Monday, July 31, 2006

BBC Manchester interview with Adrian Goldberg

Interview on Terry Christian's show this morning (RealMedia format).
Start [1/3]
Middle [2/3]
End [3/3]

Imitation United not the real thing


FROM A distance they look very Manchester United.

Backed by an army of fans relentlessly chanting ancient songs about Cantona, Best, Busby Babes and all-things anti-Merseyside, the red and whites fielded a will-of-the-wisp winger called Giggs.

But imitation isn't reality .as Sheffield Club proved, beating FC United, on Saturday, at Don Valley Stadium.

The Giggs on show was Ryan's brother Rhodri.

He and his team-mates were a selection of useful, yet limited park-players who belong in the lower reaches of English football.

FC United are the breakaway club formed by protesters who resented the Old Trafford take-over by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer.

Under the management of ex-Milers striker Karl Marginson, the new boys won the North West Counties Div 2 last season with eight points to spare.

But in this friendly against the oldest team in the world, they came undone.

If Club's new striker Gary Townsend had brought his shooting boots, Sheffield would have tucked away three in the first half.

Team-mate Paul Smith, an ex Notts Forest pro who once commanded a £150,000 price tag, also fluffed an easy chance.

It was left to captain Craig Marsh to rise unmarked from a James Tevendale corner to hit the net in first half injury time.

FC United had a centre forward in Leon Mike who was as wide as the Stretford End and about as mobile.

He did manage to hit the bar from a free kick, but it was only when Marginson brought on pacier forwards that Club's defence had do some work.

Then, they defended intelligently; adding strength to chairman Richard Tims' belief that this might be their year in the North Counties East Premier.

Club were gifted a dodgy penalty after 80 minutes, but justice was done when goalie Barrie George parried Rob Ward's shot.

Giggs, though, stifled his own team's last chances to draw level...putting two successive corners limply behind the goal.

Final whistle saw the 600 FC fans disappearing from the stadium singing rude songs about Glazer. It's what they had come for...

Club play a Sheffield United XI tonight.

MEN: By George

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. no online content

KEEPER Barrie George rescued FC United from a heavier friendly defeat as the Rebels lost 1-0 at Sheffield FC, the world's oldest football club.

George saved a Rob Ward penalty and produced another wonder stop to deny Chis White.

But he could do nothing to prevent Craig Marsh cashing in on slack marking to head home the winner right on half-time.

Adie Mike* hit the bar for FC United with a free kick, while Rhodri Giggs lit up a dull afternoon with some clever footwork.

* Should be Leon Mike

Thursday, July 27, 2006

MEN: Bury prove too sharp for their new tenants

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N.

BURY put tenants FC United in their place with a 2-0 victory in a friendly at Gigg Lane.

The two clubs signed an agreement on the pitch before the game to seal the North West Counties League side's stay at the stadium for the next three years, before treating the 2,674 fans to a lively game.

The Shakers turned out four or five first-choice players, and took the lead on 27 minutes when FC defender Rob Nugent put through his own goal, and Damian Quigley powered in a header four minutes after half-time
Advertisement your story continues below

Meanwhile, ex-Bury striker Jon Newby struck after 25 minutes to give Chester a 1-0 friendly victory at Droylsden. But the Bloods almost snatched an equaliser when he fired narrowly wide.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Don's lose Supporters Direct Cup

Source: icSouthlondon

Ray Armfield Reports From Gigg Lane


THE welcome from the hosts to the 300 travelling Dons was as warm as the Gigg Lane weather, but it didn't stop FC United removing AFC Wimbledon's grip on the Supporters Direct Cup.

With manager Dave Anderson away on holiday and his assistant Jon Turner on honeymoon, coaches Warren Kelly and Simon Bassey took charge for this trip to Lancashire.

The Dons opened brightly with much of the early play seeing wing-back Michael Haswell and Paul Barnes combine well to give United's Matty Taylor a torrid first half.

After another pacy run from Barnes forced Phil Melville into a fine diving parry, Wes Daly's resulting corner was headed against the bar by Steve Butler and Barnes was on hand to sweep in the loose ball in predatory fashion.

Wimbledon looked in control during the opening 45 minutes, with Daly and Haswell both wasting opportunities to extend the lead. But a quadruple AFC substitution at half-time seemed to cost the Dons their rhythm and a warning of what was to come saw Josh Howard rattle the upright early in the second period.

Josh Lennie did well to block a Rory Patterson effort shortly after, but both he and the Wimbledon defence allowed FCUM skipper Dave Brown to power home an unmarked equaliser from the corner.

A couple of niggly challenges not in keeping with the spirit of the afternoon, spilled over into an altercation between Simon Carden and Scott Curley and both were dismissed by referee Rob Goodwin.

United put Wimbledon on the backfoot for the remainder of the game and, with a quarter of an hour remaining, Steve Torpey dispossessed a hesitant Steve Wales and proceeded to curl a delightful cross-shot past Lennie into the top corner for the winner.

Darren Grieves managed to rob Melville on the edge of the area late on, but could only fire over. There was even a late cameo appearance by Rhodri Giggs - brother of Manchester United's Ryan - before both sets of fans swapped handshakes as the special relationship between these two clubs was further cemented.


GOALSCORERS: FC United of Manchester - Brown (51), Torpey (75); AFC Wimbledon - Barnes (15). TEAMS: FC United - (4-4-2) Melville, Taylor, Mortimer (Orr 75), Spencer, Brown, Nugent (McCartney 70), J Howard (Swarbrick 85), Carden, Rudd (Mike 80), Torpey (Giggs 89), Patterson (Smith 77). Not used: Newbrick.

AFC Wimbledon - (3-5-2) Little (Lennie 46), Wales, Haswell, A Howard, S Butler (Sobihy 46), Finnie, Daly, Garrard (Curley 46), Barnes (Goddard 87), Grieves, Paris (Ursell 46). Not used: McLaren. ATTENDANCE: 2,136.

MEN: Lewis gets his reward for pitching in

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. no online content

LEWIS Allen had a nice surprise when he turned up to watch FC United play AFC Wimbledon at the weekend - he was made mascot for the day.

The 10-year-old Royton youngster was rewarded for helping dad Keving and other FC volunteers work on the Gigg Lane pitch last season to ensure landlords Bury would be able to play on it three days later.

Kit man George Hayden invited Lewis to help him put out the players' strips before leading them out, and chief executive Andy Walsh made Lewis mascot for the day.

Picture caption: "MASCOT Delighted 10-year-old Lewis Allen from Royton with FC United players Leon Mike and Rhodri Giggs.

Monday, July 24, 2006

FC United 2 AFC Wimbledon 1

Gallery Here

MEN: Rebels’ silver start

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. no online content

FC UNITED picked up some silverware before the season has even begun, beating soul brothers AFC Wimbledon 2-1 to lift the Supporters Direct Trophy, writes STUART BRENNAN.

A crowd of 2,136, including around 300 visiting supporters, was at Gigg Lane to see the Ryman League premier side – formed four years ago when the original Wimbledon was bought and moved to Milton Keynes by businessman Charles Koppel – take a deserved first half lead through the lively Paul Barnes.

But FC came to life after the break, especially after skipper Dave Brown powered home the equaliser from Steve Torpey’s free-kick.

FC midfielder Simon Carden and the Dons’ Scott Curley forgot the ‘friendly’ tag and were sent off for violent conduct after 65 minutes, but Torpey settled the match, lashing home a half-volley after hesitancy in the Wimbledon defence.

FC played what appears to be manager Karl Marginson’s favoured line-up, with new full-backs Matty Taylor and Alex Mortimer, and striker Stuart Rudd claiming places.

But Marginson makes it plain that the heat is on for places, and for the six contracts up for grabs, and that he expects stiffer competition for places this season.

“The interest from non-league players in playing for us is scary,” he says. “I get phone call after phone call, from people who want to come here.

“There are plenty of experienced semi-pros who would come here given the chance, but some of them want to come for the wrong reasons.”

MEN's Brennan wins top writers award from the fans

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. no online content

M.E.N. SPORT journalist Stuart Brennan has made history after being voted the Football Supporters' Federation Writer of the Year - the first provincial paper correspondent to receive the award.

Malcom Clarke, the Federation chairman, said: "Stuart received nominations from both United and FC United's fans who are among the 130,000 members of our organisation and our council had to decide from a shortlist.

"Stuart proved he has courage in his reporting of the Glazer issue at United and in the way he has covered FC United during their inaugural season, to be a worthy winner of this award.

"Stuart's excellent journalism shone through as did the paper's perceptive coverage of the Glazer takeover and the setting-up of FC United."

Jules Spencer, and FC United board member and club spokesman, added: "Stuart has been a long-time champion of supporters' causes going back many years and he was the first to recognise that FC United should not be dismissed as a futile ambition.

"He, together with the M.E.N. website, and of course the paper, have been great supporters to FC United which we all appreciate."

Brennan, 42, who has been at the M.E.N. for eight years, received his award on the pitch at Gigg Lane, Bury, ahead of FC United's Supporters Direct Cup match against AFC Wimbledon.

Friday, July 21, 2006

FC United hail Dons

Jul 21 2006

FC United have paid tribute to AFC Wimbledon for making their dreams become reality.

The two teams meet in the annual Supporters' Direct Cup at Gigg Lane on Saturday.

AFC Wimbledon helped disenchanted Man United supporters, furious with Malcom Glazer's Old Trafford takeover, form the fan-owned club.

And FC United general manager Andy Walsh says they will never forget the support and encouragement they got from the Dons.

He said: "When most people in the game were telling us that we did not have time to get through the necessary paperwork, it was the achievements and encouragement of AFC Wimbledon that inspired the steering committee to press on.

"There are significant differences in the circumstances that led to the formation of each club but the desire as fans to have some control over the way our club is run is the same."

The Manchester club will be eyeing revenge after AFC beat them 1-0 in their second game at Kingsmeadow last year.

Dons chairman Kris Stewart said: "I have been looking forward to this match since last year.

"It promises to be a great occasion for the supporters and hopefully we can thrash them since the trophy looks good in our cabinet.

"But the game is not really about that. This game is about two clubs formed in a similar fashion but from very different circumstances. A year ago FC United looked to us for advice but already we have begun to look to them for advice."

Tickets are available on the day, priced £7 for adults, £5 for over 60s, and £2 for under-18s.

In the spirit of the competition, the gate receipts from the match will be shared between both clubs.

MEN: Rebels in thug hunt

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N.

FC UNITED have vowed to find the supporter who began the crowd trouble at Altrincham that has strained relationships between the two clubs.

A minor scuffle broke out at the Golf Road End of the ground during the friendly on Wednesday night, and appeared to be caused by a FC United fan, who was ejected by stewards.

Altrincham reacted strongly to the incident, saying it is unlikely they would want to play FC again, and are threatening to prevent the use of Moss Lane for any games involving the rebels.

The Red rebels are expected to put out their strongest possible side for tomorrow’s Supporters Direct Trophy clash with fellow fan-owned club AFC Wimbledon at Gigg Lane, kick-off 3pm.

New full-backs Matty Taylor and Alex Mortimer, and striker Stuart Rudd, are likely to get a run-out in the game which is a return of last season’s Trophy match at Kingsmeadow which the Wombles won 1-0.

FC officials will say a big ‘thank you’ to their Ryman League counterparts. General manager Andy Walsh said: “Without the help and guidance of their chairman Kris Stewart, FC United may never have happened.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Altirncham 3 FC 1

Gallery Here

MEN: Chips with everything

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N.

Altrincham 3 FC United 1

FC UNITED keeper Phil Melville had his fill of chips in last night’s friendly at Moss Lane, twice being undone by shots which looped above his head, writes STUART BRENNAN

The stopper, seeking a regular first-team place at the expense of Barrie George, had defied the Robins with terrific saves from Colin Little, Rob Lawton and Warren Peyton.

And the Rebels had taken a deserved first half lead against the Conference outfit – four divisions higher – when last season’s joint top scorer Rory Patterson was fouled by Peter Band and picked himself up to score from the spot after 39 minutes.

Alty stepped up a gear in the second half and former Crewe and Macclesfield man Little produced a sweet lob to draw his team level on 57 minutes.

Peyton went one better with a clever turn and chip on 64 minutes and sub Lee Hendley made the most of a defensive mix-up to score Alty’s third.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Supporters Direct: What's it all about?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: Supporters Direct Magazine issue 22, June 2006. 1.4 MB PDF

When it was first reported that disgruntled fans of Manchester United were thinking of starting their own team, many in the football world scoffed. Some couldn’t see the point, whilst others couldn’t see that it would work.

There was certainly scepticism amongst many football administrators and club officials in the leagues where the new club was being touted to play. More than one thought that such a club would be little more than a three-game protest. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

The people behind the idea like beating the odds. Many cut their teeth on anti- ID card campaigns back in the late 80s, and had been protesting at the increasing commercialisation at Old Trafford, having their finest hour defying the world by stopping Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of the club back in 1999. But for a group of people used to campaigning against the way football was going, how have they found being in charge?Free Image Hosting at

Andy Walsh, the club’s General Manager, is a veteran of all those protests. An instinctive organiser with a quiet moral force that commands respect, he has been running the club with help from Secretary Luc Zentar, and more recently some additional staff. His manner has got more than a hint of a modern urban priest about it, and Walsh’s flock is a diverse bunch.

There are die-hard Glazer refuseniks, who’ve vowed to never go back to Old Trafford, to people who can’t pull away and watch both clubs. There’s people who are disenchanted of the way the top flight football ‘experience’ seems to have little place for them, to people who simply couldn’t afford to watch Premiership football.

All this reflects that there’s always been more to the FC United story than Malcolm Glazer. Walsh himself notes that when he was younger, his father took him to watch the club aged five. When he wished to take his two sons, he found he struggled to be able to find three seats together for the family, and still less afford them. There’s a palpable sense that the football club, as a rite of passage for families to chart their lives, was breaking down and FC United have a keen sense of restoring that function.

Walsh says “we want affordability, excitement, and a sense of community” and with over 59,000 over the season paying to watch the club play at Gigg Lane this year, not to mention thousands who followed them away, they’ve clearly tapped into something. They’ve even had fans of other clubs coming along, similarly delighted to find a passionate atmosphere at an affordable price.

Those numbers have increased the average attendance in the North West Counties Second Division by 450%, echoing the similar impact that AFC Wimbledon had in the Combined Counties League.

What’s been a source of great delight has been the youthfulness of those crowds, with over 25% under 16. For many, it’s their first real experience of being a match-going fan.

However such numbers can create problems too, but Walsh says that their fanbase has taken an active role in selfpolicing. It works, he says, because the whole point of the club is to empower fans to take control and responsibility. He says too many clubs have moved away from a simple test – is something good for the club’s fans? It might be good for the manager, the players or the officials, but if it is isn’t good for the fans, then it shouldn’t be done. It sounds simple enough, but Walsh is talking about the actual fans as they exist, not a hypothetical set of fans that, as they don’t actually exist, can be made to support anything the board likes.

Indeed, that crucial step means that instead of people constantly arguing about doing what is best for the club, with the Board meaning one thing and fans groups meaning another, at FC United the answer is whatever the fans think. The club is constituted as an IPS, so there’s no club board and a trust board. Fans elect the Board directly, and every member owns one-share in the club.

It sounds like Barcelona, and the parallels run deeper than that. Joan Laporta shared a platform with Walsh back in 1999, when both were trying to gain power within their clubs. Laporta famously became President in 2002, whilst Walsh has had top take a different route.

Like Barca, the club don’t have a shirt sponsor, a move confirmed by members in a vote. As Walsh says, money is not the problem itself, but what money does, where it goes and what you end up having to do to get it.

There’s a real sense that the club wants to be like others in many respects, in other ways there’s a real sense of making a difference.Walsh agrees that there’s a sense at the club that they’re redefining what clubs can and should be, rather than simply trying to be like others, only fan-run. For example, the club aren’t against sponsorship, and the official club sponsor is the Bhopal Medical Appeal, for the victims of the Union Carbide disaster in India in 1984.

They recently played a friendly against Lok Leipzig in eastern Germany, against the advice and wishes of many people within Germany who felt that this would reward a club with far-right and hooligan reputation. Walsh shared the concern, but felt the club could make more impact by using their credibility to underscore an anti-racist message, and give a voice to the forces of progress within Lok. It wasn’t the easiest decision, but it was probably the braver one, which seems indicative of the way in which the club approach things.

Walsh says that he has a diverse board working with him, covering a range of talents, from old campaigners to entrepreneurs. He is convinced that whilst sometimes, decisions take a bit longer, they’re better decisions for having been debated, rather than forced through by dint of personality, or shareholding.

Asked where the club’s community is, playing as it does in Bury but called ‘FC United of Manchester’, and he’s unequivocal. ‘Our community is Manchester’, and it’s clear that the club has no ambitions upon the local support from Bury or any of their near neighbours.

They also know that they are unlikely to be able to have a youth programme of any note given the comparative resources in a crowded football market in Manchester.

They can, however, make an impact upon local grassroots football by turning their fans into volunteers to assist local junior football clubs, like the one Walsh himself runs in his increasingly scare spare time. The club are also moving onto revenue sharing with smaller junior clubs who they can get to sell tickets fort matches. FCUM get the benefit from more people, and the clubs selling get some much-needed funds.

So after a year of running the club, of promotion and proving the doubters wrong, what is his own biggest source of satisfaction? He’s quick to reply that in appointing Karl Marginson as manager, they found a man who shared their vision for an exciting team playing good football and who shares their vision for what they want to club to be.

And the name? “FC United of Manchester was voted on by fans and was the clear choice, as was the badge.” Walsh smiles with a glint in his eye; “Rolls off the tongue nicely, doesn’t it?”

• FC Utd won the Moore and Co Construction Solicitors North West Counties League Second Division title in their inaugural season. Congratulations on successful first season from all at SD.

First published 29th June 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

MEN: Rebels in a rush

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. no online content.

FC United take their pre-season preparations up a notch from tomorrow night with three games in the space of seven days, tackling Altrincham, AFC Wimbledon and finally Bury.

United will see the game against AFC Wimbledon as more than a warm-up for the new season, as they contest the Supporters Direct Cup which was won by Wimbledon 1-0 last summer.

This time around, FC United, recently named the non-league club of the year will hope to take the spoils from the game between the two supporter-owned clubs.

Monday, July 17, 2006

MEN: Radcliffe Borough 3 FC United 2

Source: M.E.N.

FC United's new look first team lost out in their first pre-season friendly but manager Karl Marginson had plenty to be pleased about.

The new Reserves side picked up a hard earned victory as FC prepare for the season ahead.

FC were beaten 3-2 at Radcliffe Borough’s Inn2gether Stadium, while the Reserves maintained their 100 per cent record with victory over Monton Amateurs by the same score.
Advertisement your story continues below

Simon Carden and David Swarbrick were on target for FC United but some lacklustre defending cost them dear as they allowed the home side to sneak a winner late on.

Radcliffe, who play their football two divisions higher than United in the Unibond Premier Division, provided the North West One newcomers with a tough game, but but the Reds were by no means out of their depth.

FC found themselves up against it furing the early exchanges but dug deep and eventually took the lead when Carden fired home first time from a cross as FC hit Radcliffe on the counter.

The goal appeared to settle United and they looked to be in control until Radcliffe caught them cold at the restart with a clever flick on which Scott Warner headed home.

Radcliffe then made it 2-1 but after the break, Swarbrick latched onto a neat through ball to grab a deserved equaliser.

But United's hard work was undone by giving Radcliffe too much room in the box from another corner and allowing Simon Kelly to get the winner and his second goal of the day.

Manager Marginson said: "Considering it is the players’ first run out it wasn’t too bad, but there is room for improvement in some areas.

"Some of the focus went at the back and we’ll have to try to work on that.

"But at this stage, all we can focus on is fitness levels. We haven’t done any work in training yet on things like keeping shape, so that will come in the next few games."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MEN: Away day for FC United

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N.

By Stuart Brennan

FC United will travel to St Helens Town on the opening day of the Moore and Co Construction Solicitors League season on August 12.

The Rebels, playing in the first division after promotion in their inaugural season, follow that with their first home game, on Wednesday August 16 against Nelson - who knocked FC out of the Division Two Trophy last season and were promoted alongside them.

The first "derby" clash with Maine Road, the club formed by City supporters, takes place on November 4, and is likely to be switched from Brantingham Road to a bigger venue.
Advertisement your story continues below

Boxing Day sees the Rebels at home to Ramsbottom and they will wrap up the season with a home game against Formby on April 28.

Flint Town United

The club's newly-formed reserve team began life with a win in a friendly at Flint Town United at the weekend, watched by a crowd of 900!

A host of FC United supporters travelled to Wales to give the new team, managed by former player Tony Cullen, a cheer and were rewarded with a 1-0 scoreline, with Gary Edwards getting the historic winner.

FC United are helping to organise a festival involving seven Trafford primary schools at St Alphonsus school on Thursday.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Flint boss Davies delighted as FC United come to town

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: Evening Leader, Wrexham and Flintshire Edition

FLINT TOWN UNITED boss Paul Davies believes his side lacked that little bit of sharpness as they went down 1-0 in their opening pre-season friendly with FC United.

A second half goal gave the North West Counties Division One side the win over the Cyrmu Alliance club in front of a bumper crowd of more than 1,000, and Davies said: “It was a great game and there was a really good atmosphere. They came here with a huge following and were able to put two completely different sides out in each half and they looked really sharp.

“They have been training for more than a month already, while this was our first game and I think we put in a really good effort.

“New signing Mike Allsopp from Holywell had a really good game and Dean Hughes in midfield was a handful. Steve Muir in goal looked solid and the signs are good for next season.

“FC United have asked us if they can come down again next season, which is fantastic news for us.”

And NEWI Cefn Druids’ duo Dixie McNeil and Graham Jones were more than pleased with their side’s showing against Nefyn United, despite the result going against them.

Druids went down 1-0 at home against the Welsh Alliance outfit, but Jones was adamant the result was immaterial.

“We absolutely bombarded them for the whole of the game,” said Jones. “I think they have had one chance and scored from it, but we have been in control from start to finish.

“The result went against us, but it was our first pre-season friendly game and we used 22 players.

“The result doesn’t matter, they only count in four weeks time when the league starts, until then, who cares. It is the performance we were looking for and the lads put it in.”

New signing Carl Lamb from Bangor City looked impressive up front along side Darren Williams, while former Druids star Danny Watkins, also looked in good touch on his return to the club.

Jones added: “We used 22 players to give everyone a run out and so we could have a look at a number of the trialists here. There were a number of them that looked good and it gives me and Dixie a little bit of a headache about who we bring in. But it is a nice problem to have.”

MEN: FA Vase

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: M.E.N. - no online content

FC UNITED’S first adventure into the FA Vase sees them take a trip to Doncaster to play Brodsworth Miners Welfare on September 23.

If FC win that second qualifying round tie, they face a trip to play either Padiham or Cheadle Town on October 7.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

TNLP: Yobs spoil FC's away day

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usSource: The Non-League Paper - no online content

By Matt Prangley

POLICE escorted three troublemakers from the ground as FC United's travelling fans attracted som unwanted attention.

The referee took the players off early at the end of the first half to allow things to cool down and there was no further trouble.

FC United went on to prepare for their assault on next season's Nort West Counties Division One title with a slim victory over the Cymru Alliance Silkmen.

They handed their second side the chance to push for a first team place and reserve team manager Tony Cullen was not disappointed.

He said: "We used 23 players today to gen an idea of who would be in the final squad and everyone impressed me.

"To use that many players, not concede and score at the other end is outstanding.

"Ben Mortimer and Michael Sachs were outstanding in the first half as were Ricardo Brando and Gary Edwards in the second."

Flint joint manager Paul Davies said: "We lacked a bit of sharpnes but we aquitted ourselves well.

"Their squad was full of young players who gave us a good test and I'm sure this performance can help us push on."

In a first half that saw little goalmouth action but plenty of midfield scrapping, the home side came slosest to breaking the deadlock after 30 minutes.

A Dean Hughes header left keeper Phil Leaff stranded but Mortimer raced back to clear off the line.

Stubstitutions from both managers paved the way for a lively second period. Ten minutes into the restart Brando got laid the ball into the path of strike partner Gary Edwards whose crisp shot beat Steve Muir.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

MEN: United double for Ryan and Rhodri

Source: M.E.N.
First published by The Salford Advertiser.Free Image Hosting at


1st RYAN Giggs and his brother Rhodri can both lay claim to be star United discoveries.

But while Ryan made his name with Manchester United, Rhodri is training with FC United of Manchester – the club formed by Reds’ fans after the Glazer takeover at Old Trafford.

Rhodri, 29, originally from Swinton, impressed the club when he played against them with a celebrity team in a charity fund-raiser for injured rugby player Chris McGuirk.


Rhodri was rated as a young player and had trials at several clubs, but his career was hampered by off-the-field incidents.

He has continued to play at a semi-professional level and FC United assistant manager Phil Power said he had a real chance of making the first team – and could play in front of up to 6,000 fans at Bury’s Gigg Lane in the North West Counties’ first division.

Power said: “I’ve known Rhodri for a few years and our keeper Phil Melville also knows him, so when we saw him in the charity game, we asked him to come training. He looked good in the game and still has the touch he had when he was younger, so if selected, he will offer a few new options for us next season.

“He’s played for Mossley last season, so he’s in good shape and fitness will not be a problem.”

Rhodri could be given a chance to shine when FC United play their first pre-season friendly away at Radcliffe Borough on Saturday, July 15.

Meanwhile, the club is also hoping to woo another new star after a famous face impressed when playing against them in the same charity game.

Sam Robertson, who plays Mike Baldwin’s son Adam in Coronation Street, scored with an exquisite lob and has also been asked to attend FC United’s next training session.

The celebrity side, which included fellow Corrie stars Andy Whyment (Kirk) and Alan Halsall (Tyrone) and ex-England footballer Peter Reid, was soundly beaten by FC United, but Sam – known to have played at a good standard in his native Scotland – showed some nifty touches.

Power said: “We liked the look of Sam during the charity game and thought it would be worth asking him to come training and see how he does.

“He couldn’t come last week, but we hope he’ll get down this week – and if he does well, we can take it from there.”

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Daily Mirror: People

Source: Edited from Daily Mirror

Coronation Street star SAM ROBERTSON - Adam Baldwin - has landed a trial at FC United - the non-league club formed by Manchester United fans angered at Malcolm Glazer's takeover.

Monday, July 03, 2006

MEN: Street star gets trial with United

Source: M.E.N. (no online content)
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usCORONATION Street star Sam Robertson has landed a trial for semi-professional football club FC United.

The 21-year-old, who plays Adam Baldwin in the soap, impressed manager Karl Marginson when he played against them and scored a goal, in a charity match at the end of last season.

He asked if he could try out for the club, which was formed by Manchester United supporters angered by Malcolm Glazer’s takeover at Old Trafford and was invited to join other squad members last week.

Sam is a keen footballer – he had a trial for the mixed team of celebrities and ex-professionals which featured in ITV’s The Match but missed the final selection.

Although a non-league team, FC United regularly attract about 3,000 fans.