We knew it was coming but somehow it was still a shock. So many rumours and false reports and now the day has arrived so alex (the boss of man u) is retiring. After so many glorious years and so many challenges – a coaster ride for players and fans alike.
We knew whatever the problem would be he would fight our corner. A personality and a sense of humour that only revealed itself away from the pressure of referees and errant players. Intelligent and perceptive, he reminded me of my grandfather, another scot with the surname of aberdeen – with the same features and sense of justice but possibly a little easier on the fiery temperament. Intelligent does not always go hand in hand with the rough and tumble of the football field. But In sir alex's case it was a necessary ingredient. I didn’t come from a football family and football wasn’t high on my list of sports at my girls school. Hockey and tennis were more the norm and it was not until my young schoolboy son gerry junior introduced me to man u that i became a fan.
In a nostalgic mood i looked back on my love affair with man u. I revisited the tragedy of the early man u team and their mentors. They were named the 'busby boys' after their mentor sir mat busby. They were to be the future of the man u senior team – long before the glory days of the present day. Their plane should never have taken off from the german airport that bleak and snowy night. The visibility was almost zero and the light hearted 'busby boys' celebrating their first trip abroad were not to know for some of them it would be their last.
Man U would have to rebuild their teams long before the era of sir alex. It was the reason that my son at school became a man u fan – and the story of that tragic night inspired me to follow the adventures of man u. It became a human story first and then a football story that was to last for many years to come until today. As time went by and my daughter dee pursued her acting and singing career and my son gerry junior became a doctor, never forgetting his early loyalty to man u.
Even my parents and my sister betty became man u fans and wherever we were in the world – we always followed our team. Sadly my parents and sister are no longer with us but the memory of their love and affection for man u is still in my mind today. I wonder how many man u fans over the past few days have been reminded of personal events that have occurred during the rein of sir alex. Many heart stopping moments that made man u the most exciting club in the world. Enjoy your new challenge 'boss' and mind how you go in that wheelchair.
Remember it is not a competition you know – or is it?
Thanks for the memory.