came up to me (why me I don't know) and told me to get them to stop or we'd be shoved into the street, so I tried to quiet down the few around me and quickly disappeared into a fast conversation with Tim and Eric, a Norweigan who just started talking to me out the blue. He turned out to be a big Red and we had a great time introducing him around. Eventually Dunc and Mark let me know that we had to head to theirs to drop my bags and head off to try and find Mick Meade at Kitty O'Shea's. Here I must interject at the rumour that spread about that I couldn't walk at that point had to be guided by Dunc. Not at all - I just had no idea where the hostel was, was intranced by all the singing, and had forgotten which way gravity worked. Once the bags were dropped (it felt sooo good not to have them about me, and the drink cured the head!) we headed to McDonalds for my first Spanish meal - chips :) - and into the underground for the trip towards the Nou Camp. The train station was packed with many just jumping the turnstiles (ever the civic minded, Duncan led Mark and I to buy passes :) and we packed onto the platform and eventually onto the train. Lots of singing invloved, with everything being covered, and a resounding version of 'Taking Over Barcalona' everytime the doors opened to the bemusement of the locals trying to get home or somewhere. None I noted got on the trains! We managed to pick up a small family of Bayern supporters, led by their little old woman matriarcal leader of sorts, who seemed greatly amused to be pressed into me and Mark as Reds stormed on aftewards. They even tried to join in on the singing! We disembarked at the stop just before the Nou Camp and went off to find Kitty O'Shea's. Once there, there wasn't a Mick to be had anywhere, so we decided on a Guiness and Jamesons to reward our efforts and were gifted with the single largest short I've ever had the pleasure to greet that wasn't poured by myself! We settled out on the grassy area between the streets to enjoy the sun and the drink, and talk was of past glories, the lists, beating Murdoch, and how amazing a year it's already been. Just when we were in danger of waxing too lyrical, the drink was finished and we decided it was time to get ourselves in the ground. A short walk took us to where I had to say 'tara' to the two of them and head into my section. Being close enough to the kick off, we missed all the trouble and ejected supporters (due to the bootlegged tickets I believe), and I joined a small family of Reds and had a great conversation with the 8 year old, telling him that he'd be telling his grandchildren of this day! I got through no problem and had to climb a lifetime of stars before I emerged to see more Red than I ever dreamed, all pitched at an absurdly grotesque angle in steep rows, and climbed a few more to my seat, which was almost too perfect (wasn't quite close enough to see the facial reactions (or hair in Becks and Schmikes case!)) but angled so I could see all the play easily, and the goal we were defending to start. I was just to the left side (and up a few million feet) from goal. Well chuffed! I was happy to see that all of us 'yank' supporters were next to each other so we had company, and it was great to say hi to Clive, Steve, the really really nice Bloke, and the other gent who was with us (I really have to start writing people's names down at these things!). The sad note being that the gent who missed his flight missed meeting Steve in the Hard Rock and therefore missed the match. I felt for him after all that hope and travel. I'd missed most of the opening theatrics and was in time to see the lads come out to warm up, line up, and get ready to start. I won't go into details of the match that must be etched on all our minds, but I still think the free kick that Bayern got wasn't right. That's my opinion, and there you go. The line-up we started with didn't seem to work either, and we set up brilliantly but seemed to lack the killer touch in the finishing. Despite conceeding the early goal, though, we were in great voice. It was amazing to be in such a huge stadium where a song would start, and as we finished it you could hear it echoing around the stadium as the others ends caught up, only to start us up again. Everything was sung, with great heart, apart from 'Pride of All Europe' which myself and a bloke behind me tried desperately to get going to no effect. Maybe I was emboldened by these attempts and my new mate's help, but in a small lull I stood up and started the Calypso which *was* picked up and ended up going all around our area and eventually almost all over the place. That was one of the best moments of my life, full stop. Half time saw most of the USA branch off for food but myself and Clive who decided to stay put and argue over our performance. The game started again, and we looked better but really came back to form when Sheringham came on and we reverted to a more normal lineup (Giggs was odd on the right, Jesper wasn't at his best I'd say). From then on we seemed destined to get something in the net, but nothing came. The Germans failed to capitalise on some good attacking thanks to Schmikes and the bar, and we all know what happened! By the last ten minutes my voice was gone (well, it was gone at half time but I still kept up), and we all seemed so defeated the song left us. The Germans sang their one or two songs, and my mate behind me and I tried desperately to get our section back into voice, and made it through Pride all by ourselves, but nothing came of it. I was desperate as I literally felt we *HAD* to sing to get the ball in the net and it felt so, well, helpless. An odd thing to say when I really had no effect on the pitch, but that feeling must rank up with the lucky socks and all (I was wearing my lucky Euro jersey with Keano on it, in tribute to the great man, and one I only wear when playing Europe and I feel desperate enough to shove my fat self into it!). We were amassed around the goal when it all went so fast I couldn't follow the ball but to see the net bludge. And we erupted! The single greatest feeling swept through and I knew we'd won. I knew there'd be no overtime, and we were still singing and dancing when the next one went it and again all I saw was ball in net, and then, well, stars! This as my dancing and Clive's punching the air ended up with me being punched in the nose and blood doing a nice pour down my face. I just looked at my hand, laughed, and started singing again. Never *EVER* has a round of 'You're Not Singing Anymore' felt soooo good. Our earlier defiant 'We Shall Not Be Moved' became joyous, and the milli-second before the final whistle (was longer than I remembered when watching the video a few days later!) past in a blur. Again we erupted in song and cheers and Clive and I hugged, my new mate grabbed me from the back and we all sang and sang. The next while was just a blur of singing and crying as I couldn't control myself anymore. With one set of eye wiping the Bayern fans who seemed so thin on the ground outside but still filled their little area disappeared back to where-ever they were hiding before, and we watched the proceedings. I felt a little (very little) for the Bayern Munich players who littered the pitch in tears, realising what they had in their grasp but couldn't hold onto (we did out play them in the second half, I still say that), but all thoughts of anyone else and the rest of the world were gone watching our boys celebrate. The best of the best was when they took turns to quiet us down (shh shh) only to life the cup individually to our cheers. Our cries for Keano and Scholesie were met as they, joined by Henning Berg, came out, and the tears were back when the lads formed into the honour guard to bring them to us. After the lads were led off the pitch, Fergie having to pull off Yorkie (he did, didn't he?), the Red army started out, but I just collapsed back to rest after saying tara to the lads in the Yank branch. As I rested I felt a tousle on the head and turned to say goodbye to my new mate as he made off with the crowd. I watched people leave for a bit and had a quiet talk to myself and Sir Matt and then followed down. With the high of the win the millions of stairs were nothing and we flowed out in full song. I followed the hordes up towards the main road but stopped off to the side to have a quiet fag and just watched the Red Army sing by us, congradulating all that came by me and watching the telly crews tape us all singing. Eventually I found my legs and I made my way forward only to be met by Eric the Norweigan! We sang along with the group and walked towards Las Ramblas not wanting to be contained in the Metro, only wanting the fresh air and the song, and I tought him the lyrics to all the songs I could as we went along. Along the way we found a great big Salford Reds banner which Eric drapped over his shoulders and we moved on. Most of the way there we came across Steve Fisher who we joined (he seemed to know the way!) and we continued on to Las Ramblas where we parted from Eric (who hung the flag from my shoulders and made me promise to say hi to Linda for him ('Hi, Linda' says Eric!). Steve and I went off to find the Michael Collins via a small pub/restaurant where I ate an eggy thing and drank about ten cokes to try and get back my throat. Didn't work. We took twists and turns, got lost, tried to learn Spanish, and finally found a taxi when I thought I'd never walk again, who we convinced to take us to the Cathedral in the idea that the pub was near there. After thinking I'd been slipped a hallucinogenic drug looking at the cathedral, we followed the soung of song to where the pub was and were eventually re-united with Mark, PJ, Andrew, Ugly Jon, and much of the lot. A few pints and cokes went down nice, but shortly after they made us go either into the pub or home, so we went in. The heat went straight to my head. It was about 2am and I realised that there was no way I could stand anymore after all the emotion of the day, not too mention all the drink then and before and the lack of sleep from the previous nights. I had just decided to go out and kip on a bench when PJ and Mark offered me a space a bed in their and Peter's room as Mark was still fresh and ready to drink (and Peter was off). I realised that I was of no use to anyone anymore and was in danger of bringing them down!, so PJ guided me back along what by that time seemed an immense journey to the hotel. Once there, I was in bed faster than you could say 'Yip Yap' and slept firmly until Mark arrived at 7am to catch a quick hour before taking me and PJ to the airport. I vacated the bed and took a quick and brilliant shower and woke the lads to go and check out. As we went off to get my bags from Dunc and Mark (how I found that place again I've no idea), I started to have doubts about my memory of my flight. I was *sure* it was at 12, but as it turned out that was my flight from Madrid! We got to the airport about 20 minutes after my flight to Madrid left and I was in a panic, so I said a very very quick farewell to PJ and Mark and was off to beg for another flight. Iberia, seemingly very alert and helpful, stuck me on a 10.20, which would jsut get me there in time for my flight to Newark. Or so I though. I ran past Paul Gallen (who I saw briefly in the Hard Rock I think) and Graham (sorry I couldn't stop to talk lads, you now know why!) only to have to wait until nearly 11 for them to let us on the plane. All my pleading with the Iberia ground staff to call Continental to let them know I was a little late was ignored, and we didn't even take off until after 12. Landing in Madrid I was livid, and after clearing customs for the second time in two days (what do they think in that place?), I searched fruitlessly only to eventually find out that the Continental booth and check in area were closed! I hightailed it to information who sent me up to the closed off third floor where a little begging with security got me back to their offices. There they informed me that it was Iberia's fault and that they would transfer my State bound flight them, but since all flights to the USA were gone, they'd have to put me up as well. This done, I ran back down to Iberia information where I waited an hour in the queue watching the staff talk on the phone to their mates, have fag breaks and slowly help us in queue. When I got forward the woman who'd taken over (I watched almost two staff turn overs by then) proceeded to give me the fifth-degree before deciding that the nearly red with anger Red was worth helping, and then spent a leisurely half an hour setting up new ticket vouchers before telling me that I now had to queue up to get the tickets, go queue up to get the boarding past, before I could come back and queue up to get my room voucher and lift to the hotel. Another hour saw me make it through the other queues, and with boarding pass in hand, I queued another half anout hour before I was grabbed practially by the neck and dragged off by a (now) impatient coach driver. They presented the three of us being transferred to hotels with notes with times we wre due to be picked up. Now I'm not the brightest of bulbs, but I realised that 12.30 for a 1.30 flight wasn't quite right, and had a fruitless argument that only worked due to a gentleman from Puerto Rico translating for me. They still refused, but the gent got them to offer to take me back at 9.30 when they came for him 'but only if there was room'. Some help. After 40 minutes of driving we got to the hotel only for the driver to have the wrong one, drive us to the other. One in, the German guest (who was only too chuffed to tell me how glad he was we won as he hates Bayern!) was told he was in the first one, and the comedy continued. I only got to find out where my room was though my Puerto Rican mate, and then came the comedy of English/Spanish as I had to go up and down stairs to find a number to call the States to use my phone card to tell my girlfriend that I wasn't coming home that night! I was still a mix of emotions as I lie down later, elated from the day before, but missing my bed and Kat, and I passed out in confusion. I woke to use my food voucher more out of revenge to use the airline's money than hunger. The next morning I decided to sod the lot of them and caught a taxi which took ten minutes to get to the airport. So much for the coach driver's rush! I wanted to be there early as Continental said that they'd transfer back my tickets and I could fly the next day's version of the flight I missed, but upon getting to their box, I was refused. I nearly screamed obscenities at them when thy told me Iberia had to transfer it, so I went off to Iberia and had the same fight with them who refused due to having put me up. I'm not so sure why I'm so popular that they all want me on their flights, but there you go. They probably wanted to torture me for using their food voucher by making me stay on they're flight - to bloody Montreal as well as they had 'no connexions from New York to Boston'!. They did get the obscentities and then I went off to beg Continental again, and give them more of the same as I settled in for the 4 hour wait for my new flight. Some food, a duty free present for Kat (a small blessing from the delay there as I hadn't had a sober moment in Barca to get something for her!), and a chat with a Charlton supporting business man who had a complimentary ticket to the match but missed it due to an Iberia pilot strike! (I felt oh soo sorry for him, though not really!:) passed the time, and armed with all the dailies from the rather well stocked newsagent, I finally moved on to wait an extra half an hour for my flight, which actually passed nicely with no turbulance or prayer from me, and two movies, no food (they decided I wasn't worth stocking a vegetarian meal for), I finally got to Montreal only to find that Iberia had put me on a flight I could never get through customs in time for (they do American customs *in* Montreal for some odd reason). This was after some officious c*nt of a Canadian Customs agent decided I was dodgy and had to be searched because I dared tell him I was alone after telling two yanks I met just that moment that I would tell the flight agents that they were getting their luggage and would be a minute or two late. After a few desperate calls to Iberia, I got transferred to yet another bloody flight and fought my way back through customs and to the only bloody place you could drink and smoke there - a f*cking Cheers bar! Now this was taking the piss as Boston was the only place I wanted to be at that moment, so I joined in on the joke, got pissed and smoked my head off watching old Cheers episodes on video, and left only to find that my new flight hadn't arrived yet and was delayed an hour, so got drunker. Eventually plane came, bar, which was only opened for us last lot waiting for the plane, closed, and I wobbled on to the smallest commercial plane I've ever seen, and was joined by a rather nice chatty American who I talked to the whole hour of the flight. Landing in Boston, I was filled again with the joy from the win and all the travel troubles rolled off me as I hugged Kat and told her the details of the match! Typically it then took us nearly 2 hours to travel th 20 minutes from airport to home, and I finally got in my flat at 12.30am, nearly exactly 48 hours from when I started off on my '9 hour' journey... But every second worth it! It took me a few days (in which I moved flat and discovered that I'd broken a bone in foot in Barcalona that I'd been walking on for a week after before I got it checked) to get over the elation at the match/depression to be away from my mates and the game, and to write this long missive. Finally I think back on a couple of points that Clive, myself, and the lads predicted before the match, that came true. For one, I was sure that the place would be full, that the 'buffer zone' would disappear along with all the Spanish FA's tickets, and it did. The place was wedged. Secondly, I knew there'd be no overtime. Finally, as Clive stated rightly - once we scored one, we'd score again no trouble. True! Fantastic! Afterwards someone said to me that it wouldn't really all hit me until I watched it again on video. The Sunday after I got back, Kat and I sat on my bed in for almost the last time in my old flat (and I still hadn't started packing!), we sat and watched it, and I cried like a baby, it all flooding back to me, wave after joyous wave, and we watched all the celebration on at the end. That night season came to a perfect end as the Boston Reds got back together for an end of season party at the Plough and Stars and got pissed as newts... And all I regret is not bing able to see Mick, Peter and Hal. Cheers everyone. Congradulations again on a brilliant season and I'll see you all again next season! tara - Sean
SIR Alex Ferguson! Congrats from Manchester United Support All Over the World!"

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