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Published: 19 January 2000

Sir Matt's Anniversary - by OUR SALFORD LASS

Six years ago tomorrow I, like United fans everywhere, stood in stunned silence when I heard the news that Sir Matt had passed away, had gone to join "his boys". On that day, Manchester went into mourning, as it had in 1958. Thousands of us made our way to Old Trafford and left a mark of respect - a cherished scarf, a flag, flowers. A few days later, I was one of hundreds of United fans who stood in the pouring rain outside Old Trafford, waiting for the cortege to make it's way to the stadium on it's way to Southern Cemetary. We stood in silence as the rain stopped and a watery sun shone down on us whilst Sir Matt paused outside Old Trafford for the last time. All around me people of all ages and backgrounds stood with tears running down their faces and paid their respects to the greatest manager Manchester United had ever known - men and women, pensioners and children, United and City fans. All joined together in mourning for a man who some knew personally and others knew only through the stories that they had been told by their parents and grandparents.

Those six years have flown by as if on wings but Sir Matt is with us still - he is with us at Old Trafford (as Sir Alex said, he is part of the brickwork of the place), he was with us in Barcelona last May, and he will always be with us. Even when we who remember Sir Matt, the man, are long dead and gone, he will live on in the legends and folklore of Manchester United.

Tomorrow I will pause and remember those black ribbons on his seat at the Everton game and I will know that around the world United fans will be remembering not only a man they respected and admired, but a man they loved.

God bless Sir Matt.


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