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My love for Manchester United

I started supporting Manchester United when I was around four or five years of age. I had no idea how successful they were, or how many trophies they were winning at the time. I just remember David Beckham in United red with that famous number 7 shirt on and that was it – I was hooked.

David Beckham was arguably the main reason I started supporting United. Some of my family are United fans too, so that helped. But watching Beckham as a kid was something else. He made me want to play football, not just in general, but for United. I was absolutely devastated when he left in 2003. He was my favourite player and still is to this day. Cristiano Ronaldo was also a huge favourite of mine back when he was at the club. I’ll never forget the day when I saw him live at Old Trafford, he was electrifying. I must have a thing for number 7’s!

My first proper memory of the club is watching them on the television, just in a league game. The next memory I have is the 1999 Champions League final. I remember being allowed to stay up and watch it, although I fell asleep after 15 minutes. (I woke up for the best part though, don’t worry). I didn’t realise how significant that victory was at the time, and I didn’t even realise that United had completed a treble. I just saw it simply as, United winning a football match.

I only started to appreciate Sir Alex Ferguson as I got older, as he was winning Premier League titles with Tom Cleverly and Anderson starting in midfield. The man was undoubtedly a genius. Only now as we’ve experienced harsh new lows under David Moyes, and Louis van Gaal to an extent, do we realise how superhuman Sir Alex seemed at times. For me, and I’m not just saying this as a United fan, he has to be the greatest manager ever. His man-management skills were second to none, his ability to recognise the right time when to sell a player, and his skill of rebuilding team after team is unprecedented. He seen off title rivals in Arsenal, Chelsea, and even Manchester City. What he has done for the club will go down in history and it’s only now when you step back, you realise what the great man achieved.

As I got older, I started to learn about the history of the club, the traditions of giving youth a chance, the Busby Babes, Fergie’s Fledglings etc. All of this just made me love the club more. That’s why I love the fact Marcus Rashford is in the first team at the moment. A local lad who loves the club scoring goals in front of the Stratford End, it’s literally living a dream of mine and many other Manchester United fans. Especially in a climate where football demands instant success and results, it makes it all the more satisfying.

So that’s why I love Manchester United. The tradition, the history, the iconic players. Trophies and silverware of course help, but I would still love United the same whether we have 30 league titles or three league titles.

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