Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Guardian: FC United

Source: The Guardian

FC United's Tony Howard

Thursday December 1, 2005

It was a week for remembering legends at FC United - red heroes past, present and passed away.

Recently departed Russell Delaney, one of the club's board members and instrumental figure in the club's formation, was honoured with a minute's applause at the home match against New Mills. On Saturday another hero - arguably United's greatest ever player, George Best - was honoured with a similar tribute away against Cheadle.

Many United fans have favoured the idea of applause over silence after experiencing one such tribute at Juventus several years ago. It makes perfect sense, and when Russell's family made the request we were happy to oblige by paying a fitting tribute to a man who would have hated the very notion of a 'silence' in his honour. Similarly, Georgie would have preferred the tribute he got at West Ham on Sunday.

The shrine of flowers and other items at Old Trafford includes many FC United contributions. It also includes heartfelt odes from Leeds and Liverpool supporters - proof that only a tiny minority of their supporters are bereft of decency and respect.

Meanwhile, reds of an FC persuasion also hailed more recent players, with Roy Keane's name sung at both games this week after he was cheekily linked with a move to the club in a local newspaper. Keane was joined in the terrace pop charts by Eric Cantona after the French messiah waxed lyrical about FC in the club programme, sparking a swift "Eric Cantona's an FC United fan" chant. We still hope he will cement his support by pledging his name in some way.

Still, in the absence of such heroes, a new generation are blossoming. Winger Steve Torpey turned in another blistering performance as FC beat New Mills 6-1, before the weekend trip to Stockport's Edgeley Park saw a barnstorming game finish 3-3, courtesy of a last-minute United equaliser.

It was a fitting finale to an emotional and historic week.