Manchester United’s home turns 100 years today! So I thought I should start with my best OT-moment. Even if the titleparty last may is a special memory, this one was maybe more emotional for my norwegian blood. In the summer of 2007 I picked out a special game with two heroes in mind. 20legend and Captain Fantastic…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was expecting to make a comeback on the first team at the start of the now historic 2007/08 season. I had therefore decided to pick out the Sunderland-game on sep 1th as a possible Solskjaer-comeback. What I didn’t know, was that he definently would be on the pitch this day. Because on the thursday before the match, his knee broke down during training and the long illustriuos career was over. I was in schock and almost cried myself to sleep! When I arrived in Manchester on early matchday, the atmosphere was all about Oles retirement. But also the return of another true red legend, Roy Keane. He was then the manager of Sunderland.
What made this day special for me, was that these two, except the untouchable Cantona on top, is my biggest heroes. And to suck in the atmosphere at Bishops Blaize, where almost all the songs where about these two, was something to cherish. Inside the stadium I found my seat 20 min before kick-off. Then the teams entered the pitch followed by a huge roar when Keano came out. The noice was there for all to hear. Then the speaker announced that Ole was arriving on the pitch to get his well deserved tribute. I could only shout out his name, and I actually cried. Tears where just impossible to stop. It was a big moment when he received a warm but short hug from his former captain. Out went Ole and the game could start. In reality the big moment of the day was already over.
The game itself will never be remember for what happened on the pitch. But it was Andersons debut and Louis Saha came off the bench at half time to head home the winner in the 71st minute. I was happy with the win, but this day will forever be remembered for what happened before the game.
Here is a video of this emotional trip:
And here is a video of the title party last may:
So just to finish this off, I will just give som history of the famous ground. It was originally drawed by the scottish architect Archibald Leitch. And was finished by the end of 1909. But the first game was played 19.feb 1910 and Liverpool was the first opponent. 45.000 met up for the historical event and United was 3-1 up with goals from Sandy Turnbull, Tom Homer og George Wall. But during a hectic last few minutes, Liverpool turned the whole game around and won it 4-3. That sent the crowd home in shock I would think…
This magnificent stadium has survived many things. From stupid german bombers during WW2 to fiery fans on the pitch during the 70’s. In that decade we also had the high fences that shutted the fans out. And all the rebuilding during the 90’s and 00’s has made the stadium as big as it is today. Now it can be just belov 76.000 inside the stadium.
The biggest game in the clubs history is the Munich-game against Sheffield Wednesday actually and ironically enough on feb.19 1958! That was the first game after the terrible Munich-tragedy. United won that game 3-0. OT also hosted some games at the World Cup in ’66 and the European Championship in ’96. And the Champions League-final in 2003 was also held at OT. A rather dull 0-0 game between Milan and Juventus. Milan won on penalties. There is so much to write about that I really think I will leave that for official Manchester United websites!
What is people’s best memory from Old Trafford? You are welcome to share your experience here!