t had been around two decades since I’d visited the United museum and taken the tour- back when all we had to celebrate was one European Cups and less than ten titles- so when the chance came up to take it again, I jumped on it. As crazy as it may sound, living within walking distance- sort of- from Old Trafford and being a season ticket holder, taking the club tour and seeing the museum hadn’t even occurred to me since the early nineties.
This time round, my mate and I arrived around twenty minutes before the tour was due to take place which gave us time to go upstairs to the museum and more importantly the trophy room.
During these difficult times it’s easy to forget just how fortunate we are as United fans to have witnessed not only so much success for a prolonged period, but also be part of a club so steeped in history.
The trophy room is something of a joke, it reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Indy enters the temple where the Holy Grail is kept and sees an endless amount of trinkets and cups. It was literally walls of trophies, from the obscure smaller cups to the greatest prizes in world football.
As one would expect there’s newspaper cuttings from the Munich tragedy showing how United, against all odds recovered from such an overwhelming catastrophe to become the biggest club on the planet.
Even though I could quite happily have spent hours staring at the various, Premier League, Champions League winning medals and the FIFA club world cup trophy it was time for the tour.
The tour guide, an elderly United fan, asked who amongst the fourteen or so visitors were Reds and surprisingly it turned out that only a few of us were. I say surprisingly but I guess if you were to visit Barcelona, Madrid or Milan you’d be tempted to see their club’s museums too and many of the contingent were tourists.
The tour took in the stadium, where we sat in the Sir Alex Ferguson stand and gazed out to the empty pitch- it felt strange not seeing any other fans there.
The highlights of the tour were visiting the players changing room, where in the name of decency I resisted the urge to start sniffing seats and simply sat on them.
Eventually we made our way through the tunnel, in two lines as though we were coming out for a game, I couldn’t help but get goosebumps. We viewed the dugout from close up- unfortunately the home one was taped off so I couldn’t leave my notes for David Moyes, or my love letter for Danny Welbeck.
It was an hour that flew by and the tour guide, far from being a Glazer lackey spoke like a true fan, entertaining, critical of what he thought the owners had failed upon – mainly staff wages funnily enough- and informative.
It’s a tour that every United fan should make and gives you a chance not just to see the triumphs and the glory that goes with being a Red, but the insight to the inner workings of the club and the privilege of following in the footsteps of the players and manager.