When Dale first approached me about writing a retro style column, I was mildly interested in doing it as I’m in no way, shape or form a writer, however time is a precious commodity for me (& for a lot of us) what with a full time job and two kids to bring up but the more I thought about it the more I thought that it could be a bit of fun.
So I decided to go ahead and do it, mainly because of the interest from the Twitter account which has been mindblowing since I started it 18 months ago. What has really captured the imagination is the interaction with us fans, both young and err not so young, from our past heroes especially Brian Greenhoff (sadly no longer with us), Norman Whiteside, Paul Mcgrath and more recently Lou Macari and the brilliant Bryan Robson.
I was born in Jan 1972 so missed most of the much loved Tommy Doc era including our relegation in 1974. I vaguely remember the 1976 FA Cup Final and THAT Southampton goal (which if you watch it on YouTube was offside) but I really got hooked in 1977 when we beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup Final so, in some respects, I am a glory hunter and proud to admit it. It was that Christmas when mum and dad bought me my very first United kit. Even today that classic 77 red home kit and the fantastic white with 3 black stripes away kit made by Admiral are amongst the popular Utd kits the club have ever had.
It also helped that, as a kid, 3 names came to dominate football chat in the house courtesy of my dad, despite him not being a red himself, those names are synonymous with Utds rich history – Best, Law and Charlton. Dad, being a proud Northern Irishman, bangs the drum about George Best and still does to this day, with very good reason. In his eyes, no other player will ever come above Bestie, he is/was and always will be the worlds greatest player.
Utd Before Fergie is a celebration of the players, games and goals that have made our history such a fantastic subject to learn and to read about. If you look back through our history, we’ve had some truly world class players and those names will still bring a tear to the eye of the older generation as they remember them with such love and admiration. It’s great that a lot of our younger fans, those that have grown up with lots of trophies and success also want to immerse themselves in our glorious and not so glorious past from the teams before Munich to the aftermath of that horrific tragedy right through to Ron Atkinsons time, long may that continue too.
I’m no historian but have learnt so much from other fans. What, I hope, it is that makes our account unique is that the memories are personal experiences of being there when it all happened. I’m amazed that followers can clearly remember in vivid details, who they were with and what there were doing during certain incidents in certain games – I cant remember what I did this morning!
I am looking forward to sharing these experiences with you and to talking about the players that we discuss on the Twitter page over the coming months. We’re on Twitter as @UtdBeforeFergie and on Facebook.com/UtdBeforeFergie