Monday, November 02, 2009

Forever United

I recently got myself a Manchester United logo tattooed on my arm. The torture lasted 4 and a half hours (relatively quick according to the artist). And by the time it was done, I was a happy man. Now, I don’t expect many people to share my joy, or even understand it. Precisely the reason why I got it in a not-so-visible area. I am tired of explaining to non-believers what football and especially United mean to me. This is probably the last time.

I fell in love with Manchester United the day I saw them take on the table toppers Aston Villa in the winter of 1998. I was a novice among premiership watchers that day. I was unaware of the Busby Babes. I did not know that this was one of the most famous teams in the world. I did not know that Fergie was a Scot. My choice was based on instinct. One to support the underdogs. And the reds did not disappoint me one bit. The remainder of the season saw Manchester United fight their way up, in their now-famous post-christmas surge, and won an unprecedented treble.

More than a decade has gone by since that cold and fateful winter afternoon. Since my journey with Manchester United began. My faith in them has not moved an inch – very much in tune with one of the club songs that go, “We shall not be moved.” They have won many a wonderful game. And they have lost many a painful one. But through tears of joy and sorrow, I swore by the Ferguson’s red army.

And today, my friends ask me why, of all things, I got myself the tattoo of a football club. One look at the climbing debt and you will know that Manchester United’s future is not the brightest. Chances are, in a few years from now, they will have to sell their best assets to address their mammoth debts. And one day, the worst nightmare of every United fan will come true, and Ferguson will step down from the helm. And United may turn into a club that plays boring football. “What then?” ask my mates. And I have no answer. It could be my way of showing gratitude to them for giving me something to believe in year after year. It could be my way of appreciating the most beautiful football they showcased time and again. It could be my way of saying ‘thank you’ for giving a rebel his cause. At least for while.


Maya Reiss said...

good one. makes a lot of sense... sounds heartfelt... (forgive the cliche.. :) )

Anonymous said...


Bangalorean said...

Why??!! Why!

Sam said...

When the whole world (including me) was ranting and raving about IPL, it was refreshing to see these fb (soccer) statuses being quietly updated now and then.