Friday, 24 December 2010

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Rochdale 2 - 3 FC United of Manchester

It's almost two days since FC United knocked Rochdale out of the FA Cup in the First Round Proper and I still can't find the words to describe it.

We all thought Barrow would be a challenge too much in the Fourth Qualifying Round and beating them was the greatest day we've had since this club started back in 2005. No one thought it would get any better. We didn't expect anything against Rochdale, we just hoped we'd played well. Scoring a goal would be a fantastic bonus. Well, when we did score, courtesy of Nicky Platt, we were happy. "It doesn't matter what happens now" someone said to me. Then we went 2-0 up courtesy of an absolute screamer from Jake Cottrell and well, we all started to wonder...

Of course, Rochdale pulled both goals back and started to look like the only team who were going to win it. We were all praying that we'd hold on for a replay and that would've brought a joyous enough reaction. And then Michael Norton chased a rather innocuous looking ball into the Rochdale penalty area. Cue bedlam.

I've not been reduced to tears like that by any sporting event since the 26th of May 1999. It was a wonderful, magical moment that no one really dared believe was possible. Since a group of people decided to form their own football club in a Manchester curry house back in 2005 everyone connected with it have never ceased to amaze me with what we can achieve. This Thing Of Ours is truly special.

Brighton and Hove Albion or Woking await in the next round. I wonder if the Red Cardigans have another surprise up their sleeve for us?

Monday, 31 May 2010

Welcome to the Darkside...

Well, once again it's the first real update in f****** ages so I've missed a hell of a lot in that time. Meh.

So, we've got a new Government. Forgive me for being completely underwhelmed at the prospect of the Tories and Lib Dems cuddling up together. Cuts galore already and the Lib Dems swiftly moving away from many of their promises and the views of many of their members and supporters. And with the Coalition already being rocked by David Laws' resignation and the scandal around it, you could well be forgiven for wondering just how long this new Coalition is going to last. Then again, knowing the Tories, it could well be a case of how long before they find an excuse to get rid of all the Lib Dems holding Cabinet positions?

I'm sure I only need to touch on the vileness of Cameron. How anyone could trust him to run the country is beyond me. Smarmy and out of touch. As for the Tories overall... Thatcher. The '80s. Parts of the country run down and broken because of their policies. And if you really believe the bastards have changed and I'm just living in the past... Look up what's happened to those living under the jurisdiction of Hammersmith and Fulham Council. Working class? No money? Tough. Middle class or higher? Plenty of money? Come on over, we'll close off the public park every summer so you can watch polo matches.

As for the Lib Dems... Well, Clegg clearly wanted a position of power regardless of how he got it, nor the principles surrounding his supposed politics. He had the chance to form a progressive coalition with Labour but in the end, decided to jump onboard with his fellow Eton boy to get himself any kind of influence. He's already managed to piss off the more left-wing element of the Party, with many already defecting to Labour. If the Coalition rocks anymore then he could well have destroyed any credibility that they had in terms of being a genuine alternative vote for those wanting a progressive, left-wing Britain. Now I know how the citizens of the Galactic Republic felt as the Emporer swept in under a wave of promises and established the Empire. David Cameron = Senator Palpatine? Works for me - although I think Palpatine had more credibility.

So where does this leave Labour? Well, big changes are needed. But they didn't do that badly - most people are focusing on the last eighteen months, when in reality many good things were put in place (quite a few of which are now due to be taken away again) and the country was quite healthy. It took a global recession to bring things tumbling down in the end. However, it's a good opportunity for the Party to take a long, hard look at itself and move back towards the left in attempt to re-attract lost voters. The alliance with the Co-operative Party can itself only be a good thing for this. The Coalition and any semblance of Tory rule will eventually crack and leave people disillusioned once more. In that situation, Labour need to be ready and able to truly take Britain forward to a prosperous, progressive future for all.

The Green and Gold Campaign at Old Trafford seems to have reached it's natural end point. Now, however, is the time for direct action. The only way to rid MUFC of the Glazers is to starve them of money - don't renew. If OT is still full of people waving green and gold scarves and singing anti-Glazer songs next season then it's all been a big waste of time. The Red Knights aren't going to come galloping to the rescue - and are they really to be trusted? Doubtful. Just stop giving them your cash - although I'm sure those who say supporting the team is more important than the long term future of the club will no doubt side with David Gill's sickening comments and see that most people just keep turning up to watch. Thank the Lord for FC United of Manchester. Co-operative, supporter-owned football. It's the future.

Lancashire have surprised me this season, although the struggle to beat Warwickshire followed by the struggle against Essex have brought everyone back down to Earth. Sitting in third with not a lot separating us, Yorkshire and Notts is bloody marvellous - as is being the only Championship side unbeaten in both divisions. Marvellous. Just a pity the rain seems set to direct the first Roses match this year to a draw, as Lancs are well and truly in the driving seat. Let's just hope there's a few more wins to come yet.

England made fairly heavy weather of the first test against Bangladesh - although full credit must go to the touring side for their efforts, particularly with the bat. It's great to see two Bangladeshis on the honours board at Lord's. I've got a ticket for the first day at OT - should be a good day's play in prospect.

Well, that about wraps things up. I should do this more often!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

FC United of Newton Heath

So, news broke this week that the site for FC United's own ground will be on Ten Acres Lane (pronounced Ten Acre Lane, I believe), Newton Heath. Back in Manchester, back in the district where it all began.

The emotion surrounding this is, of course, extremely high. It means so much to all involved at the club to be taking such an important step forward whilst, at the same time, taking a few steps back as well. The significance of taking root in Newton Heath is the final nod of where FC United came from in the first place - if the ties with MUFC do fade over time, then at least we will always have this one magnificent link with the past.

Of course, the hard work is still to be done. We need to raise around £250,000 ASAP to get things moving. With that in place we will be significantly closer to making this dream a reality.

There's so much more that could be said, but I'm still struggling to find the words. It's something beautiful, This Thing Of Ours, and we're all going home.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

I'm just showing off now...

But I've won something! Well, I don't get a prize, but any of you lucky sods going to Salford RLFC's game against Celtic Crusaders on Friday will hear three tunes picked by my good self. Oh yes.

"This Friday also sees the first of our Playlist Winners. We’ve been asking our fans on Facebook to choose some of the music they’d like to hear pre-match and we asked you to come up with three local tunes to bring the team out.

This week’s winner is Michael Holdsworth with James – Sometimes, The Courteeners – Not Nineteen Forever and New Order – True Faith.

Michael’s playlist will get its airing before the game and half time.
Watch out for the Playlist competition ahead of the Bulls game on the 26th."


Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Well, updating this thing on a regular basis kinda went out of the window, didn't it? Ho hum. Although you have had some photo updates, if you've been paying attention.

So, the Glazer debt is finally in black and white and there for all to see, even if you've been burying your head in the sand for the past five years. It's a pity things have had to get this far for the majority to sit up and take notice, but better late than never and you won't get any self-righteousness or "I told you so" style posts from me. Solidarity is the order of the day (as shown by the flag below) and we all need to stick together on this one, with no more infighting. This may have been predicted in 2005 and we may now have people saying "oh, you were right after all" but now's the time for pointing fingers and being smug.

Which is why I'm all in favour of the green and gold campaign. The sight of people across OT and Manchester in general wearing green and gold/yellow (why are people nit-picking at what colour it should actually be, who cares?) should warm the heart of even the most hardened United fan from any side of the 'divide'. Whilst boycotting season tickets is the only real solution to hurt the Glazers where it counts and drive them out, this is, at least, a start. Something for people to galvanise and get behind. A way for everyone in the ground to show their distaste for the current ownership and see that they aren't really on their own.

There's been plenty of green and gold on display at FC United's past couple of matches as well, which really does warm the cockles of my heart. One in the eye for the "you're not real United fans" bridgade, although I believe plenty are still sniping. FCUM, as they say. Two Uniteds, one soul, one aim. Glazer out.

A brief mention, too, of the Test Series in South Africa (is it really that long since I wrote something?!) Whilst it was disappointing to lose the last game, if someone had said beforehand we'd win the one day series and draw the Test series, I'd have bitten their hand off. Marvellous stuff, although it does seem to still be papering over some cracks. Bring on the Bangladeshis!

The image above is Copyright Michael Regan/Getty Images. I know it was naughty of me to use it, but I'm skint and I'm hardly profiting from it, am I?

Sunday, 7 February 2010