That Was The Week That Was

"10 Day Trip To Old Trafford "  May 1997

Throstles Nest  

Pt 1 Introduction + Party :

Well here we go folks, I am back in Denmark after a tremendous 10 days in England revolving around a certain RED town called "Manchester" and my Father's birthday in London. This diary will cover the RED related stuff although I will mention my Dad's speech on Sat May 3rd!

Day 1 Thurs 1st May: arrived Gatwick 8am borrowed Dad's car and drove down to Dorchester for the night. Discovered that my mobile phone was not working without adding the 0045 prefix. I then managed to catch my son in Denmark, before he left, so this fact was posted on the list for the benefit of those who were calling the reception at Winfrith Atomic Power Station in Dorset! They thought we were spying but after an explanation all was forgiven. I think it must all have been in aid of the confuse Mick Meade, Pete Hargreaves and Alan Dobson Fund!

Day 2 Fri 2nd May: drove to Epsom ready for party and the start of a week to remember. One particular birthday card which had arrived was from Bill "A fellow Man United supporter". The postmark was of course Winnipeg, well done and thankyou very much Bill! Spoke to Pete, Alan and Mick on the phone trying to plan the next week. Provisional arrangement due to early kick off was The Throstles after the match!
Mick had to go back on the bus but Alan and Pete/Hal would be able to make it + others as will be revealed soon.

Day 3 Sat 3rd May: Dad's 70th birthday party in London town starting early afternoon. Video recorded the Leicester match, the first we new of anything happening was during Dad's speech "Sorry to inform all Man United supporters that the last report we heard was that Leicester City were 2 up!" I felt a bit peculiar not knowing if it was true. Five mins later at the end of the speech Dad quipped


Me? I didn't know what to believe, the facts turned out to be true but they sounded unlikely at the time and they were only comments picked up from the 103 guests as they arrived! I was pretty chuffed when I saw the video not really knowing the score, something told me it was true when Leicester went 2-0 up! Great atmosphere all day and more to come. In Denmark we write songs for the person who is celebrating so we did one for Dad. The tune was "When The Saints Go Marching In" the last verse being

"Oh when the REDS, go marching in
  And when UNITED win the league
  I will be in that number
  When the
REDS go marching in

Dad had to open the box in front of him, it contained tickets for both UNITED v Boro & UNITED v Newcastle. An extra feature would be a guided tour of OT Tues morning at 11am. Pete Hargreave's had said that he would try and book the very same tour.

Pt.2 United v Boro Match Report:

Day 4 Sun 4th May:
the day before take off a day of rest. Spent the day relaxing eating drinking & planning the next week. We drove my family to the airport they returned to Denmark early Sunday evening. Dad and I drove to friends in Chesham North of London where we would drive to OT early next morning. Lights out 12 midnight.

Day 5 Mon 5th May: sleeping difficult Dad & I woke at 5am! We decided to shower and drive off at this early hour. This was Bank Holiday Monday in Uk so there was absolutly no traffic at this time of day. I noticed two quick flashes in the night as we drove out of Amersham. This had been a photo speed check, wonder if Dad will get a ticket at this early hour?? We now had to drive to Manchester and find the Palace Hotel where our tickets for both games would be waiting at hotel reception. Due to early start and no traffic we arrived at The Palace around 9.30am even tho' we had stopped on the M6 for breakfast. There were already REDS about the place and anticipation was high.

The sun had been out when we left the South but as "It Never Rains In Manchester" yes you guessed, it started pouring down on our arrival and the sky's gradually darkened! We checked in and our room was ready so unpacked and checked out our tickets, North Stand Tier 2. We parked the car in Manchester and took the Metro from St Peter's Square to OT. It was raining cats and dogs by now and our only cover a single brolly. When we hopped off the Metro it was 11am, 1 hour to kick off and our only thought was to walk straight to the cover of the main stand. Programs 1.50 and a new scarf. We entered at gate N47 soaked to the skin from waist down! Still excited we climbed to Tier 2 and found our seats lining up with the Stetford end goal line. The view was magnificent, it was still throwing it down but there were some of the players out on the pitch warming up for a short time. Music blasted out and the new medley before kick-off Cantona, Ryan Giggs running down the wing, David May Superstar etc...the medley was really great (anyone know where it is available on Cd or what to ask for?).

Match program Fergie
"I am sure all our supporters will know exactly what I mean about pain and frustration of going out just one step from Munich. But let's get htis right, we need feel no shame and the players can hold their heads high. This was no failure as a result of being out of our depth or struggling to come to terms with a championship of champions. We have youth on our side in our team and so many of them are going to get better that I have no doubts that we will be a force when we try again in Europe."

Floodlights switched on, was it not early evening?, at 12 noon the players came out to a great ROAR many also appreciating the appearance of Bryan Robson of course. Still no Giggs but the return of Beckham, Johnson and Irwin a promising omen. We were sat with Norweigens Danes and Manchester girls who kept us singing, sitting just behind us.

The game: United strong but Boro' looking dangerous in attack Ravenelli hitting the post early on. Suddenly and from our super high position we could see Boro's attack building up to a goal by Juninho involved twice with Hignett and in some ways no surprise. United stormed back Johnson booked for a foul on Juninho, Solksjaer missed an open goal for once. United were really stepping up the pace now Cole broke through shooting only to see his shot blocked, the rebound went to Roy Keane and bang, it was 1-1. We felt just fine and goose shivers down the back as the 50000 crowd sang "KEANO". Fantastic atmosphere and acoustics in the stadium. Suddenly Ravenelli was being carried off on a stretcher, the crowd applauded sportingly but we were NOT prepared for the next two minutes!

Emerson danced round David May and smashed the ball in off the underside of the bar. We were sat on the line and it all happened right in front of us. Most fans around me looked in dis-belief and even more when straight away Boro went 3-1 up from a mistake by Irwin, Mustoe and Hignett connected up for a close header. Schmeichel was not at fault, it was just poor defending! What now? I always kept the faith and believed throughout the whole match that we would WIN! United stormed back again and 3 mins before half time Gary Neville connected up to a stormer in the far bottom corner. I think the pass was from Eric (as usual) 2-3, relief!

We were now much happier and at half time I managed to phone Mike Meade on the mobile. He was standing just below nearer the halfway line. He explained that he had to catch the coach back so would not be able to meet up at the Throstles after the game. No comment on Uniteds play!

2nd half and IT WAS STILL RAINING. No changes Pallister booked (Juninho again) and Juninho shot just over again. United were playing best now and rewarded when the move Ronny Johnson to G.Neville on the far wing crossed to Solksjaer who flickedthe ball in at the far bottom corner 3-3 and OT ERUPTED AGAIN! "You are my Solksjaer" louder and louder, I really thought we were going to win. Boro defended desperatly, Scholes Beckham Cole went close and Irwin should have had a penalty when he was clearly brought down at the close. It was not to be. It rained, it poured and we were to be content with a well earned draw. Considering 5 minutes before half time it had been 1-3 I was reasonably happy.
A win over Newcastle would give us the championship (I thought)......

Walking through the now constant Manchester Rain mixed feelings on the match. Now to find the THROSTLES NEST! Down Sir Matt Busby Way I asked fellow Reds for directions. Some bloke said "Do you fancy getting wet? Follow me!". I guessed by this it was quite a way and Dad & I brolly in hand just decided to get wet  :-)  Joe

Arrival, I guess 20 mins later, bar full and queue for drinks, looking round "first" the famous faces of Pete and Hal. Other list members sitting round the table "the one and only" Alan Dobson, Kerry Davies, Dr Mark and Joe Parsonage. There were a few other faces probably non list members, sorry if I forgot someone. Pete and Hal quickly wished Dad "Happy Birthday" he sat down with Hal to talk of the Busby years and to recover from the Long Wet Walk! A round of shandy later Alan explained he had taken the train up today just to meet me, wow how about that! Great to chat with Pete and company. We were all quickly agreed on Man of the Match "Juninho" although Gary Neville very close and the best RED! I took plenty of pics. SORRY FOLKS Since that famous day I have developed the film and the camera lens had misted up in the Throstles heat and all the pics look like a listpics Turkish bath!! Mike Meade would have course revelled in that but unfortunatly missed out! Blame the weather folks, such a disapointment. Just wait tho', there are plenty of GOOD photos from OT and the virtual tour to come....                           The MancunianTurkish Bath

Rangers lost to Motherwell on the big screen and we all cheered, Dad was hungry and I went up to the bar where I met the landlords Jan and Rob. When I gave her the Listpics Euro-print which I had in my pocket I was given pastie and chips on the house! Dad tucked into the grub and we all chatted till around 5 or 6pm when Alan had to catch the last train and others were on their way. Dad and I called a cab, no one else in sight we drove into "The Palace" were we spend a quiet evening eating and drinking the night away. The cabbie explained that he had often driven Eric and that he was just a real gentleman!

It had been a great day and MORE was to come

Pt 3 Old Trafford Tour:  ...Pete, Jack & Barry.   

Day 6 Tues 6th May: woke up early at the hotel & I wandered down to Picadilly to find out times of trains for Thursday. The express was advertised with a fine pic of "Czech Out the Express Train" Porborsky. Last train to London 8 pm, that was much to early & that meant we would have to drive up and find a hotel. Bought a few newspapers which contained comment from Fergie like "The defence had let in 2 easy goals and the bad defending would not be tolerated this time" change expected for the next game. A large English breakfast, picked up our Red Cafe tickets for Thursday, checked out of hotel and drove down to OT where we had arranged to meet Pete 10.30 am in the coffee bar at the museum entrance.

Pete arrived and we were all booked on the same tour. Half an hour was spent looking round tropies, pics, Sir Matt memorials, Munich newspapers, relics, old kits and much more. Pictures will be available soon on the web site. The tours go each hour but we booked as it is often fully booked in advance. We started off outside and we entered through Bar 68 and went on to the Press Room where we were able to sit down comfortably and listen. We were told that we could take pictures but NOT off the walls as our guide pointed to at least one missing at the back. Some people do take this literally! Video screens ares positioned above the stage with several seats where the press can interview Alex after games. This was also the room where Eric had signed on that famous day in Nov 92. The whole match is taped on a video timer so anyone in the press quoting an incident at a specific time can see the incident in close up and then discuss the actions taken with Fergie. Our guide explained that we would see the ground, changing rooms, tunnel and security on our tour.

We then went out on the terracing above the South Stand Upper and looked down on the pitch where the groundsmen were busy repairing the pitch from the day before. The groundsman Ken explained that IF the referee had checked the pitch 30 mins after he had done the day before. Then the match would have been postponed due to the saturated condition of the pitch. I can only agree with him, although today I am pleased they played. It would of course been a completly different game had it been dry and would have favoured United's play more than Boro's. He also asked us if we could spot any white lines? They had been completely washed away by the rain!

There had been trouble with the shady South Part of the pitch for a few years so our guide told us that United had imported and planted Kentucky Grass a few years back. The local United supporters had then been asked to dig up there gardens and deliver all their worms in cans to the club to help the new grass grow quickly. From our high vantage point we looked down on the fine roomy disabled area on the East Lower Stand.

Next stop was the highly placed security room where the chief superintendant for Manchester would be on match days. There are many screens, four cameras and controls which enable the whole security operation to work on match days. I have a good photo of Pete Hargreaves standing in the control center with a sign over his head "Quiet Please", he has not seen the excellent pic yet so don't tell him will you :)) OT pay around 3000 pounds per match for police security. Each of the 55.000 seats can be filmed by a press of a button. If crowd control is required then there is a holding prison. Although we asked we were not shown round it, there had been one over zealous lady locked up last season during a match, anyone you know Linda? The police can then decide after the game on
when person's detained should be released (or not).

There is a system which can evacuate a full OT in 15 mins flat. The gates can be opened electronically, on the event of a generator back failure then persons standing by each gate at every match can manually release them. These persons must never leave thir posts during a game, anyone on the list fancy a job!

Our guide explained that his responsibility before each game was to test the drawbridge which can lift all the seats just above the players tunnel where ambulances can drive directly on to the pitch if need be. This has to be tested each time to prove that it was still in working order! Another feature in the security center was a screen showing at any time how many people were in the ground at any time.
There is a facility to close each part of the ground seperatly.

Next stop was the Old Players tunnel where we went out in front of the bricked home and away reserves position. I stood in Fergie's position for a pic, Pete also took pics as he showed me the seats in the North Stand where he and Hal sit. They have had the same seats, just above the N in Manchester for 26 years non-stop, amazing true supporters as we all know of course!

Looking round from here the sun was shining (not like the previous day) and OT was SIMPLY MAGNIFICENT.

My camera was running out of film again so was Pete's, "sods-law" as Pete said.

On to the Players Lounge. Not too roomy but included a bar, seating, kids room, tv lounge. This could be used for playres and special guests only. Amazing how many friends players would have on match day's quoted our guide. The walls are covered all round with Club Captains and a board showing the International Appearances of All Time Man United Players. There was a tribute to the European Cup Winning Team hanging on one wall hand made by a true fan whilst staying at Dartmoor around the time of The Busby Era!

Further on to the Changing Rooms and there we were facing the red pegs from nr 1 on the left Schmeichel, through to Eric's peg 7 and over on the other corner to the favorite pegs nr 10 & 11 where our David & Ryan would have their kit's laid out for each match. Further in on the left a fine bathroom with combined large and small bathing areas. Natural colour theme red of course and I will soon have picture proof on the web site! Large water containers a feature of the changing rooms, these would be taken with them on all away trips to make sure of no stomach upsets due to local water stability.

On past the boot room (no guests allowed due to people unable to resist swapping boots over so Schmikes size 11's went to Paul's 7's! Out into the new players tunnel fairly roomy long and closed in. The tunnel can be extended whilst players walk in and out to prevent crowd contact before or after matches.

We walked down the tunnel, more pictures and admired OT from this angle,
in one word "WOW!"

I had enjoyed the tour immensely, next year I will remember to take more film with me, but there are enough pics for a fairly comprehensive web site on the subject.

Pete and I stood and took the last pics on our roll's of film and I thanked him for coming round with Dad and I even though it was nothing new for him.
The price of a tour? 5 pounds and WELL worth it!
A fact that was mentioned was that there was a waiting list for VIP trips to OT on match days including champagne lunch, box and players lounge after the game.
Pete and I decided we would put our names on that list.  Price? 111 pounds!
Does not sound bad to me as if one books match tickets and hotel through London Sports it costs 110 pounds including breakfast!

Pete had to go to work we had been in the ground around 90 mins, so he went on leaving Dad and I in the Megastore to stock up on souvenirs! Some of the articles I bought, David Beckham away shirt,the Double Double Cd rom, books, badges and coffee mugs. You can buy anything from Man U slippers to a pencil sharpener. No music tho'?? I asked but nothing was available. The time was now 3pm and we drove back down to London. 3-4 hrs later we arrived tired and it was time for a Man Utd scotch & a good nights sleep!

Pt 4...London Meet

Day 7 Wed 7th May: I forgot to mention in pt 3 that the Tuesday evening was spent in front of the tv watching 44 players run round to no avail. Results went our way 2-1 to Dons and 0-0 Toon MAN UNITED WERE CHAMPIONS AGAIN!

Phone calls to Pete Mike and Alan (if I remeber right) we are all on form tonight :)))

Waking up "down South" in Epsom, Surrey I decided to make a shopping excursion to London town. I found myself in Foyles Book Shop near Tottenham Court Road and on the 3rd floor there were all the RED books.  I purchased:

The Theatre of Dreams                                                  Ian McCartney,
  Glory Glory Man United                                                Bryan Robson,
  Gibson Guarantee The Saving of Man United              Peter Harrington
  The Father of Football The Story of Sir Matt Busby    David Miller
  Manchester United Pocket Annual 96-97                      Phil Bradley
  The Complete Man United Trivia Fact Book                Michael Crick

Time for Chicken & beer down the Dog & Fox Pub. Tastes good, mobile phone rings its Mike Meade from Southampton! Will not be able to make the meet in London today due to enormous work pressure (something about he had forgotten his make up and would not be able to turn up). On to Oxford Street via Soho no music available tho'. Someone please tell me where to buy all the Red records and cd's!

By this time a meet with Mike Dobbin of Brewster Accounting in Farringdon was arranged. I took the tube in an array of homecomimg commuters they were going the other way and the quese for tickets were long. Arrived at Faringdon on the Northern line at 17.30 and drinks down the local 18.00 hrs.

I met Mike at work, he duly showed me his background drop of a completely Red win95 bmp file. Down to the pub and several pints later we had chatted about London Support, travel, the team and congratulated on our newly won Premier League! Mike Dobbin goes to ALL United matches including friendlies, he is well known as Travel Secretary for the London Fan Club the last 26 years! Other famous list members had not turned up but there again we had changed the day from Friday to Wednesday due to unforseen circumstances. I had no camera with me that day so no pics of this "small" meet for the listpics, sorry! By the way Mike did tell me of another good sports book shop called Sportspages, and is situated in a in Caxton Walk, a small alleyway on the east side of Charing Cross Road 94-96. It stocks only sports items, and in addition to books has fanzines, cassettes, videos, CD's and various other sports-related items.
There is also a branch in
Manchester (Barton Square, St Annes' Square).

Time to move on and Thursday was the going to be the big Red Cafe Trip and Toon KenKevShearDay. Hotels were hard to come by, even Jan & Rob at the Throstles could not help. My Dad knowing many people up North came up trumps with the last room at "The Swan" 6 miles South of OT in Cheshire. Bed and breakfast booked that would mean that we could make the Throstles after the game the following day   :-)

Pt 5 Red Cafe + Match Report v Toon:         

Day 8 Thurs 8th May: this was to be our 3rd visit to OT in ONE WEEK and the second Premier League match. Leaving Epsom at the reasonable hour of 10am this time, our evening at OT was to start at 17.30pm with the Red Cafe.

Motorway driving was heavier this time as we had to plough through all the run of the mill traffic. Happy that we
had our "Lady in a Box" as Dad calls her. "Traffic Flowing Freely", around spagetti junction in Birmingham she uttered the words delay slow moving traffic on M6 so we left the motorway for an hour on the A-roads. Stopped for a Big Double D Burger at Burger King and then on to the Swan Hotel, Knutsford, Cheshire.

Checking in at 3pm we were only 6 miles direct drive on Chester Road to the ground. We were able to relax & drink a cuppa before moving on to the ground, Sky Sports were showing Netbusters 2-2 v Leicester. Leaving early and arriving at OT 16.30, Dad planned to park the car near the ground so he could save on his knees when we would go to Throstles after the match. Only 2 and half hours before kick off and the roads around Old Trafford still fairly quiet! We drove past Lou Macari's fish & Chips and proceeded to drive up behind the North Stand to the official car park. The attendant stopped us asking for ID, I flashed Red Cafe tickets and amazingly we were allowed in. This is a supervised car park so there would be no problems and Dad would be able to wait in the car after the game before driving on to the Throstles Nest.     


The time being 5pm, I spent half an hour in the museum again using the complimentary Red Cafe tickets. There were many fans mingling around the players entrance as the coaches had obviously not arrived yet. I took a few pics of souvenir stands and the yellow and black striped Manchester Evening News wagon. Bought a few copies of the Champions Souvenir Edition and then on to Door 8 North Stand Main Entrance.

Here is the Red Cafe deal:
     Museum pass approx 1 hour before arrrival time
     17.30pm onwards arrival
     Three course meal
     Meal includes wine, cash bar facility available
     Special souvenir of visit
     Match program
     Match ticket   ko 20.00 pm

The lift took Dad and I up to level 3 where we were invited into a really special RED Atmosphere. A really modern room with tv's everywhere, walls covered in United pics, memories and a gigantic video wall. Shown to our seats we met our waitress Lynne and met Dan who would help out with drinks.

We settled down and ordered 2 Boddies to start the evening. I took the chance as it was not too crowded to film several parts of the Cafe. I will soon present these on a new Virtually Red Web Page! Lynne arrived with the first course Seafood Cocktail. The cafe was filling up and it was great just sitting there 2 hours before kick off relaxing only a stone's throw from  North Stand Tier 2  Block 3406  Row 23  Seat 0088.

The video's being shown ranged from the Busby Era to the Double Double and the service was just fine. Time for our main course Sirloin Steak, Peppercorn Sauce and vegy of the day. Dan arrived with Red Cafe Wine please do not ask the colour :) I asked Dan where he was from and was surprised when he answered "Fernabahce!". It turns out that he is a Man United Supporter who has a split personality on the days of famous European Cup ties! Dan showed me the Fernabahce pennant in the Red Cafe's flag display.

A young lady came over and introduced herself as Julie Leckie from London Sports Northern Branch in Lymm, Cheshire. She had helped me booking the whole week at OT and thanks were well deserved. Julie had, over 2 months, moved match tickets and hotel bookings three times due to Alex's antics in the fixture pileup!
Julie dressed in black & white?? is a strict Eric lover and was sat at another table with some of the girls from Palace Hotel

We had been joined by Ireland at our table and a young Norweigen (complete with red and white Top Hat) was sitting at another table. Service continued with a smile and even more photos were taken. Our friendly waiters Dan and Lynne will make an appearance on the web site :)) Michael my son phoned on the mobile to tell me that the whole game was going out "live" in Scandinavia. He would tape the match for me :) Time for desert, Fresh Fruit Tart and coffee to finish off. An excellent meal and gave us good time to read Fergie's pre match comments in the program:

"I always say that if you win one trophy a season you are not doing too badly and that is the thought uppermost in my mind as we welcome Newcastle United to Old Trafford this evening."
Alex had written his bit after Monday's game but BEFORE Tuesday's results...
"I have no hesitation saying after Monday's match that our defending was arguably the worst in the last six years, and I'm sure our supporters were just as disappointed and frustrated as I was. But at the same time I must point out that our last two performances have had one thing in common which I think reflects a very valuable quality. I'm talking here about the commitment of the team to fight back."

Fine words by Fergie and now it was time to find our seats 45 mins before kick off. Thanks to the Red Cafe for an excellent start to the evennig and we arrived at our seats to see the team warming up on the pich. Crowd already singing and we were sitting level with the half way line this time :))

An aircraft flies over dragging a flag saying "MUFC Carling Champions Again!" Great atmosphere. Phone rings in my pocket it was Mick Meade from the local hairdressers, his perm was taking longer than expected and he would be late. SO late we would not have the pleasure of meeting him although we had missed by a close shave on several occasions!

Still no Giggs, Irwin & Pallister on the bench. The team welcomed such players as Porborsky and McClair (on for Keane after 10 mins). Kenny had obviously told Newcastle to "Stand Up" for the Champions as they lined up to
clap our boys on to pitch!

Shearer was simply drowned the whole game booing and "Cheer Up Alan Shearer, and a Shite football team" ringing out at every possibility. This was a kind of exhibition match Eric, Gary, Phil, in fact everybody playing well. We were easily the best side the 5000 Newcastle supporters almost drowned out for the whole match.

First real action Phil Neville back heels the ball thro' to Andy who races clear of Srnicek only to fall in a heap of larms & legs. Excellent chance gone. "David May Superstar Got More Medals than Shear'ar" rings out in the bright night air! The evening light was much brighter than the previous game which had kicked off at 12 noon with floodlights!!

Albert booked for a trip on the "Express Train" Porborsky, Johnson stamped his authority on Shearer and was also booked! Eric brings out the best in Srnicek, Scholes blasts a long shot against the post and Andy hits the same post with a shot. It must be said Newcastle hit the post with a soft shot via May in the 2nd half. If this had gone in it would have been an injustice.

Solksjaer came on with 15 mins left and maybe should have scored in front of goal. This time blasting a volley just over from 10-15 yds out! Crowd still singing like mad "You Are My Solksjaer". Shearer got the treatment right to the very end, no reaction from the man himself, I am sure he felt sick inside tho'. The team went off no cup, no run round blast Sky, Dad & I will not be there to enjoy the fun on Sunday!

"CHAMPIONS" repeated 19.999 times "Oh What A Beautiful day!

Last Part: Throstles pt2 + Trip Home:
Day 8 cont: 21.50 after the game I sarted walking to the Throstles, Dad would wait in the car and follow after the crowd had dispersed. There were a few scuffles just in front of the ground as Newcastle supporters pushed their way out singing 5-0. The mounted police succesfully did their work coming between the fans. I walked on over the bridge past all the stalls, I bought a Bumper Issue of Red News containg Dortmund Reports. On to the Throstles, fans all a buzz with the thoughts of a fine season singing and generally in an expectant mood for the party Sunday.

Arriving at the pub there were the usual crowds at the bar and after a short wait grabbed a pint of Boddies. No familiar faces? Yes, sitting at a table up the stairs at the back there was Pete and Hal. Where is Dad? I explained that he would be along later as he was saving on his knees in the car. Pete explained that Fish, Linda and various others had been in before the match but could not make it after the game for various reasons. Pity that, but we had experienced the Red Cafe so you can't win them all! Chatted about the game, Hal was disapointed that we had not won, Pete said that we were by far the better team and we should be happy about that, plus we are the Champions now so there was no problem. Dad turned up, quite quickly really considering traffic so Hal went off to the bar for more drinks.

We relaxed and talked about the ups and downs and history of Man United FC. Pete told us that they were expecting a houseful of Eskimos at the Championship party on Sunday. I told them that the Scandinavian Club was expected and with others like Rob Durie there would be quite a crowd. I am sure Peter will keep us up to date with his faithful camera! Thanks and goodbyes were exchanged and back to the Swan Hotel for a well earned rest.

Day 9 Fri 9th May: the sun was shining in the Manchester, early breakfast, bacon, egg, tomato, mushrooms, fried bread and "black pudding?" no thanks :) The drive down to London went fairly smoothly "Traffic Flowing Freely" our Lady in a box warned us off the motorway just once and e.t.a. was 1400 hrs and time to see Match of the Day recorded Thursday night. Alan Hansen's positive comments were refreshing and the very short presentation confirmed the fact that United were the best team, constant pressure and close to scoring several times through Eric, Andy(2), Paul whacking the bar from 30 yds and Brian.

Congrats to Brian McClair who managed to take out Shearer on the edge of the box, Shearer's free kick blasted over the bar
"Cos Alan Shearer was f-----g dearer, So please don't take my Solskjaer away."

Day 10 Sat 10th May: up at 8am time to pack my bags, all the souvenirs would make me slightly overweight on the plane. Epsom Market 10am and my last cup of tea and an eccles cake. I even bought a couple of mini Red Car-Scarves at the market which would no doubt come in useful at some future date. Gatwick 1300 hrs flight on time bottle of Scotch and cocs for the family. Managed to phone Pete from the Boarding Gate it was raining again!

Two hours later landed in Denmark and was met by my son who duly received his new David Beckham shirt.
That is the end of 10 days in
Red Heaven. Highly recommended of course.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Before I go, time to be controversial for next season. Buy Juninho, a world class striker (anyone in Fernando class) and a midfielder in Batistuta class, but NEVER SELL Eric OR Andy. We will then have the right blend and enough back up for injuries which seem to affect such great names as Palli, Giggs, Keane and the Neville's.
If we need a bob or two we can sell Cruyff & Porborsky.
See you next season in

(June 97: ok I know Eric retired, who would have guessed that?!)

Greetings to all United Supporters All Over The World :))


"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think that sardines will be thrown into the sea"

Eric Cantona: 31.03.95 Info on Eric here!