Stretford-End.com at United Nights

When Yolkie met Clayton..

Last night I was honoured to be a guest for David May’s brilliant brainchild, “United Nights”. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to chat with some of the club’s cult heroes whose name you have chanted from the terraces, but United Nights gives the opportunity to do that.

In attendance last night were David himself, long time club servant Clayton Blackmore and Sir Alex Ferguson’s first ever signing, Viv Anderson. All three were approachable and friendly; the atmosphere was very much that of just a regular night out, and for some people who this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for, you couldn’t ask for more. I was invited personally by David after my recent chat with him for the site – I wouldn’t have been doing my “journalist” duty had I not grasped the opportunity to fire some questions at some of our club’s finest players.

I dominated poor Clayton’s time for quite a while, chatting about Hughesie (and the classy assist from Blackmore to his compatriot in the first Premier League season against Liverpool), a cracking left foot volley I recalled him scoring against Luton and, after reminiscing over his favourite ever boots – a pair of Puma Kings given to his parents by Joe Jordan – obviously discussion turned to who, he thought, was the best ever player at the club. “Ryan” was the answer, given to me as if I should’ve expected no other name to pass his lips. As I’ve previously gone on record as stating I believe Giggsy to the greatest ever player, it was music to my ears to discover I wasn’t alone! Clayton fondly remembered being destroyed by him in training, even telling me he preferred to mark Eric! Praise indeed from someone who got to play and train with these guys every day.

The man himself, David, was more than forthcoming, too, chatting to us about how he and some other decorated faces from the Red Devils past were going “on tour” to play some games; insisting Andy Cole (who will be joining them, and is pencilled in for future United Nights events) still needs 5 chances to score (jokingly, of course..)!

It was a night of personal achievement for myself and the site; we are proud that we are part of the newest United fanzine (a blog to follow shortly); Red Army Fanzine, and obviously it was an honour when Fergie’s first ever signing, Viv Anderson, put his signature on my first ever copy of it, congratulating me and wishing us best of luck for the publication before going on to inform the gathered crowd that his prediction for the game tomorrow was “35-2” to United! United supporter Pete Boyle did a great job asking the questions for the Q and A session midway through the night.

I had to make my excuses and leave early to catch a ridiculously timed last train, which meant I missed the karaoke – United employee Steve Bibby (follow him on Twitter) informed me he had a duet with Maysie… on second thoughts, maybe it was a blessing that I missed them making beautiful music together. One thing’s for certain, I won’t be missing a repeat, with the next United Nights event planned for the night before we play Arsenal, there’s plenty of time for you to make it, too.

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