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RED sky at night UNITED delight!

www.red11.org : TODAYS NEWS
Date: Fri Jun 05  1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

REDS in the World Cup
Norway  -- Berg, Johnsen, Solskjaer
Denmark -- Schmeichel
Holland -- Stam
England -- G.Neville, Beckham, Scholes, Sherringham

This Issue:
1. October edition of season's summary


Linda and Barry at Ipswich!

Subject: October edition of season's summary by linda-eccles@mail.u-net.com October October 1 1998, a date never to be forgotten by those of us lucky enough to be there. "You are my Solskjaer", on the crowded forecourt before the game. Inside East Lower, white faces and nervous excitement. Not being able to stand still. Optimism one minute, despair the next. Wanting to cry with pride when the players came out. The new Euro kit, in its traditional red. A stunned silence when Del Pierro scores right in front of us. Peter picking the ball out of the net with a look of total disgust on his face. 24 bloody seconds! "United! United!" Praying silently. "If you don't let them beat us, I will never swear again, I will be nice to old ladies on the bus, I will never again say Teddy Sheringham is useless". From the whole stadium - "We love United". "The Red Flag". "Forever and ever". Gradually, the lads getting back into the game. Sheringham having a goal disallowed for off-side, Ole coming close after a sweeping move downfield. Then, ecstacy! Giggs taking apart the Juventus defence and crossing a high, looping ball into the box. The ball seemingly in the air forever. Then, Sheringham getting his head to the ball and every part of Old Trafford going wild! Hundreds of fans surging down the steps the son-and-heir hugging a steward, one bloke lying on the floor with a dozen people trampling all over him but screaming with pleasure. Peter roaring with triumph. An awesome atmosphere with a toe-curling "Forever and Ever." Chanting at Peruzzi in the second half - "You fat bastard". The Italians kicking everything that moved and falling over like delicate flowers. Deschamps going off. Our lads keeping their cool. The ball coming to Scholes, directly in line with where we were standing. Time standing still. Scholesy going one way, Peruzzi countering. Scholesy going the other way, cool as a cucumber. Realising I was screaming as the ball hit the back of the net! Jumping up and down singing "Glory, Glory" and "We love United" and "Shit on the Eyeties" Out-running, out-passing and out-defending the best Italy can offer. Then dying and going to heaven as Ryan scored one of his best goals ever. Almost having a nervous breakdown in the last couple of minutes as Zidane scored from a free kick. The noise deafening as the crowd whistled for the ref to end the game. In agony, holding my breath and praying! The whistle blowing and the tension being released in a cheer that shook Manchester. Standing in East Lower singing and hugging and kissing after the game. Emerging into the cold night and grinning up at Sir Matt as the chanting continued across the forecourt and down Trafford Rd. Grinning for days afterwards. Arriving early on the forecourt before the Crystal Palace game, to find it already crowded and noisy. Queuing up to get coach tickets for Ipswich away (on a Tuesday night!). Seeing Lombardo's head shining from 200 yards. "We support our local team" from the Palace fans, "We support the champions" from us. Most of us feeling wiped out emotionally from Wednesday night, but managing to chant "He's red, he's white, he kicked the Cockney shite" and "Simmonds, are you here?" Standing up at the beginning of the game (as we had for Juventus). Then the "suits" appearing "Sit down mate", "Can you sit down mate?", "Come on, sit down mate". A baboon in a suit screaming down my ear every few seconds. Politely enquiring where he was on Wednesday night and only getting a shrug of the shoulders in reply. Teddy scoring an absolute scorcher, prompting the son-and-heir to comment "you're going to get the piss taken out of you again, Mum." A few minutes later, one of the Palace defenders doing a totally unnecessary back-pass to his 'keeper, and we were two up! Not being arsed winding up the Palace fans but concentrating the chanting at the PLC - "No surrender to the PLC", "We are excited, we are excited", "We don't need no aggravation". A dire second half. Having to stand up to stay awake. The only entertainment - watching Lombardo fall over. The "suits" deciding to liven things up a bit, throwing out a fan in J Stand for standing. "You're just a bunch of wankers", "Stand up for the Champions". Pockets of trouble all over East Stand as fans were thrown out for daring to argue with one of the suited ones. The away fans joining in with "You're just a bunch of wankers" as one of their number was thrown out. Still, at least the activities off the pitch were more interesting than those on the pitch! Off to Maine Rd for Paul Lake's testimonial. Despite the hangovers, good to see the Reds standing and singing and generally having a party in the warm sunshine. Over in the Kippax, the blues noses sitting in bitter silence. An announcment at the beginning of the game that seven United players would only be playing for the first twenty minutes and would then be substituted so that they could journey South to join the England squad. Singing "Engerland, Engerland, Engerland". David May, captain for the afternoon. Not caring what was going on on the pitch - as most of us had come for a rare opportunity to wind up our blue brethren.the City fans! "We all know that Franny wears a wig" and "Franny, Franny give us a wave". "Always look on the Kippax for shite", "We're the cream of Manchester", "You're the shit of Manchester", "Which division are you in?", "You're a big club", "The only big club in the Nationwide" and of course, the well-known classic - "1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, 5-0". Replacing our established players with the youth team and Raimond coming on for Peter, which sparked off the chant of the day: "Oh Van de Gouw" (to be nicked by Andy Cole, later in the season). Singing "1-0 to the youth team" and then (patronisingly) "1-1, in your cup final". The celebrity penalty shoot-out at half-time - Umberto offering to take on all-comers after a chorus of "Do you take it up the arse"! Singing Cantona songs in the second half and "Going down, going down, going down", "We won't see you any more". A United fan walking up the whole height of the Kippax giving a well-known salute to all the City fans. "Reds are 'ere. reds are there". Suffering a long, boring coach trip to Ipswich on a Tuesday night, just to watch a reserve side get kicked out of the Fizzy Pop Cup. Having serious doubts about my sanity. My daughter (not well versed in the ways of the away trip) saying in a very loud voice as we get off the coach "what are all these pigs doing here?" Smiling sweetly at the police officers as I ushered her away. Almost getting run over by the team bus (who's occupants looked as thrilled to be there as we were) and blowing kisses to Choccy. Watching the locals arriving on their tractors outside the ground. Hunting the bookie inside the ground, without any luck, despite following the signs into the Gents toilet. Meeting Barry at last and realising it's not my sanity I should be worried about! Getting my very first Christmas pressy! David May - captain again. The team having no intention of making any real effort to win the game. Fergie grinning all the way back to the dressing room, unlike those of us who had paid more money than we could afford and travelled on a 12 hour return journey for the privilege of watching the team throw away the tie. Despite that, enjoying singing "The 12 days of Brian McClair", "Ooh Aah, Brian McClair", "Brian McClair, Brian McClair, running down the wing" and "We're here, cos Choccy's here". Arriving back in Manchester at 3am. Getting an early morning phone call from the son-and-heir the next day, telling me how much he had enjoyed watching the game on the tele! Sitting on the coach in front of the Munich memorial before heading off to Derby, thinking about the boys and Munich. Travelling through the Peak District on a beautiful autumn morning. Pride Park - modern, ugly, in the middle of a building site, but surprisingly impressive inside. Football's new era: the "Rams Superstore", a new Derby official magazine called Rampage, Rams Milk on sale for 50 pence. Cheerleaders, a new club anthem and not one, but three mascots (one of them a milk carton!). Derby fans with inflatable sheep. Making friends with a steward who just happened to be a Red from Chesterfield. An inept first-half display making the first half at Ipswich look good. Sheringham stepping up to take the penalty and the United end collectively holding its breath and covering it's eyes. Wanchope taking the piss out of our defence. 2 nil down at half-time and the Derby fans are in heaven. "Who the shit are Man United", "We are the Forest haters", "Stand up if you're 2-0 up" and "Are you watching Nottingham?" Our reply? "Stand up for the Champions" and "We're shit, but we're Champions". The lads finally remembering who they are in the second half. Sheringham redeeming himself - a little! - by heading in our first goal. Cole coming on and scoring a pure 'poacher's' goal. A 15-minute rendition of "The "United Calypso". A pulsating wall of sound which makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Going through the songbook as the Derby fans go quiet. A few saddoes singing "Who's that lying on the runway" leading to a massive (and moving) "We'll never die" from the United fans. "Derby is your name, Derby is your name, 2-0 up and fucked it up, Derby is your name" and "We can see you sneaking out". Back in Old Trafford on the 22nd for another European evening. Being presented with a statuette of Mark Hughes before the game by my pals in the Throstles Nest and meeting the infamous Billy Read. Shouting abuse at Mick and Alan outside the chippy. Sir Matt Busby Way heaving with fans. Feeling nervous and sick. Old Trafford on a cold, autumnal evening. - a slight mist in the air, giving the stadium a ghostly glow. To our left, 3,000 very noisy Feyenoord fans, but closer inspection revealing a Chelsea flag, several Ireland shirts, a Tottenham shirt and, most surprising of all considering that City are fighting for their lives at Maine Rd at precisely that moment, a number of City shirts! The Dutch fans singing "You're shit and you know you are" in Dutch accents! This theme continuing throughout the evening with "Giggs is gay" and "Cruyff is crap" (several inhabitants of East Lower being heard to join in with the latter!). The usual stomach-churning moment as our red-shirted heroes come onto the pitch. The son-and-heir panicking, thinking Fergie was "tinkering" again, until he saw Denis Irwin hiding being Pally. Half-an-hour of frustration - lots of chances but no goals. Then, a moment of magic from our red-haired hero: Irwin crosses into the box, Cole heads the ball down to Scholes and Scholes (as cool as a cucumber) controls the ball with his chest and flicks it into the corner of the net with the outside of his right foot! The son-and-heir doing another dance (this time with a car park attendant) down the steps of East Lower! More frustration for the rest of the first half, but we're happy enough - one-nil up and Newcastle losing by the same scoreline in Germany. The second half beginning with Peter trying to wind up the volume of the chanting. Peter sharing with us the frustration of being stuck up at our end whilst all the action was going on in front of the Stretford End! Then, Sheringham going down for a penalty. "Irwin, Irwin". Mr Dependable smashing the ball into the net and then falling on his arse! A nail-biting finish - holding our breaths and praying. Leaving the stadium to the sound of "You'll never walk alone" and "Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool" and the sound of United fans' laughter. Another great European night at Old Trafford - we're the top of our group, above the mighty Juventus. A few days later, oh the joy of seeing Andy Cole shine on a sunny October afternoon. Arriving to find the Barnsley fans already filling the away corner, their samba band playing loudly. Unlike the Sheffield Wed band, at least they play in tune and seem to know more than one song! Our first exposure to the players' new single, being released in time for Christmas. Somehow, I don't expect it to be a big hit in our section of the stadium, consisting as it does of "our" chants, with all the swear words taken out! A very young (and local) United side starting the game. Being proud as punch to see Curtis making his first team debut. For the first 15 minutes - "It's like watching Brazil", but the signs not good for Barnsley. "This could be another Ipswich". The Barnsley fans are singing the ABU version of "Andy Cole" as the said player leaps onto the ball, pushes it to the right, goes round the defender to the left, reconnects with the ball and places it into the net with the sweetest finish imaginable. Hugging and kissing each other, we sing "Andy Cole, Andy Cole" and "It's like watching City". Were still singing when the ball once again comes towards us. Ole passes the ball across the area to Cole, and another sweet finish puts it into the net. Bedlam in East Lower and the son-and-heir has the biggest grin on his face I've seen in months! Andy runs over to us, turns his back and points to his name on his shirt! Going through the songbook (whilst standing, unmolested by the men in suits). "Choccy, Choccy, give us a wave" and "Choccy is our hero ". Then the awesome sight of Giggs weaving down the pitch towards us, cutting across the front of goal and curling in the most beautiful shot with his right foot. Andy doing a Prince Nazim impression after his third goal. Ole coming up behind him and lifting his arms in the air to the cheers of East Stand and the sound of 50,000 people singing "Andy Cole, Andy Cole". The Barnsley fans giving their all despite the stuffing they were getting on the pitch. "We all come from Barnsley", "Who wants to come from Barnsley?". At 5-0, the chant was "6-5, we're gonna win 6-5!" leading to a round of applause from East Stand. Then, "7-6, we're gonna win 7-6!" Going through the scouse songbook in the second half - "Fuck McManaman, Fuck McAteer", "We won the football league again" and "He's only a poor little scouser". The Barnsley fans singing "We love you Barnsley" and "There's only one Danny Wilson". Both sets of fans joining in a chorus of "We all hate Leeds". Alan Hansen taking the mickey out of himself later on Match of the Day - "You still can't win anything with kids!" Linda Harvey 1997-1998 Copyright All Rights Reserved WWW: http://www.red11.org/mufc/summ9798.htm ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Linda and Barry at Ipswich!

 E-mail: barry@www.red11.org Webmasters: Barry Leeming Bill McArthur Theatre Of Dreams: Url: www.red11.org " If ever they are playing in your town You must get to that football ground Take a lesson come to see Football taught by Matt Busby Manchester, Manchester United A bunch of bouncing Busby Babes They deserve to be knighted " Keep The Faith -- Red Til We're Dead -- "RED sky at night UNITED delight" --- Manchester United for life not just for Christmas ---
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