Ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool this weekend, writers from our fan partner United We Stand bring us their memories and opinions of the fierce rivalry between the cities and clubs.
Despite the emergence of oil money across the city, the rivalry with Liverpool remains the fiercest in England. Although modern day football may have meant the intensity has died down in comparison to previous decades, it’s still the fixture I look for ahead of any other. Both clubs have similar glorious histories – filled with success, tragedy and trophies galore. But that’s where the similarities end. As supporters, we’re poles apart.
Everything about them winds me up from their mythical ‘Special European Nights’ at Anfield and their famous atmosphere – which usually consists of singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before and after the 90 minutes with not much in between to Phil Thompson. The lack of humility – despite only winning one European cup and two FA cups – the only trophies of real worth, in the last THREE decades grates too.
United have to win on Sunday. You have to give their decent side some begrudging credit. Although the alternative isn’t much better, the thought of Liverpool winning the league makes my skin crawl and Steven Gerrard’s slip is still probably my favourite non-United footballing moment of all time.
The media love in will be unbearable. You can’t watch a game of football without them mentioning Istanbul, imagine if they won the league? Dedicated 24 hour news channels. Special FA dispensation so that Gerrard gets a medal. They’ll probably let him go up and collect the trophy.
There’ll be open top bus parades every day until October. You’d have to watch them lift the trophy – one we once claimed as our own, every time you watch Match of the Day next season. You’d have to see Robbie Fowler’s grid on Sky sports news every hour all summer.
I’m not far off 40 and I’m not old enough to remember Liverpool being Champions of England. I’d like it to stay that way.