My Brief History of Manchester United

It’s always great to hear a football fan’s story. As Sir Alex Ferguson announces his retirement, guest blogger Martin Richardson writes about his favourite memories as a Manchester United fan.

Spoilt rotten over the years

Alex Ferguson Copyright Austin Osuide and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 2
Alex Ferguson

Having been an avid Manchester United fan from the age of 7, I can honestly say with hand on heart, that I have been absolutely spoilt rotten over the years. I was only 2 years of age when Alex Ferguson joined from Aberdeen.

It was a cold, blustery November day in 1986 with the sun riding low in the sky and to which I have absolutely no recollection of. I would imagine a lot of the media as well as football fans had heard good things coming from Scotland but few would have imagined what he would go on to achieve.

Cantona – My all time hero
My first visit to Old Trafford
United win the treble
United’s main rivals
Life after Ferguson

My all time hero, Eric Cantona

My first real memory of being a united fan was when we signed my all time hero, Eric Cantona. I remember thinking, I’ve never heard of this bloke but Fergie looks well chuffed with the fact that he had got him.

That was November 1992. Football wasn’t as easily accessible as it is today when I was younger; or it might have been but my mum wasn’t that up for watching it, so I had to make do with the end of season highlight compilation on VHS.

Even worse, I usually got it for Christmas so meant that I had to wait till half way through one season to start watching the last! The kids at school would all be talking in the playground about the goal Cantona scored or the ball from Giggsy, while I’d be standing there with my fingers in my ears trying not to listen as I didn’t want to ruin my Christmas present in 18 months time.

Cantona sent off at Crystal Palace

Then the call came I had been waiting for. My uncle Allan, a lifelong season ticket holder at Crystal Palace had asked my mum if I would like to accompany him to Palace v United. It would mean missing the day off school, but I said to mum, that was fine. (Turns out that was the day they were doing the cycling proficiency tests. All those years I was cycling illegally!).

Wednesday 25th January 1995, the day Eric became my hero. I have little, if any recollection about the game, but I do remember Eric going insane. The game finished one all apparently. We actually lost the league that year to Blackburn, and I genuinely blame that sour Palace fan for being so rude; I don’t even think he’d met Eric’s mother. At secondary school I met fans of rival teams for the first time

Cantona – My all time hero
My first visit to Old Trafford
United win the treble
United’s main rivals
Life after Ferguson