Respected German daily newspaper Wunter Under Meijer today focused on an almost forgotten part of football: The fans. In an age where TV has taken over and fans find themselves marginalised, Wunter takes the time to hear the compelling - and at times, heartbreaking - story of Brian and Christian, two Manchester United fans...
''Well we were coming to the end of a disappointing season (04/05) where Chelsea finished as Champions'', says Christian, who is 53. ''However, my world just fell apart when Brian walked into the pub in a Chelsea shirt. He tried to make me understand, tried to tell me I should support Chelsea as they were the next big thing but I couldn't... I mean I've supported United all my life, since 1992.''
Devastated, Christian swore never to talk to Brian again. He even moved to the other side of Surrey in an attempt to put some distance between himself and his fickle friend. After all, when football was invented in 1992, Christian chose United and stuck with them... Who did Brian think he was picking a team just because they were successful?
Brian continued to try and build bridges with Christian but the betrayal was too much for Christian to bear. They hadn't spoken for fully two years until the end of the 06/07 season, when there was a knock on Christian's door. His wife answered and came into the kitchen, where Christian was reading about United's recapture of the Prem title in a copy of the Knosuj Place times, sister publication of Wunter. ''It's Brian...'' she said.
''Not interested, get rid of him'', came Christian's reply.
''I really think you should see this...'', pleaded Christian's wife.
Reluctantly, Christian got up and went out to the door. His face lit up, however, and his heart soared when he caught glimpse of his old mate in his United jersey and scarf, clutching the '99 Treble commemorative DVD.
''It's me, mate, it's Brian'', beamed his old friend, ''I'm a prawn again Christian!''