Date: 17th February 2011 at 8:24pm
Written by:

Old Trafford back in the days before prawn sandwiches were on the menu

Old Trafford back before prawn sandwiches were on the menu

Whenever it gets chance, nostalgia always attacks me and I look back at the things I loved, and how things used to be.

Music,  TV, Newspapers…sweets, photos, you name it, if it’s something I remember and it’s not around anymore, I’ll enjoy looking back, reminiscing, remembering good times, and things that I like.

Some of the things I look back on with United aren’t glory filled times, but bloody amazing match days.  In and amongst people who’d be there week in, week out, I loved the days when we hardly won anything, and the bitter days were truly warmed up by an intense atmosphere!

Out of the many fond memories I have of my early United days include…

  • Wonderfuel Gas
  • Thick and Thin
  • Massive Planters Peanut in the corner when L stand (first Family Stand area) was being re-developed
  • The substitute always warming the ‘keeper up
  • Keeping the summer feel as winter closes in, the Old Trafford sandpit comes out
  • A 1-0 B 0-0 C 3-2 D 2-0 E 1-1 on the scoreboard at half time
  • The scoreboard not working
  • The old guy with the Jesus Lives poster on a stick

One of the main things I always remember from going to Old Trafford in the 80s, was the way the team would run out on to the pitch, and I really wish they’d do it in the same way today.  I know they have to line up, greet the away team and say hello to the officials, and kiss each other and then they make their way towards the centre circle, clap the fans a bit and get warmed up.

It used to be a bit more personal to the fans than that.  It used to be more genuine than gesture, and in the day and age where footballers’ are chastised for their distance from the fans – it would make a welcome return to Old Trafford I’m sure, if they were to do it again.

Not going back that many years, the players would run out on to the pitch after their warm up prior to kick off and  the captain would lead the team out, stand on the center spot and face the (now) South Stand.  He’d wait until the rest of the players were lined up on his right, shoulder to shoulder, all in line.  They’d clap the supporters round all four sides of the stadium, the fans responded and we were all together for the next 90 minutes.

Being witness to that pre-match ritual, I see the current pitch entrance as a bit of a luke-warm gesture towards the fans and just wish they could spare an extra 30 seconds to acknowledge us as much as they do the opposition – albeit they don’t have a choice in that matter.

I’ve been going to Old Trafford since 1981, and regularly look back at how it was then, and how it is now.  I dont think times on the terraces today are a patch on what they were like in the 80s, despite lack of silverware – and each time I go to the Theatre of Dreams nowadays, I’m fully aware I’m entering a corporate entertainment venue.  Not a football ground.

In my list above, I’ve also included a memory that hardly anyone else can remember.  A few fans said they do remember it on one of the fan forums, but I can’t find any photo evidence that it ever existed and would love it if any readers can un-earth some photos of this.  The Planters Peanut.

When the corner that we now know as the away fans enclosure was redeveloped in 1984, work began towards the end of the season, and on matchdays you could see through from the forecourt in to the ground.  Blocking any intruders view was a large, I think wooden Mr Peanut.  I am DESPERATE to see photo evidence to remind me that Mr Peanut was indeed watching the reds at that time, as I can’t believe that there are only a tiny handful of reds who remember it!

What do others think?  Are there any fond memories that you have of your days going to Old Trafford, and that you look back on and can’t help but smile?  Add a comment, it might generate a load of reminiscing of good times!


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3 responses to “The Days When This Was The Best Thing About United…”

  1. Justin Mottershead says:

    The fact we were sponsored by an electronics company and our scoreboard was always knackered summed it all up!

  2. Mancunian Red says:

    The Flag over the Stretford End main entrance every game.

    Token Sheets especially youth team and reserve games where you could flog them when FA cup and big games came up.

    Stretford End wooden seats

    The Scoreboard Paddock. Celtic Rangers, Scoreboard Paddock give us a song.

    The Stretford End where you had to get in at 12.00 find your place with your mates, and by 1.30 to 2.00 that was you stuck in one place, and no chance to go to the loo and get back.

  3. Dave Manc says:

    10p on the 101 match bus, boiled sweaty burgers for 20p on a mobile stall outside the Stretford End, paying in to the Stretford End seats then climbing into the terraces, ditto – token sheets, I remember the queue going from the Lou Macari chippy for Liverpool tickets.. Always beating the scousers even though they were the dominant force, United Road out singing every away team, armored police on the pitch v Leeds.. I could go on and on but basically big gangs of like minded mates from all four corners of Manchester coming together with a passion for our local club instead of day trippers with cameras from all four corners of the world..