I can’t quite believe that I’m sat writing this end of season blog, where has it gone, it’s been quite a turbulent season with all considered!
On a personal note, I was happy to start the 18/19 season off at Birmingham City seeing friends and meeting new friends too and I’m so glad to say our friendship has grown, I’m also glad to say that blues stayed up again even with a 9 point deduction! I hope to see you guys again next season!
This season has been my second as a wheelchair season ticket holder at United, and I won’t lie it has been hard work for me this season both mentally & physically it’s been a really hard slog but I’m grateful to be able to have the memories I do of this season.
Of course, we have also endured two managers this season. One being Jose and sadly that ended a bit stale! Then we had the excitement of Ole our legend coming back as manager of this great club, and I thank Ole for some absolutely amazing memories this second half of the season because without him I doubt we’d have got to Paris!
Before I get into my highlights and lows! I have asked some of my mates what their highs were this season and I am sure you’ll recognise the names!
Mef – Says his highs were arsenal away in the FA Cup and the home match with West Ham when we were 2-0 down and went on to win 3-2!
Adam – Says his best moment has to be PSG away (Even though he wasn’t there), being part of the TRA and Utd Road especially for Liverpool at home as well as L Stand due to the amazing atmospheres. But mostly all the new mates he’s made at Old Trafford thanks to TRA! He also says TRA piss up pre Chelsea was a great day, with his mates in the sun having a few drinks!
Ben – Says his best was the run under Ole when he first came in and what a great run that was Ben! Plus he said meeting me and we share that highlight!
Jamie – For Jamie, it was seeing Shay going to his first match & enjoying it! Also Spurs away and winning when we shouldn’t have!
Neil’s top moment was PSG away with Rashford’s penalty! He then goes on to say that the atmosphere for the games at Old Trafford for Reading in the FA Cup & Liverpool in the league! He also says Chelsea away in the FA Cup! But of course, like many of us says Cardiff away with it being Ole’s first game in charge, the goals & the hope! Final mention goes to the Monkey Bus annual food comp at Christmas .. Neil presented a burger made of .. burger, Xmas pudding, sprouts, burger, salted peanuts, pasta, mince pies, chocolate & sausage roll … he was robbed though and didn’t win .. what a masterpiece it was!
Dax – Says his highlight was the West Ham at home match after coming back to win!
Andy – Says his highlights were both in Europe with the win at Juventus & PSG!
Lee – Says his favourite moment has been Ole coming back to the club and that first game that gave us all hope!
Now it’s time to look at my favourite moments and incidents that have made me laugh so much!
Now my absolute highlight of the season has to be PSG away. That moment in Paris when Rashford scored the penalty was amazing and it was such a natural high! What made it even more special for me was getting to share it with my best mates, both Andys and Neil .. a memory that will stay with me forever, it still makes me smile now!
Of course, Cardiff away was amazing too for a different reason. We scored 5 goals for a start! However the real reason was it being Ole’s first match as a manager he gave us all hope back, and it was a real joy being part of that away end!
Going to Old Trafford, now it has to be the Reading FA cup game because of L Stand. Having my own fans & my mates behind me was superb! I felt so included in the matchday experience it really was the best day at Old Trafford!
Talking of atmosphere, I’ve got to say that it’s definitely improved this season, at times I could hear our fans over the away fans. The Liverpool game stood out for the atmosphere and that’s a lot to do with the work of the fans In Utd Road!
I’ve also got to say the run of games when Ole first came in as a group, the fans were happy, the atmosphere was great and the players gave a shit!
Of course, I’ve got to mention my European matches and the experiences that are bright, travelling to Switzerland and visiting the UN was superb! Then visiting Italy and experiencing Turin with my mates, the kindness of the United fans making sure me & Andy could see from the back of the stand! To Valencia and it being so warm in December … hearing how much Neil paid for his pizza, still makes me laugh that! Then heading off to PSG and visiting a city I’ve wanted to see for a long time! To seeing the Mona Lisa and not being that impressed! Of course, my mate’s bed in Paris must get a mention bare in mind he’s over 6ft and was given a kids bed .. how I laughed! Then heading to Barcelona and seeing the unfinished cathedral and of course going via Ibiza will always make me chuckle!
Me & Ben had been texting and looking forward to meeting up in Paris as we was doing the same 3 day trip, however everytime we said this is the day we missed each other, even under the Eiffel Tower by a few moments! We can laugh about it now!
Talking of European trips we look at Young boys, briefly! Me & Andy had a bit of an issue as couldn’t get In due to united only giving us 1 ticket instead of two (this was one of many united errors in Europe!) with no united stewards around I thought oh ill text Gary and see if he can get a united steward to help! Well I text but no reply til the next day, haha! Luckily we got in anyway!
Looking back at other moments away from Europe, when we played Bournemouth and had the last minute Rashford goal when Jamie ran off into the crowd as fans were jumping over me, Jamie then came back and seeing Dave falling into fellow wheelchair users, I shouldn’t have laughed but I did!
Talking of Bournemouth as I was on the concourse as Jamie had a drink & some food which shay didn’t want until Jamie started eating! I was relaxing after the long trip as well walked passed, me shouting, ignored! Sat on that front row as Neil, Steve & Dave walk passed, shouting again.. You guessed it didn’t even look in my direction!
Then the many road trips with Jamie, Shay & his dad or friends were always an adventure, whether we are heading north to Manchester or anywhere else around the country for an away day! I swear we’ve laughed so much! Some of the best moments are the ones we less expect like 1 track roads, going via small villages you’d never see normally! It really has been quite an adventure!
Which brought back a memory of meeting up with Jamie & Shay before heading to get matt, we was sat outside the house and Jamie said he was probably on his way from work, we sat there for about 10 minutes, when we realised Matt was sat in the house!
Although I have to mention Chelsea away, what an atmosphere that was! Although what made me chuckle about that match was driving through Central London! Which included going around a huge roundabout twice in Kensington! Then Shay, Jamie’s son lobbing his chips down into the fans below! Plus getting free parking!
Talking of Shay it’s something I’d like to go into. At the start of the season, I hadn’t met Shay although Jamie had spoken about his kids. We were sat at a service station while Jamie finished some food and we were talking about how Shay could get tickets, the next day Jamie signed him up as a member! Jamie was applying for tickets home & away and eventually, he started getting tickets! This season I’ve seen Shay grow as a person, it’s been lovely to see him grow and get excited about going to Old Trafford each game! It’s the beauty of football you see, seeing Shay progress from words he wasn’t saying to genuinely having fun when DDG made an amazing save the look on his face he was in the moment that picture went viral. But also you can see him engaging more with Jamie which I know means a lot to Jamie you can see the bond has grown between them, isn’t football just a wonderful thing? Just shows how football can help people with disabilities!
You see football isn’t just about what’s going on the pitch, it’s about the mates you make and the memories you have with them. The closeness you have through football, it’s like a family no one else will ever feel those highs & lows with you except your mates on the platform. Just like at Parc des Princes, of course, everyone was watching it, but that moment Rashford scores the elation we shared as a group of mates, no one else will share that moment and it’s special to us. From smiling with Neil, Andy asking me not to have a heart attack and to seeing the happiness on Andy M’s face you could see everyone was in the moment and nothing else mattered. And that’s why I’m talking about that moment in the stands with your mates.
Another moment I can’t not mention happened on social media! It was me & Neil both separate but something we have in common! Wolves fans we both had run-ins with and I’m sure they dislike us for different reasons! You know what they say the best of friends share there haters and the best memories!
Chelsea came to old Trafford, I was in my seat at HT as Adam had said he was popping down! As I sat there I saw him next minute he was gone again despite me shooting ”ADAM!” He did come back though! He was lets say, a little drunk! We chatted for 15 minutes then, off he went but as he left, he started chanting ”chelsea rent boys” how I laughed!
I must add in our recent trip to Huddersfield, the last away game! Driving towards the stadium and going passed a coach of United fans nothing unusual there! I looked a little closer and saw someone with a rubbish bag he looked familiar! Then I saw Neil and knew it was the monkey bus! As I rang not expecting an answer (we never seem to catch each other!) Neil picked up and said they’d been for a piss, it was a brief chat but made me chuckle, the rest of the journey!
The other thing that’s happened this season is within the disabled section it’s been a lonely place for me these past few years, but my seat neighbours talk to me now and we’ve shared some fab moments and frustrating moments too and some funny moments when Ben tried to get off with my neighbours blanket, “that’s the Salford in me that” he said I’m still laughing about that moment! To meeting with the girls each home game, Ann Marie & Helen and we all miss Morag lots! To going passed Dax and waving and smiling he’s one of my best mates on that platform, he’s a great lad. To just having people smile at me & say hello Vicky it’s been such a nice change. Of course, I’m sure some of that is because everyone likes Jamie haha!
We also have a new DLO in Lenny and that’s made a difference in my opinion as he’s so friendly and interacts with everyone on the platform, keep up the good work!
Finally, I’d like to end this blog with a few thanks and a bit of friend loving ha!
First and foremost I have to thank Jamie for keeping with me this season. Without you I couldn’t have done this season at all, you’ve made me laugh, kicked my ass when I’ve needed it ha! So thank you so much and it’s really been great to be part of Shays journey and meeting your dad and friends. What a season it has been!
To Andy B for allowing me to experience this season in Europe with you, I couldn’t have seen the highs of Juve & PSG and what memories they are. You skipping back to the hotel in Paris with rain lashing down will long stay in my memory! Of course it’s not just about European always its the away games & meeting up before home games!
To Neil, here I go again! Without you and our texts, I’d have not firstly gone back but also stayed out the season you’ve made me feel just supported and like u have my back. You’ve welcomed me into your friends to many of whom I chat to it’s made such a difference to me and you know I appreciate it. To Paris where I had to text you to see if you were below me as you couldn’t hear me, to charging your phone, to smiling through the Paris game sharing that moment together and to our pre-match prediction and both of us being disliked by wolves fans… it’s been quite the season. I’m so happy to call you a mate, here’s to more memories next season and I will absolutely come to the grove!
To Ben, what can I say? You are one of the best lads, we have laughed together & I’ve cried! You have really helped me with our chats & laughs and I’m so glad you enjoyed being a tourist in Paris with your camera, tourist reds are we! Coming down to see me on the platform meant a lot to me, even if you did try and get off with the blanket! So glad we are mates, heres to next season and more antics!
To the girls, thank you for our chats and making me feel part of our girl gang!
To Mef, my partner in crime, we might not be liked but we can laugh about it haha! Here’s to more mouthing off in 2019!
To Adam, it all started with a random DM on twitter asking me what I thought of TRA forum and I’m not even sure why you asked me lol! Since then we have meet up, talked every single day and you have made me laugh a lot! You even took a ban on twitter sticking up for me! You are such a good lad, here’s to next season when your coming away & maybe a European away! So glad we are friends, here’s to more memories being made!
To everyone else who I’ve crossed paths with thank you from the bottom of my heart for accepting me as part of your football friendships
To TRA, thank you for making us disabled fans be part of your movement. You’ve made a difference to us & allowed me to make even more friends!
On that note, I shall finish my stories of 18/19 season! I’ve got 1 last match day blog and a football focused review.. It’s going to be super short! Plus me & Gary are going to do a blog about united! It’s been a great season with my mates and so many memories have been made and for the first time in a long time I feel happy with my mates around me! I’m gonna miss seeing everyone over the summer but I’m sure we will keep in touch and arrange our crazy Europa campaign where no doubt I’ll meet new friends & make new memories!
Until next season