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Sunday, 6 November 2011

image for 25 Years Of Sir Alex Ferguson - Thanks For The Memories Boss Leg It! The Scousers Are Coming!

From a Red

It wasn't always good.

26 years without winning the league. An FA Cup win over Palace, and the following season, a wet night in Rotterdam when we beat Barcelona in the Cup Winner's Cup final.

At last - a European prize.

Following five years of oblivion.

A failed title challenge, culminating in embarrassment at Anfield - to the delight of the Scousers. Leeds win the league - but they're never quite sure what to do with a bloke called Cantona.

United's players, led by Steve Bruce do a lap of honour at Old Trafford following the final game of the season. Close, but not quite good enough.

Goodbye Stretford End. Those were the days.

It wasn't always perfect. And despite popular opinion, it wasn't always easy.

Wimbledon 1993 - the last game of the season - an unnamed Spoof writer takes his wife to what's the first big game of her life. Vinnie Jones tries to break Paul Ince's legs within four seconds of the kick off. It's mental. United fans are everywhere - United legend Pete Boyle even streaks across the pitch as reds drink the pub we were in, literally dry.

United fans up floodlight pylons at Selhurst Park, train after train at Victoria Station disgorging literally thousands of travelling United fans, and a guy singing his own personal tribute to Leeds - "Who's the champions now?" brandishing a can of beer.

United fans outside Buckingham Palace gates asking a certain Spoofer to take pics:

"Smile - and say we are the champions!"

Four o clock Sunday morning getting home after that outing.

Celtic at OT in a pre-season friendly...WTF? Manchester's in Scotland?

Seemed like it that day. Couldn't buy a drink in the bar at Stretford Sports Centre - the Celtic fans wouldn't have it. They insisted on buying the drinks.

Handshakes and friendship throughout - how the beautiful game should be. Mutual respect. Not always like that - but it would be a whole lot better if it was.

Things got better after that.

Couldn't make the Nou Camp in 1999 - so had to settle for watching it on TV. It was torture. With United's European tradition, it looked for all the world like we'd lost it.

Of course, the rest is history, but one TV viewer and lifelong fan that night, who couldn't believe what he was seeing as Sheringham and Solskjaer tied it up...could only sit dumbstruck. In shock. Remembering Munich, Sir Matt Busby, and his own personal legacy.

Manchester United.

"Ian's crying!" his stepdaughter joked.

But Ian was.

He's been crying an awful lot, with joy and sorrow, and probably always will, because Manchester United Football Club is a part of him, and always will be.

It was after an away game at Arsenal in November 1992, and a big ruck on the Clock End that he first became involved with the lady who was to become his wife...on Cup Final day in 2007. It was a long engagement and took a trip to Florence and a proposal on the Ponte Vechio to rejuvenate it.

United lost to Chelsea on wedding day, but spirits weren't dampened, although a little taken aback.

Been there, bought the T-shirt, lived the life.

Wet Monday nights in Southampton, freezing gale force winds in Portsmouth, loving it at Leeds, even standing on the old Kop at Anfield but not saying much on that occasion. Tottenham in the pissing rain, Chelsea, West Ham, Cardiff - it's been an unforgettable journey.

Thanks Sir Alex - and long may you reign.

And thanks to my beautiful wife.

More when Mourinho gets it.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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