Most Manchester United supporters in the world today, there’s 659 million of them now according to United’s commercial director Richard Arnold, why we have employed that shirt from ITV Breakfast telly is beyond me, Old Malc must be going for the Pink pound! (i know its not him really) have known nothing but success in their lifetime following the reds, but us older fans were really put through the mill. Don’t ever forget though during that 26 year gap between league titles we were the country’s best supported club for 24 of them, and the two times were didn’t top the attendance table was because of ground developments reducing our capacity, just letting you all know ‘we did our bit’….And its funny how the media have completely forgotten that, with their sad and pathetic innuendo’s we are all jump on the bandwagon, gloryhunters. But, that’s not surprising,  they are stuck so far up the scouser’s arse, it’s  just not allowed to give Manchester United supporters the slightest credit…But you youngsters don’t let the picture I’m painting deceive you, we might not have had the tremendous haul of trophy’s the modern United fan has witnessed, but we still had some great times and never lost faith! The highlights been the FA Cup final victories and appearances, but the most memorable undoubtedly, was our year in Division Two the 1974/5 season, which is currently been serialised in Red News

What made this 26 year barren spell (virtually a drought) even more unbearable was Merseyside, Liverpool and Everton with Leeds for a while dominating English football…Thinking back now it makes City’s lottery winning bought title last May more palatable!  Of course that still really hurts……………………… ..  But watching them Scouser’s swinging on their Perch was intolerable…So i now get to the real crux of this article, Any chance we had then….And to quote Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army “To Stick it Right Up Them” was too good to miss and i have got a couple of crackers for you…..Two FA Cup Semi Finals in 1979 and 1985  both of which went to replays were incredible occasions, on and off the pitch!.. Here’s my take on all four matches

Semi-final 1979

The 1978-79 season had begun with a 4-0 victory over Real Madrid in United’s centenary match.  When the season started we were full of hope, only to find ourselves at Christmas halfway down the league and suffering an ignominious exit at home to Watford in the league cup, so as January approached it was once again the FA cup we pinned our hopes on getting some success.  Victories over Chelsea, Fulham, Colchester and Tottenham brought us face to face with Liverpool in an FA cup semi-final scheduled for Maine Road on Saturday 31st March 1979, with great anticipation we headed for Maine Road. As you would expect at the time the vermin were hot favorites, especially after tanking United 3-0 at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, can you imagine a more miserable festive season. Now that was a match a more sensible person than I wouldn’t have attended. I’d been living in Whitefield, Manchester the previous six months and was absolutely pot less, I had just enough money to get the National coach  to London, or go to the game and have a few beers. Meaning I’d have to jib the train home if I was to see my family over Christmas……… Well the train journey was a lot more successful than the match; I even managed to borrow a box load of fruit cakes from the buffet car, which doubled up as a Christmas present for my twin brother.

Anyway back to Maine Road, I met my twin Paul, Pete Yeardley and a few of the lads at the ground early in the morning, I can’t remember where I got pissed but I did, In between, awaiting news of the arrival of Liverpool fans.Nothing happened really, it was more the police charging at United fans keeping us away from the scousers as they tried to sneak in. As you can imagine the entire 90 minutes was played in a cauldron of hate, with those lovable cheeky chappy scousers giving us the full repertoire of Munich songs behind the safety of fences, anyone else see the irony there?

Joe Jordan makes it 1-1

The match ended 2-2 with big Joe Jordan and Brian Greenoff netting for United, but the defining moment was when Kenny Dalglish who had opened the scoring, backed into Martin Buchan and fell over with all the sincerity of Suarez and Gerrard nowadays. The cheating scousers got a penalty, but missed it! ……. The sense of injustice spurred United on and we led 2-1 until the 82nd minute, when “You wont win anything with Kids” Alan Hansen scabbed an equaliser.

And after been witness to what can only be called a minor miracle, over twenty thousand scousers disappearing into the night, avoiding the massed ranks of baying reds hungry for vermin blood, we had the replay at Goodison Park to look forward to.

THE REPLAY……..Wednesday 4th April 1979

Wednesday 4th April 1979, I got into town early that day , for an early start drinking in The Auld Reekie, Market Street, with John Hallet, anxiously watching the clock in readiness for one of the specials going from Manchester Victoria into Liverpool Lime Street. Again there was a decision to be made, Get the first special or take a later one, and have a few more beers. Well its like talking to an old soldier, saying he landed in France on 7th June 1944, when everybody knows all the real action happened the day before June 6th(D Day).I had to get the first train, and I wasn’t to be disappointed…….When the train pulled into Lime Street, the adrenalin was really flowing and everybody was really wound up and eager to exchange pleasantries with the local populace. The noise was deafening as we exited the station, The police were surprisingly slow off the mark, as united rampaged through the streets chasing the great unwashed of Liverpool, who had congregated on the town hall steps as  a welcoming committee…….I know we affectionately call them vermin, but they actually did look like rats scattering as they saw the full force of uniteds mob, descend upon them. During the ensuing charge, I suddenly felt a really sharp pain in my bum cheek, looking around I turned to see an Alsatian helping himself to great chunks of my arse, Between me and the copper on the end of his lead, we managed to get him off me, somewhat dazed but extermely pleased to have avoided a nicking. I carried on towards Goodison. It was mayhem all the way to the ground, with the police eventually getting control and United chasing off scousers at what seemed every corner en route. On arrival at the ground I was in the Park End, and actually had time to assess the damage to my posterior, and was advised by John and the other lads to seek medical attention. It was then I got reason 101 to hate scousers, in a polite civil manner I approached a policeman and said “excuse me officer, but is there a St John’s ambulance in the ground, where I could possibly get a tetanus injection? ….As I have been bitten by a dog” pointing to my damaged exterior.With all the sensitivity of an SS guard he said “I hope you die! You Manc bastard”……The start of the match took my mind off any pain I was suffering and when Jimmy Greenoff headed the winner twelve minutes from time I had forgotten all about it.                  



I think I’m still on the floor! …. Eventually after what seemed an eternity the referee blew the whistle and United were back at Wembley. United goalkeeper Gary Bailey Loves beating the scousers as much as us!

The Merseyside police kept us in just long enough for the scousers to get in position to throw bricks from every available vantage point, I was in the giant escort back to Lime Street, boxed in tight and sitting ducks to all those brave scousers throwing bricks in the pitch black, you just couldn’t see them coming, at one point I even put a traffic cone on my head. I must have looked a right dick, with me arse hanging out of my jeans, and traffic cone on my head, but I was happy.                                                                                  Back in Manchester we headed straight for Pips disco, at the back of Victoria station to celebrate and discuss the night’s events.

Part two the 1985 semi final to follow ..(of course neither myself or Red News condones violence at football matches, this is just an account written for true historical records)  

The Stretford End

Where do I start, THE STRETFORD END or should I say the West Stand…Changing the name of our most famous stand or terrace, yet another one of the clubs moves to disenfranchise the hard core old fashioned supporter of Manchester United, who might actually love the club more than the people who run the business want them to. If you get my drift..Could you ever imagine the Vermin ever renaming The Kop…..East, West , South or North stand wherever the infestation is located compass wise..But our owners and for once this isn’t a dig at the parasites, but Edwards allowed it to happen under the  auspices of safety, it hasn’t stopped them renaming the North Stand, the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand though…i’m not denying the great man this  honour, but it galls me to think that a large percentage of the supposed 659 million manchester united fans around the world have never heard of the Stretford End, But who gives a shit! eh Malc…as long they are walking around in a Kagawa shirt…Lets just erode an integral part of mine and thousands like me football heritage! 

Well it seems the name STRETFORD END means more to opposing fans than our own nowadays, especially the cockney’s……You cannot walk into your local Waterstones or WH Smiths bookshop nowadays without seeing some new book published about some no mark  London hooligan firm, Gobbing off how Big and Tough  they are, I really should walk on by, ignore them and go look at something on the top shelf or something. Is just me though or do you also get a morbid fascination to see what they have to say about United and our firm, only to cringe at the fairytales put into print by these people… Everyone has ‘done’ United if you believed all the shit written by these guys, United’s mob should be able to give Paula Radcliffe a close race, we must have clocked up more miles than an habitual marathon runner, I for one won’t be bringing any of my three lads to Old Trafford again, its just not safe! All these fucking hooligans chasing united around the streets of Manchester. Lets get a few Facts straight about these , They all except Cass Pennants (Wets Ham) credit where’s its due fail to mention what United fans had done in and around their grounds during, from what some people (not me) would say, were the Halycon days of Football Hooliganism. After Englands world cup win in 1966 until around 1986, a twenty year peroid when you defended ‘your End’ at any cost, and things became tribal… As i said at least Cass Pennant admits United took the West Ham North Bank in May 1967, but no mention from Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal about United taking their ends on a regular basis, memorably taking the Shed in 1973.

It was always awkward at Spurs, taking the Shelf at Tottenham or whatever part of the ground was their end at the time, The Park Lane or Paxton Road. A clever ploy by them, fed up with getting embarrassed every year you take the The Shelf, and they say, thats not our end, we’re in the Park lane, next year you go in the Park Lane, and its  We’re in The Paxton Road now…As for Arsenal, we took their North Bank so many times, United fans actually started to think thats where we were meant to be! …Its strange non of these events are mentioned in their account, yet they have the audacity to say “They have taken the Stretford End, thinking that’ll sound good in a book, a chapter how we ran the Stretford End will sell a few copies, sod the fact its nots true!…But once its in print and with the passing of time, people believe it. And some of these stories, it would more honest to say fable’s, supposably happened before anyone from London had the courage to enter Old Trafford,  anywhere except the reserved seating in A those days only the Suits sat.(that started to change in the 80’s)..The facts are, none of these cockney warriors came to Old Trafford in force until the introduction of police escorts in 1977, now that is a fact, not a rafa benitez fact, but a real FACT! ….Anyway a lot of these myths are spreading and as special request from a mate, Lindsay who has asked me to re-print an article i wrote about five years ago for Red News..      the first ,in a series called Fact or Fiction

So Lindsay here’s the article:

But one book in particulary about The Chelsea ‘Head-hunters’ by Steve Hickmott and Colin Ward, really pissed me off,  and it’s a chapter from that book which is to be the subject in  our first FACT or FICTION : ……………..Have Chelsea taken the Stretford End ?

September 5th 1984 is the date in question. It was early in the season our second home game, in fact. Chelsea had just won promotion from old division two, with their supporters earning a fierce some reputation terrorizing such places as Shrewsbury,Carlisle,Grimsby, and Huddersfield, before coming back into the big time. I must give them credit though the previous April they had taken extreme liberties in Manchester and at Maine Road, but that was against City, who were also languishing in division two.

This was United though, The attendance that night was 48,000 with Chelsea bringing about 3,000 filling three sections of the Scoreboard End, they also had a small section in A stand, where there main boys were seated. The kick-off was approaching, and about 7 o’clock,  a small firm of Chelsea were sussed in the top right hand corner of K stand (looking up from the pitch), the word went around and united started to prepare for a set too, most of uniteds lads were still outside and everyone decided to wait a few minutes before getting stuck in, Someone though was tipped the wink by a steward, that the old bill were about to come and move them out, it was now or never. Uniteds boys moved up the steps towards the Chelsea fans, they were quickly on there toes with only one or two standing. Scattering them across K stand, some of them jumping into A stand, and the others into the Scoreboard amongst there own fans. The then ritual ‘Chelsea Aggro’ chant started, with the Stretford End replying ‘United Aggro’ soon drowning out the rent boys. It looked quite impressive as the united boys who’d seen off the Chelsea mob, then charged down too the bottom of K stand just above the Chelsea fans, chanting ‘UNITED, UNITED’, letting everybody know exactly who had come out on top. Nothing else happened until about three minutes from time,Chelsea’s main Firm, about thirty of them were seen leaving A stand, they had just exited the stadium, underneath that tunnel where the little railway station is, when they bumped into some of Manchester’s finest. All hell broke loose with Chelsea taking a real pounding. Heavily outnumbered some Chelsea fans were eventually  hospitalized, the police surrounded them, and tried to force united fans away towards the Stretford End, but they couldn’t contain uniteds mob, and sent for the police horses. In the mean time the game had finished (1-1) while all this was going on. The police horses arrived and were charging the united fans back, causing a concertina effect on supporters fans exiting the Stretford End and Stretford Paddock, people coming out were pushed back in, forcing fans who couldn’t see what was happening, back into the Stretford End….. Chelsea fans in the Scoreboard End, (locked in waiting for an escort) saw fans pouring back into the Stretford and came up with the Myth, this honest account of events dispels once and for all.

So giving a Definitive   FACTor FICTION   to this rumour ……FICTION

I mean literally, it’s up there with Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny.

Some classic photos of the Stretford End in all her glory!… And no matter what the club do, they can’t take away our memories, and unlike all our Counterparts during that period  we STRETFORD ENDERS can go to our graves knowing nobody has ever taken The STRETTY!


(of course neither myself or Red News condones violence at football matches, this is just an account written for true historical records)