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 Welcome to the Theatre Of Dreams

pt 1/4 by The Mad Dane

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"Lost the phone, lost my voice & found Alex"

Sunday 16th Jan 2000 10-14.00 hrs

The day had started 10am Sunday morning when Jack my father arrived from London to pick me up from the hotel for a day with List REDS, a meet kindly arranged by Pete Hargreaves and publican at the Throstles Nest - Kieron Higgins.

Previous to the Sunday, night clubs and drinking for 2 days in Manchester had resulted in me, Barry losing my mobile phone and my voice. I will not mention the fact that I attended a football match not far from Manchester on the Saturday you will have to work that one out for yourself! Please remember Sheep v UNITED was postponed so there was no real choice!

Now nobody could call me and I had no way of finding my friends & contacts as all the numbers including MuTV were lost in the memory of my cellphone! Still I was very hoarse so maybe it was just as well, little did I know that the loss of that telephone would result in one of personal highlights of this trip to Mecca.

Scott & Jo Sempeck from Denver Colorado

Jack & I had breakfast and 11am headed off to OT. Showed Dad the new structure which I had already seen the previous day. I had also seen the pitch, looking green and in good order although without goalposts & not proven yet. Perhaps a match without goalposts would be an ideal way of stopping the Arse next Monday? :)) hehe

The structure [East stand] from the outside is a monster, resembles possibly Marks & Sparks more than Old Trafford, I am sure when finished we will get used to it and like it?

On to the Nest, arriving 1130 exactly 30 mins before opening time we persuaded the waiting bar girl to let us in even though Kieron was out shopping. Pete arrived, Jack Pete & I were soon served some coffee & beer (Barry). Why had we arrived so early??

Previously when Pete had ordered the buffet for an expected 15 list members Kieron had informed of a certain Blue team that was playing "live" on Sky Sports koff 1300 hrs! What more could you ask for a Manchester United Internet List Meet! I am sure this was the main reason that MuTV did not turn up as promised, not that the Keano news story had broken about him leaving for Celtic in 3 years time!!!

Pete Kieron & I sealed off the back of the pub well away from the BIG screen and Kieron kindly supplied a personal TV & video in our corner of the pub.

We had invited List members for lunch so members started arriving at 1300hrs. Slowly but surely the next hour the pub filled up. We must have outnumbered the "xyz's" watching a funny football match on TV?

*Note: Kieron mentioned that had Sky been showing UNITED that the pub would have been totally packed out by 12.30!

A first at the Throstles together May Pete & Hal Hargreaves!

Now here is the list of attendees please let me know if I do forget anyone?

Pete, Hal & May Hargreaves, peter@cheswem.u-net.com
Jack & Barry Leeming - Denmark, barry@mufc.dk
Linda Harvey, linda@eccles.u-net.com
Duncan Drasdo, duncandrasdo@iname.com
Mark Southee, Mark_Southee@martindawes.com
Paul & Anne Hinson, p.l.hinson@salford.ac.uk
Richie Evans - Ireland, richie.evans@aerlingus.ie
Scott & Jo Sempeck - Denver Devil - Colorado, scotnjo@juno.com
Linda Luv Keane - California,LuvKeane@aol.com
Tim Emmanuel, temanuel@proweb.co.uk
Paul Busby, buz@phantom.screaming.net
Tony & Moira Smith & family. tony.smith@virgin.net
*I make that 17+ Guests - rather a decent turn out!

The Double Triple - Nest Meet 2000 pt 2/4
      by The mAD Dane

"Lost the phone, lost my voice & found Alex"
     Part Two Sunday 16th Jan 2000 14.00 - ?

"REDS Reunion a quiz from beer to Jameson's"

A fun time was had by all. The many new faces were duly recorded by our residential List photographer "Mr Manchester" Pete! New faces from far and wide California, Denver and Ireland. A reunion for many others - I for one had not seen the faces of Linda, Duncan, Tim, Mark & Paul Busby since that glory night in Barcelona. Also a mention for a good turn out for the girls! Linda x 2 + May with Hal, Jo with Scott, Anne with Paul & Moira with Tony representing around 30% of the meet. Pics were also taken by Tim and myself.

All good parties start with bang and as Linda, LuvKeane settled down with her first pint of Manchester beer I was called over to examine the latest Keano news in the Daily Seagull. Having not seen such a newspaper for a long time I "accidentally" poured a whole pint all over Linda's jeans and jacket! Everyone screamed "typical! the Mad Dane has arrived" as I rushed off to the bar for towelling and managerial help from Kieron! Welcome to the Throstles Linda and sorry again!

 Linda Luvkeane with the "He got 52 grand" sign!

Soon Jack & Hal were seen to be chatting Duncan Edwards, the BIG team was rolling on our small personal video whilst the small team showed off all their empty seats on the landlords large screen? hehe

Linda chatted of the future on the Internet, Duncan & Mark about IMUSA and already a general mix of REDS debate continued round the room.

Nick Oldham our resident cartoonist at The Theatre Of Dreams had sent his apologies and a bonus package with his work for everybody! Our Salford Lass sorted and handed out the wonderful cartoons Pete had Denis Law, Barry - Schmikes (WHO ELSE) and Keano for Linda LuvKeane :) Everyone attending the meet were catered for including the members who turned up a little later on.

The Throstles Quiz was now handed out by Duncan Drasdo 13 questions with a 4 way a - b - c or d answers. I will place the quiz on a web page soon so you can have a go! There were 10 or so entrants, yours truly Barry checked & scored it. Masterfan entered the quiz for fun just to see if anyone could beat him - no prizes though. Pete took a quick photo with Paul Anne and their wedding congratulations diploma, signed by Sir Alex Ferguson!

The Wedding Diploma from Manchester United and signed by sir Alex

Having lost my voice the previous day I elected Scott Sempeck as my spokesman and he announced the correct answers. Scott did a great job well done! Now for the results and with 10 right 1st prize went to Tim Emmanuel * a 650meg "MUFC The Triple" cd rom made by Barry at Red11.org.

Barry & spokesman Scott Sempeck read out the quiz results!

*Note - Paul Hinson Masterfan equalled the score with 10 - 2nd place was Mark Southee and there were 3 members with 8 right. Now for the score of least right which was "4" went to Linda LuvKeane, she received a special prize. In fact all who entered the "fun" quiz won a prize so everyone went home happy!

  Tim - 1st prize with 10 right!

Scott helped me present Our Salford Lass with a special presentation for all her tremendous match reports & contributions to the website. She received a high quality pu rain set to help fight the weather gods at football matches! Well done Salford Lass keep up your excellent work :)

Salford Lass with rainwear presented by Bill & Barry at The Theatre Of Dreams

The list meet went on until late evening and many a pint was consumed. All generations were represented from Sir Matt era with May Hal & Jack up to the present era represented by Tony & Moira's children. A spot prize was given and won by one from the present era.

After the meet thanks were due to Kieron at the Throstles for an excellent buffet at only 4 pounds, if you were unable to attend, please remember to come along next time if you can? Goodbye's were exchanged by all as 9 RED hours had passed by.

 Mark Southee 2nd place a winner!

On a personal note I was to stay with Duncan, Allison & family for the next 2 nights - special thanks to them for the kind offer. Jack had left, driving back to London and my suitcase was transfered to "orange squash" Southee who was to be our driver for a late night curry, then home. We took Linda LuvKeane to her train connection and Duncan then found a local curry house to extend our taste buds. More wine and beer and a waiter from Oldham. Later we found ourselves in a bar around closing time. Mark had now left and Duncan & I chatted about Reds Internet & Rock n'Roll. A C..y barman did not help us as we left the bar - The Mad Dane offered to buy tickets for his next appearance in the European Cup Final :)))) Well it 'wos late! ehhhh?

No, not late enough. We walked home to Dunc's place and settled down for a night cap or two. As a final memory of that night my voice had completely gone by now and I faintly remember James Whale? Owls? Deck chairs in a cellar? Lemon vodka? & 12 year Jameson's? - *Note it was Duncan that won and it was me who gave up first! - I may just of been thinking of a day at OT to come as I slept?

Paul Busby & Hal Hargreaves

The Double Triple - Nest Meet 2000 pt 3/4

Pt3 Monday 17th 1200-1700 "Red Cafe & MuTV at Old Trafford"

The day after the night before, yes we were just awake in time to greet Pete who we had arranged to meet for lunch at OT. Duncan & I had both slept in, a wee bit? I was feeling fine tho' and I was looking forward to the day ahead!

Pete was in fine form as usual and after checking out the "Scandiavian Support Magazine" Pete declared that he agreed with Dunc's MUFC article in the Norweigan language :)

Barry & Son & heir

So off to Mecca in Pete's car, it only took 5-10 mins we found Pat Jennings and Linda's "Son & Heir" to greet us. It was a cool and fresh morning and the greatness of the OT - building site - was very apparant.

We entered the North Stand by the museum entrance, past Sir Matt and up the escalator to a noisy RED CAFE. JeanieB & Ally were recording MuTV's Reds@Five programs for the week. The list group today was myself, Duncan, Pete, Pat + Son&heir, we were soon to be joined by Allison & the 2 kids for an hour's lunch. I was also joined by Dan who is assistant manager of the Red Cafe. We will in the near future have a page on the website dedicated into the goings on, in and around Red Cafe, written by Dan himself. I telephoned David Johnson, our MuTV contact, he agreed to come down later that afternoon.

Lunchtime! The fave was a club sandwich washed down with chips and beer or other bevvy. Pat & Pete both maked good use of their digi cameras. We had a good chat about the day before and times gone by in Barce. I tried to explain to Allison about the goings on down the other end with all the kids on Reds@Five. Suddenly there was Gordon Hill, I went down for a chat and found out that Gordon will soon be starting a web site of his own. Had a good chat and exchanged cards, "Hilly" was very knowledgable of Denmark.

Soon after David Johnson arrived and Pete & I were able to chat about past present & future of MuTV - we both admit to watching the station at home! Soon it was time for Pat to leave so I asked Dan to show us all into a company box, in North Stand lower. There was room for about 8-10 people inside and it had a magnificent view of the stadium. We were told a box of this size costs only 280 thousand pounds a year and there is a 5 year waiting list! Anyone interested? :)) The pitch is looking MUCH improved ready for the Arsenal game and there are seats going in now in the new East Stand - you can see pics on the html media version of this story.

 Seats going in 17th jan 2000

 Groundsman completing the new pitch

 Micky Thomas in the Red Cafe

Back in the RED Cafe we met Micky Thomas and I had a quick chat & photo. I also mentioned to Micky that he had too much champagne in the studio May 26th 1999, he is often remembered for that! *Admition time* I went down to Ally in the middle of their MuTV shoot and asked him to take a pic of The Mad Dane & JeanieB [young blonde] with my very expensive (throw away) camera - he did it - see the result here:

Barry & MuTV host JeannieB!

We were now ready for our un-official tour of OT! David Johnson obliged and we found ourselves walking round the inside of North Stand and behind the New East stand and over to the MuTV studio which lies just above the away supporters. We passed all the company names who own the boxes ranging from Guinness & Kelloggs to BUPA.


AT one point we were lost walking up the steps of the new stand to find a new door into the studio. Finally we found us in the small but ample studio filled with cameras and electronic equipment. Both Pete & I had some photos in the MuTV chair including the famous background of OT the pitch and North Stand. All good stuff - Pat Pete Duncan and I all enjoyed our insider look of OT.

The time was already 1700 hrs and Hal, Paul Busby & Paul Hinson were due to arrive for the Double Triple pics that evening......

 Paul Hinson & Dan Manager in Red Cafe

Pt 4/4 Monday 17th 17.00-24.00 "A Double Triple + Gigg Lane"

The time was already past 16.30 hrs and Hal, Paul Busby & Paul Hinson were due to arrive for the photo shoot in 1 hour ......

 Click on pic for full size
The Triple, Paul Hinson & Barry Leeming

Hal arrived first, we gathered at the bar in the RED CAFE. Soon the two Paul's, Hinson and Busby arrived and we now a group of SIX soon to become a select group of REDS who were about to combine for a SPECIAL "Double Triple" photo -

Click on pic for larger size from left to right
 Barry Leeming - Pete Hargreaves - Duncan Drasdo - Paul Hinson - Hal Hargreaves - Paul Busby

- The Double Triple Photo - I feel that the picture is special as it represents a group of WWW Internet REDS who have met and supported Manchester United FC for many a generation. Young Duncan 33 in the center spot is wearing a Canadian cap presented to him by webmaster Bill McArthur in the Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona May 1999. * One small regret - three website names who should have been on this special picture could not be there - Bill McArthur, Salford Lass & Red Kelly, they are all on the picture in spirit.

Bill is represented by myself as webmaster & Duncan wearing his Canadian symbol - the cap. Salford Lass & Red Kelly by "The Old Fart" Pete who also writes many match reports and editorials, also through Hal, a represenative of Sir Matt & the Babes.

The Double Triple group of six represents era's - ranging from the Busby years to 2000 - Hal a personal friend of Sir Matt, Barry son of Jack a Middleton born Manchester United supporter from the fifties, younger 70's 80's generation of Paul Busby, Paul Hinson and Duncan Drasdo. Pete "Mr Manchester" Hargreaves being a special catalyst a RED who probably know's more about ALL the generations than any of us! Think about it - Pete (just like me) was 8 when the Babes crashed and over 40 years has experienced all the ups and downs of MUFC, today able to see MuTV and own a computer which communicates with REDS all over the world - incredible!

On the pitch in 1999 the team has excelled beyond belief and the three trophies together will probably never be repeated. Sir Alex also must now rank with the great man Sir Matt himself. The photo shoot last Monday will never be repeated in the same way as it did on that day.

After the photo session Pete Duncan & I had to rush off to Gigg Lane for the reserve game v Robbo's Middlesboro. The drive to Bury went smoothly and we all donned our thermal wear ready for a cold evening. Since I had lost my phone at the start of this trip I had only called home twice and walking up to the ground I was looking for a payphone to call Denmark with flight arrival times for the next day. Pete suggested I asked in reception to use a telephone. Pete & Duncan waited outside I walked in, the official said "Excuse me sir may I see your pass?" my answer was "Do you have a payphone I could use for an urgent call". Through here sir, turn right down the hall at the bottom of the stairway on the right" was the reply! I walked through - I have to admit I never made that call, WHY??? Stood in front of me in a relaxed mood Sir Alex Ferguson!

I went straight up to Alex shook his hand and introduced myself as "Barry from Denmark" relaxed I must have chatted to him for 5 mins. I joked "last time I saw you was at the airport in Barce" :) Alex smiled. We spoke of Rio, our website and Denmark. He is a real gentleman, recognises Denmark as a country of large RED support, even quipped during conversation "So how are you doin' then?" Alex is a natural, who says he wanted to speak to me, how often do fans come up to him? He was looking tanned from the trip in Rio and was just incredibly cool. Finally I gave Fergie our website card and he signed on the back of another.

Outside as I came out Duncan & Pete greeted me with a comment "did you see who you just walked past you? Dave Sexton!" No I replied I didnt notice BUT I just met Sir Alex Ferguson!! I was still in a slight daze as we walked in to watch the reserves. The last few minutes had been one of the special highlights of these 2 days in Manchester.

The reserve match report is covered by Pete "The Old Fart" on the website at Red11.org/miva/reserves/reservesmatchreports.mv?2000/boro_h.txt

I would like to thank Pete for an excellent meat & potatoe pie, also 2 pie Duncan for the hot chocolate at half time. There was a crowd of 1000 or so we could see Robbo & Alex sat up in the stand. We were very cold by the end of the game, Raimond in goal was outstanding, we lost 1-2 to a better team, Boro scoring in the last minute.

We drove back to The Throstles for a nightcap, a pint or two, and a good old chat about RED days gone by. Then it was cheerio and back to Duncan's place for coffee and an early night ready to travel home to Denmark at 9am the next day.

Conclusion - I am pleased I managed this trip to Mecca I met many previous friends + new Internet REDS I was in the once in a lifetime "Double Triple photo" I lost my phone I lost my voice but I found Alex!

A possible regret? Whilst speaking to Alex, Pete was about 20 sec away with his digi-camera, I could easily have asked Fergie to pop out for a pic but I didn't ask him!

THE END for now but not for ever - to see this story with Multi media pics go to: http://Red11.org/meet

"RED sky at night UNITED delight" Barry Leeming 2000. barry@mufc.dk

*Multi media NOT COMPLETE - some more pics to come this week!


***Tim Emmanuel's Listmeet Pics are here: http://www.vimto.demon.co.uk/united/nest/nest.html

Two times Linda & Duncan Drasdo!

Pt4 Monday "A Double Triple + Gigg Lane"

Pete & Hal with "The Triple"

All 70+ Pictures here Fast Click on Thumbs

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