Opinion

The red cauldron through my eyes

MUSC Red Devils NCR
A fan meet with Manchester United legends
A fan meet with Manchester United legends / Mohit Arora
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1992 - Premier League - Manchester United - Me.

If ever being destined about something was an understatement, guess it was:

1992 >> Premier League Onset >> Manchester United’s Dominance >> Destiny >> Me

Researching upon England’s most iconic writers, Shakespeare led me to England’s most iconic football club. Doing A-Levels in England was enough of a challenge that picking English Literature was a mountain enough to climb, with Shakespeare staring down my face.

Off I went to the school library and started scouring through books and came across something very interesting, and if I correctly recall the title, it was English Football History.

For the next two hours, Shakespeare chilled and took a back seat as I started reading through the book.

The magic of Manchester United came to me then. Immensely intrigued, I decided to explore more about the club.

Football back then was very fan-centric; games were always on a Saturday and kick-off timings were 3pm. The romance of pure football was at its best. Pure football, clean football, competitive football and by the end of the game, pints and pub food by 5pm with friends.

Thankfully, there was no social media; there was just media, i.e. BBC, BBC Radio and broadsheet newspapers, and even the tabloids made some sense back then.

Alien world right? But it existed.

All this while, the craze for Manchester United kept multiplying and I found a few mates who followed Manchester United too, so it was a lot more fun. But it was January 1993, when I first got to Old Trafford, and I still refer to it as that match, when magic truly kicked in.

Old Trafford
My visit to Old Trafford / Mohit Arora

It was a freezing January afternoon; it was Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur. We won 4-1; the score mattered, but to have seen Cantona in full flow from close quarters was heavenly.

Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona Manchester United / Getty Images/GettyImages

The craze multiplied fourfold, and if there is a word such as a "millionfold", then so be it. Visiting Old Trafford then became a routine, but it was only in 1999, after that iconic goal by Giggs in the FA Cup replay against Arsenal, did I buy my first Manchester United jersey.

Ryan Giggs of Manchester United
Ryan Giggs of Manchester United / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

The memories multiplied and how. I was lucky enough to witness two of the most iconic moments of the Treble, one, title clinching game at Old Trafford in 1999 vs. Spurs and two, the FA Cup Final vs. Newcastle at the Old Wembley, and walked the walk in that crazy crowd in Manchester on the day after the Treble.

I was also witness to lifting our 19th and our 20th league titles, truly knocking those scousers truly off their perch. Old Trafford moments since, are countless, beating Roma 7-1, beating Spurs 5-2, beating Arsenal 6-1 & 8-2, beating Inter Milan 2-0, beating AC Milan 4-0 (Beckham picking up the Gold and Green Scarf), drawing Barcelona 0-0 and then beating them 1-0 with that Scholes thunderbolt at Old Trafford in the second leg.

Manchester United
Myself with the Premier League trophy at Old Trafford / Mohit Arora

I feel blessed to have watched more than 160 games at Old Trafford since 1993. But something that will be etched in my memories forever at Manchester United is having a brick with my name engraved at Old Trafford. Then came 2004, in which I got my season ticket.

Manchester United wall
My name engraved on the Old Trafford wall / Mohit Arora

To have my own seat in the now Sir Alex Ferguson Stand was the culmination of a fan following that has grown beyond just being a fan, to living and breathing Manchester United day in day out.

2022, marks the 18th year of my season ticket and seven more years from now, my name would be engraved on that seat forever.

Manchester United v Fulham FC - Premier League
The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand at Old Trafford / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The fan following ended up in becoming a dedication, a commitment, when, along with a few mates now in India, I was able to start a Manchester United Fan Club and make it officially recognized by Manchester United.

Manchester United
Myself at a screening with my fan club alongside Manchester United legends / Mohit Arora

Like I had said:

1992 >> Premier League >> Manchester United >> Destiny >> Me  


Written by: Mohit Arora of MUSC Red Devils NCR

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