Former Manchester United defender David May recently chatted with Yolkie for the website. In case you missed part one of the interview, where he revealed his thoughts on Eric Cantona’s kung fu kick and opened his heart on the anguish of missing out of the Champions League Final in 1999, click here to catch up. Otherwise, to hear more from David and Yolkie chatting about United Nights – a superb event created by Maysie where supporters can not only meet their heroes but have a chat, photograph and beer with them – read on. David has also very kindly offered one Stretford-End.com reader an amazing opportunity, to get free entry to the next event, so to find out how you can enter our exclusive competition, read on.
United Nights was recently established by David and has proved so popular in it’s infancy that he is making it a regular event for this season. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet ex-Reds, have a photo with them, get autographs, but best of all listen to their stories and have a drink with them, an experience that you will never forget. The best thing about it, in my humble opinion, is as I mentioned to David; a chance for players and supporters to bond over past events and really feel like we were all part of the same cause – let’s face it, in the modern game, there’s a definite disillusion that sometimes exists between the average match going supporter and the average Premier League millionaire footballer.
You’ll find details of how to enter our exclusive competition at the foot of the article; for now, immerse yourself in Maysie’s typical humble attitude and find out more about how he came up with such a brilliant idea.
YOLKIE : David, you left the club in 2003 and despite a good season with Burnley you retired full time in 2006. Since then you’ve launched the hugely popular “United Nights”, nights out where United supporters get the chance to meet yourself and fellow cult heroes. Tell us a little more about this.
MAYSIE : I’ve thought about doing it for a while, and then somebody put it towards me when I was doing something for MUTV – because I was thinking about doing it myself, I just thought it was time to put it together. So that’s what we did. It’s an opportunity to meet in Manchester hopefully once a month before big games – the next one’s Liverpool, then next City, and hopefully sometime in December, depending how the Liverpool one goes. We’ll see if people enjoy it, they’ll get a chance to see what it’s all about. It is a good night out, all the people I’ve spoke to about the last one say what a brilliant night it was. Really, at the minute we’re just spreading the word. Letting people know and then they can see for themselves. It’s a good opportunity to meet all the players, Pete Boyle’s there to do all the songs. We’ve had people come from South Africa, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, all over the world, to interact with ex-United players. Get photographs, ask the players anything, everything’s off record, it’s just about enjoying yourself and having a good craic with the lads.
YOLKIE : The best thing about it from my opinion is no-one’s really done it before and by doing it now you’re sort of taking advantage of social media networking but to the benefit of the supporters, you’re literally taking the club and the history of which you’re a part and making that accessible, extending the clubs “United” philosophy in a way that’s sorely lacking from today’s out of reach millionaires (at all clubs, not just United). The supporters have a chance to really relive the same memories as the ex players and in doing so on such an informal basis it makes us feel more than ever that we contributed, too.
MAYSIE : Yeah – the thing is, Yolkie, for what it is – £20 – you get 25% off the bar, you get photographs taken, have a sing along, there’s food. What would you do the night before a game in Manchester? We hold it until about 11pm, when the venue turns into a nightclub and becomes a normal night out. It’s perfect.
YOLKIE : The website for United Nights explains that you have been around the world to meet Reds. What’s been your most memorable visit?
MAYSIE : China, Malaysia. Whenever I went to Malaysia with United it was great. Went to Hong Kong and there were like, six thousand people at the hotel! We were getting chased on motorbikes, in taxis, it was great stuff! You just think it’s unbelievable, on the other side of the world, and yet there may be a thousand or fifteen hundred people in the foyer wanting to go and pretty much do what we’re doing now with United Nights, just meet the players.
YOLKIE : Yeah, I guess it was like the Beatles treatment when you visited places that really idolised the Premier League from afar. Wearing the United shirt.
MAYSIE : It’s weird, even when you watch these obscure Ross Kemp style programmes, and randomly you see the odd United fan walking down the road. Until you’re actually at the club you don’t realise how big it is.
YOLKIE : Another of my Twitter followers, Phil, said you were at the supporters branch in Malta last year and wondered if you had a good time? I understand you were “partying like it was 1999”!
MAYSIE : I enjoyed all the craic with the lads, I can talk with anyone really. Chat about football, about anything. The main thing is that you respect whoever’s talking to you and that you don’t fob them off, you see a lot of players now who don’t have the time of day to speak to anybody. That’s part of why we set up United Nights – okay, at the minute it’s mainly players from the 80s and early 90’s but at the end of the day they’re players who played for United and they’re all good lads who will tell you stories about whatever you want to hear – for example, the stuff you and I have talked about down at Selhurst Park and the trouble that happened down there. The stories that people want to hear and so are interesting and make for a really great night for everyone, and a great opportunity for us to get it over to the fans.
YOLKIE : Yeah. And don’t forget these are players we’ve grown up watching, so we idolise them from whatever era. Even if, say, a Robson or Cantona isn’t in attendance, you have all the stories that a Robson or Cantona would have. No United fan looks down on any of the players anyway or treats our former players with derision so the fact you’re doing United Nights is an amazing thing. The people I’ve spoken to about it think it’s great, too. Having talked to the Stretford-End.com team before this interview we were in full agreement with that.
MAYSIE : We’re all easy going; if anyone wants to chat to me about my time at United I’m more than happy to do that, it’s just about giving something back to the supporters in a nice way.
YOLKIE : What are your plans for the future with United Nights?
MAYSIE : Hopefully, we’ve got two or three things in the pipelines to take United Nights to Norway, Denmark, Ireland… you just know if the fans turn up they’re gonna have a great night. It’s not like we’re doing it every week, it’s a special occasion, for big games to get a good crowd and a good atmosphere and hopefully a good result the next day.
YOLKIE : Just one more.. I’ve got plans of opening a bar in Orlando one day. Any chance of me getting United Nights out there too?
MAYSIE : I’m sure you could mate, I’m sure you could!
It was a pleasure talking to David and the thing that struck me most was his utter humility and passion for the club. An everyday guy who fell in love with United, despite being raised as a City fan, and played his heart out for the club. It’s easy to see why he’s still revered on the terraces.
David has graciously offered a Stretford-End.com reader the opportunity to get a free ticket to the next United Nights event, at the Walkabout in Manchester, just off Deansgate, which will be held on the Saturday evening before the Liverpool game.
Just answer the following question in the comments section and include an email address you want us to contact you on – we will select the winner at random and announce it on our Monday 6th September Stretty Stories blog.
Question : Against which club did David May score his first competitive goal for Manchester United?
You can follow me on Twitter, too.