You can fix a broken nose, but if you let somebody score the goal your pride cannot be fixed.’ Nemanja Vidic.
When I hear Mickey Thomas’ name I smile and in a good way. He was always the ebullient, effervescent character both on and off the pitch, so hearing that he was, and is continuing to, suffer from cancer was news of the worst type.
St. Kentigerns club in Fallowfield, Manchester has literally raised millions in support of good causes through the drive and energy of its patron Kevin and Tina Fitzpatrick. So it came as no surprise that they once again demonstrated the warm welcome that they and their hard working staff have on tap, when they hosted a fund raising even for Micky.
Certainly the event drew supporters from all parts of the globe; Australia to Manchester via Belgium, Malta and Bulgaria. Reds are everywhere.
Similarly, a turn out of former players that included Andy Ritchie, Quinton Fortune, Denis Irwin, Ashley Grimes, Arthur Albiston and Lou Macari for a Q&A session touched a nerve with supporters of a certain vintage. Even Albert Morgan, the legendary kit man revealed some insights into the attitudes of former players at a time before the Curse of the Agent swept in.
As Lou rightly pointed out, United stopped Liverpool in ‘ ‘77 from becoming the first team to win the “true” treble.
Mind you, Lou might have a few of the “I woz robbed” moments after “scoring” that winning goal. Despite the deflection off Jimmy Greenhoff, Jimmy said Lou deserved it and would let Lou claim it. So imagine Lou’s surprise to see Jimmy parading the Golden Boot for scoring the winning goal in the changing room afterwards. “It’s a tough game” was Jimmy’s response.
There was the incident with the taciturn but first class defender Martin Buchan. Not enjoying being in a crowd, Buchan always limited the number of guests in the lounge after a game. So United players combined to get additional passes printed. Upon seeing a crowd snaking down the tunnel to get in, Buchan turned on his heels and exited.
Under the savvy direction of Joe Casserley, aided by Jez from the club foundation, the conversation moved swiftly through the decades to the current management approach via Sir Alex Ferguson’s use of tactical notes on the opposition. “He used to crush the paper into a ball and throw it into the bin”.
Certainly from Quinton’s viewpoint as a part of the U23’s set up there is a confidence and optimism running throughout the club irrespective of the disappointing points tally to date. The belief that the long term future of the club under Ole’s stewardship with his belief in youth and attack, seeps through the club at all levels.
I might even pop into Lou Macari’s chip shop
Can you spot these Man United heroes in the photograph?