Posted on May 22, 2008 - by MG
The first time that United won the European Cup was 1968 – when I was too young to appreciate them. By the time I became a fan we were in the Second Division. The dizzing hights of a European Cup win seemed to me, quite unimaginable.
My best friend was a boy called Eoin who lived across the road. One day Eoin’s mum told me about United’s glorious past, and the Munich air crash. Quite clearly I can remember wondering if ever in my lifetime again I’d see a United team of that calibre.
Eoin and I grew up going to United games together – at one stage most home games. When we were 14 Eoin moved to Ireland and I started going to matches with my friend Sally. The best we could hope for in those days was the FA Cup, which we won a very respectable number of times. Sally and I even saw us win once – United 4- Brighton 1 (1983?).
But still the Division One Championship and with it the triumph in Europe – it was always Liverpool or Nottingham Forest, never us.
And then Fergie arrived in town. Eoin sent me a letter once where he lamented that his young daughter should be considered for selection – the team could hardly get worse. Thank goodness in those days they didn’t fire coaches after a couple of poor seasons, and he had a chance to build up the team.
But WHAT drama, what emotion, what an incredible achievement! As I watched the Champions League Final last night I was totally awestruck by the levels of both teams – not that it was the best game of football ever – although it was a fabulous match. But just the levels of fitness, determination, the strength and energy needed to compete at that level; the endurance.
Bad luck Chelsea. Seriously worthy opponents…but it was our night.