Thursday, May 11, 2006

MEN: Rebels on the road to Europe

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: Manchester Evening News


FC UNITED play their first international fixture tomorrow night against the world’s biggest non-league club.

The Rebels, fresh from securing the North West Counties second division title in their first season, will face Lokomotive Leipzig in a friendly match in Germany.

FC are believed to be the world’s third-biggest non-league club, behind Loko and Conference side Exeter City, after averaging 3,059 at Gigg Lane this season.

Loko hold the world record attendance for a non-league game, with 12,421 watching them play Eintracht Grossdeuben in October 2004, in the 11th tier of German football.

As recently as 1987 they lost a European Cup winners’ Cup final to a Marco van Basten goal for Ajax, only for the club to go bankrupt in 2004 and be resurrected by supporters who had to begin again at the bottom of the German football ladder.

Loko fans have already snapped up more than 5,000 tickets for the match, and as many as 800 FC United supporters are expected to make the trip across.