I remember that FA Youth cup game and the Hillsborough shit. You say it was 10, fair enough, I'm not calling you a liar, but the way it was reported and "word on the street" was that it was alot more than 10. But then again, these things do tend to get slightly exaggerated in terms of laying the blame. It's like Chinese whispers, what starts as 10 is soon 100 and then 100 etc...
As for the Ian Brown quote (classic!) I agree with you 100%. I might have come across the wrong way but it really is not where you are from but where you are at and if you were brought up a red and followed the rags for all the right reasons then fair fucks to you. A few of my mates are reds who go to Euro aways the lot. I can enjoy the banter with them but I find it very hard to engage in conversation with a gloating plastic.
I live in Peterborough, but like you I have been brought up a Blue as a kid. It's 3 hours on the train to "home" games with 2 or 4 of us travelling and its not cheap so the London, Midland and Anglia aways are a luxury as they are only an hour or hour and a half max. In the past I have come across Blues from as far away as Weymouth or even Sweden, but fuck me them lads bring a coach load over a few times a season and fair play to them, they wouldn't have it any other way. Like I say, its part of their lifestyle.
Anyway pal, do you still go OT or have you proper knocked that on the head now for Gigg Lane? I know a lad that does both, but in my opinion that sort of defeats the object, no?
It was a small group, they'd come together and were in the spoons pub near Lime Street prior to the game with about 50-60 United in there. Mostly anti-Liverpool but pro United songs getting an airing, e.g It was on a Famous Saturday, We are the pride of all Europe, Come and Join us at the top etc. Some lad (around 19) then began breaking into a hillsbrough chant, something along the lines of 'and tell Joe I don't wanna die' and about 6 United fans of around 35-40 who looked hard as fuck basically advised him to cut the shit out.
A lot joined in anti-scouse songs, e.g Murderers (though that's always been a Hesyel matter, although many try to incorporate into them 'killing their own fans') especially after we went 2-0 down and the Liverpool lad gave it the '5 times' gesture in front of the United end which led to a tense 5 minutes straight after. However barely anyone joined in with the mongs chanting 'crush crush' as they conga'd down the steps back to the concourse, and it was definitely a group of 10(at most 15-20 depending if people nearby joined in) who were at it all game, with most of United there just singing old school United songs and very generalised anti-Liverpool songs. I can't be doing with the Hillsbrough/Istanbul nonsense, it accomplishes nothing and just invites more Munich songs back, so I'll sooner stick to other ways to get under Liverpool and Leeds fans skin.
Yup, to me when you make a conscious decision to stick by a team through thick and thin, that's when you become a supporter. I don't begrudge any foreign fan willing to call themselves a supporter of a team even if they were to end up in the conference, its those who effortlessly jump from one bandwagon to the next that ruin it for others. Plus as much as I admire local supporters, it doesn't automatically make them great supporters atmosphere wise. Whilst the majority of mancunians embrace football with a passionate attitude, I can regale first hand numerous locals at Old Trafford who sat in their seat/stood in glum silence, just moaning for 90 minutes and being a chore to be near, before pissing off home on 80 minutes. To me my ideal supporter is someone there for a laugh, to have a sing-song, create some atmosphere and just approach the game with a relaxed and carefree mentality. People on talksport and the like spouting off an endless list of things wrong with the manager, tactics, players etc just annoy me no end more often than not.
Sacked OT off completely, last game was the 4-0 win against West Ham in September 2010. Was in the top tier of the Stretford End (normally the last decent part of the ground standing and atmosphere wise, K Stand still has some characters but they're far too spread out) and it was just horrificly dire, little passion and I honestly found myself bored and disillusioned. Everything felt slate and souless, and I honestly went back on the train home debating why I still kept coming when I detested Glazer and home games in general (paying between £28-36 regularly to be in a stale and tame atmosphere surrounded by people with a different footballing attitude) and ultimately realised that loyalty and support for United shouldn't lend itself to habitually attending games to keep justifying my support.
2 weeks later I popped down to FC and saw them get spanked 5-1 at home to Matlock Town, yet was surrounded by a passionate and jubilant atmosphere throughout. Needless to say I promptly went back regularly and really now just look out for the odd Carling Cup/FA Cup tie 'Big United' wise. Rochdale away in the FA Cup with FCUM is up there with some of the more electric United games I've ever attended, and it was amazing how much energy and enthusiasm I suddenly had for football again in those 90 minutes.
I know a few lads who follow other teams and share the same views as me largely in terms of how to support a team, being pro standing and having a laugh etc. So once in a while I pop down to a game with them, admittedly more for the day out with them and their mates and just to sort of take in another club's fan culture and see things from their perspective. Been to two Plymouth aways with a good mate, first one was Dagenham away 2 seasons back in a big late April relegation 6 pointer, fabulous day out and Argyle's support was truly immense for League 2 football. Then went to Burton last season with him as it was looking to possibly be Argyle's final ever game, they lost 2-1 but took close to 1400 whilst bottom of the football league and it being a 6 hour journey. THAT is dedication.
As for defeating the object....well I don't want to be one to tell people they shouldn't be going to see United at home. For me FC represents a form of escapism from the shallow premier league and will always be there for people who slowly become disillusioned with Big United and just want somewhere where they can watch cheap football with their mates and have some freedom to stand and sing. Whilst I do think people who openly oppose Glazer vocally but continue to put money his pocket might be a bit misguided, I respect the tremendous passion supporting a football team entails and won't be someone to have a go at someone for giving in to that passion.