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Alan Smith Suffering From Memory Loss?

During Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of Liverpool in 2006, Alan Smith broke his leg when trying to block a shot from John Arne Riise. After receiving treatment on the pitch, he was stretchered off. Whilst sections of the crowd applauded him off, it wasn’t long before the word’s to Riise’s chant were changed by the home crowd. “John Arne Riise, ooh, ahh, I wanna know, how did you break Smith’s leg?”

An ambulance took Smith away from the ground and the BBC reported that this was attacked by Liverpool fans.

The two paramedics – both Liverpool fans – were described as being “horrified” by the hostility shown once the culprits realised the occupants of the ambulance were Alan Smith and Manchester United’s club doctor Mike Stone.

A spokesman for the Merseyside ambulance trust confirmed the attack: “It did not result in any delay in transferring the player to hospital but the trust cannot condone this type of behaviour while administering emergency treatment.”

Liverpool also condemned the behaviour of the fans that did it, claiming they weren’t real supporters.

“These people aren’t real fans of football. The actions of a few idiots should not overshadow the efforts of all involved to make sure Alan received the best treatment as soon as possible.”

The BBC also reported that Smith: was given a general anaesthetic before he left the stadium so was not aware of the attack on the ambulance.

Despite winning the game that day, the fans soured their reputation, not only for ambushing Smith’s ambulance, but for shitting in paper cups and throwing it them at the United fans.

Liverpool stadium and operations manager Ged Poynton again expressed his regret that their fans would behave this way.

‘We hold our hands up as a club,” he said. “We deplore what certain fans have done. I use the word coward very reservedly but I class anyone who wants to throw a coin or something else when they are leaving as cowards. I am ashamed to admit in one case excrement was thrown. How low can you get? We did what we could, we tried to brush people down and compensate those involved.”

However, Smith, who was almost unconscious in the back of the ambulance, has decided to paint a different picture of what happened in an interview today.

“I was disappointed the story blew up about rocking an ambulance,” he said. “That was never the case. Liverpool and Man United did everything to get me to the hospital and everything in their power to make sure I was OK. I thank them for that. Sometimes it’s nice to say that because people have read that they were rocking my ambulance and throwing stuff at it, which is so untrue.”

Read the BBC’s report on Liverpool fans attacking Smith’s ambulance
Read The Guardian’s report on Liverpool fans attacking Smith’s ambulance
Read The Daily Mail’s report on Liverpool fans attacking Smith’s ambulance
Read Liverpool Daily Post’s report on Liverpool fans attacking Smith’s ambulance
Read Manchester Evening News’ report on Liverpool fans attacking Smith’s ambulance

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Costas says:


  2. Red&Don says:

    Yeah, so what? Surely there are articles of more merit than this that could be published on the site instead of this?

  3. Red&Don says:

    Yeah, so what? Surely there are articles of more merit than this that could be published on the site?

  4. rdevil dan says:

    Stop trying to stir things up even more between fans. Both sets of supporters were great that day and Liverpool fans applauded smith off and sent well wishes to him in hospital according to smith?

  5. Steve Crabtree says:

    I’d have thought he’d have come out with this sooner rather than six and a half years later. He must have been asked about it before.

  6. samriley9 says:

    It probably wasn’t as bad as it got made out to be then… i remember being suprised that everyone was applauding as he was strechered off tbh.

  7. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Well Smith clearly has been reading the club memos this week:
    It is the age of detente and general ‘rapprochement’. Everything painted lilly white for the media.
    Fine, let’s see if it lasts. Still effectively ended his United career. Never the same after.

    On the topic of the post game baiting by those two idiot pool fans:
    Can anyone verify that united fans DID NOT sing ‘murderers’ but actually sang “burglers”?

  8. kanchelskis says:


    Did someone make you come here? Is it somehow compulsory?

    I can’t even begin to fathom the thought processes of people who voluntarily come to a website, voluntarily click on an article, voluntarily read the article, then whinge as if the whole thing’s been a waste of their time.

    If you don’t like it, I’m sure you can guess what I suggest you do.

  9. rohan_19 says:

    who the fuck really cares about LFC or smith?

    relegation team and average player. let it slide.

    for newcastle i hope we play many youngsters…

    would love to see this team

    keane smalling (if fit ) evans buttener

    fletcher tunnicliffe brady
    henriquez welbeck

    (rooney to come on past the hour mark.

  10. rohan_19 says:

    almost forgot to mention davide petrucci.. he’s promising, should get a look in atleast..

  11. stoneleech says:

    Play that side at Newcastle and you will get royally dicked….unless you’ve got another ref in your pocket?

  12. Cherry says:

    At the risk of getting told to fuck of by the ROM police, I can’t see how what Smith said warrants an article here. He may not recall what exactly happened as he was in pain and probably unconscious! He was a good servant during his time at united. He gave his all to the team. No need to try to demonise him now for petty stuff like this.

  13. Jim G says:

    From what I remember the Kop started the John Arne Riise song whilst he was being treated, and before the extent of the injury was known. I mean, how many players have actually broken a leg simply blocking a shot??! Once Smith was stretchered off, he received a warm ovation.

    With regard to the ambulance, I am inclined to believe Smith, as I have always wondered why crowds would be outside the ground during the game? Surely they’d be inside the ground, or when they realised they couldn’t get in gone back home to watch it on the telly?

    Presumably the article is an attempt to justify any singing heard on Sunday, and any future chanting.

  14. Red S. says:

    I would think that Smith would be able to recall what happened rather than some hac journo’s.
    It doesnt matter anyway does it?
    Both sets of fans have done similar things in the past.
    To say scousers are any different from mancs is just plain stupid.
    Working class people are the same all over the country,presumably the ones from both sides who think the other to be less than them are some sort of right wing loonies who want to divide working class people by perpetuating this myth that people from one city are different from another.
    What a load of crap that is.
    The fact is that the hate songs from both sides bring nothing but humiliation and scorn on themselves,the idea that a grown man can make aeroplane gestures etc and then other grown men can sing songs about working class people being crushed to death is pathetic and nobody can say otherwise.
    How ridiculous does it make the clubs look when that sort of stuff is reported on nationwide TV and Radio?
    The chanting and singing and wind ups are great and funny and there is no harm in taking the P**S from both sides but lets stop making excuses for bringing shame on the clubs by singing those ridiculous songs.
    It has been put forward that in future anyone seen chanting those songs from whatever club should be banned for life and I look forward to all clubs agreeing that and more importantly, carrying it out.
    Those who sing them songs should really have a word with themselves and decide now that enough is enough.

  15. DohaRed says:

    Rohan_19 – actually Alan Smith was a damn good player, and he wore his heart on his sleeve for Uniited. Even though he didn’t stay for long, he is still one of my favourite players.

  16. thetunnel68 says:

    How would Smudger remember ? he’d have been high as a kite on the gas & air

  17. Fibes says:

    He was awesome in that game against Roma. One of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a United shirt, from anyone.

  18. Costas says:


    The game against Chelsea too. Where he played as a CM and we won it with Fletcher’s goal. No complaints as far as his tenure at United is concerned. Gave his all. And he paid the price that day at Anfield.

    As for these comments, don’t know where he’s coming from. There’s a lot of evidence to the contrary.

  19. Raizzen says:

    How does this warrant a an article here in RoM ? After all those bs about being respectful by the always victimized liverstool fans and their hollier than thou attitude (when all evidence clearly point to the contrary) – you ask how does this warrant an article here ? pffttt

  20. DreadedRed says:

    Smudger by name and smudger by nature.

    Funny that.

  21. Little Red Ant says:

    MK Dons player – trying to get back in the shop window – enough said

  22. DreadedRed says:

    This article is about the events that occurred during and immediately after a United game.
    That’s Manchester United. Remember them?

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    Red&Don + rohan_19 + Raizzen

    Scott does NOT need to justify the content of HIS blog. You should back the fuck off.

    If you have desired content, suggest it or submit it.

  23. Cherry says:

    I don’t think any united fan should have anything bad to say about Alan Smith. Interns if commitment he was right up there with anyone during his time with us. Never moaned abt being played out of position etc. I don’t care abt his recollection of event on that day. I love Alan Smith and wish him well where ever he is playing at the moment.

  24. DreadedRed says:

    Everton FC tweets: “Can confirm that Darron Gibson @D_gibson4 is an official account. Welcome back to Twitter Gibbo!”

    Coleen Rooney tweets @D_gibson4: “GIBBO!!! Welcome back!! X”

    Gibbo replies: “haha yes Cols! Managed 2 stay on here for more than an hour this time :)

  25. DreadedRed says:

    Hey! Where did that little yellow face come from? Wily smiley does rile me.

  26. rohan_19 says:

    dreaded red : why me? i didn’t comment on the validity of the article. just that we shouldn’t care about what and ex player says.

  27. rohan_19 says:

    dreaded red : why me? i didn’t comment on the validity of the article. just that we shouldn’t care about what an* ex player says.

  28. The One says:

    He played for leeds, so you’d expect that from him!!

  29. DreadedRed says:

    rohan_19 -if I misunderstood your post, I apologise and retract without reservation. Sorry!

    It seems to me that your question “who the fuck really cares about LFC or smith?” is a comment on the relevance of this article. Perhaps I’m mistaken.

    Supporters do care about what people say about United, especially an ex-player. For example, when Robson, Keane, Cantona, Berbatov, Heinze, Smith, Tevez, or any other person with a connection (current or previous) comments on United, it’s relevant and comment-worthy. I accept that many fans are only interested in the current squad, but the majority of fans support United, and therefore the players; not the other way round. Any mention of our Club by any person, pricks up our ears.

  30. FletchTHEMAN says:

    That day in liverpool, Smith gave his full measure. Never the same after. Every article posted that week talked about the pool fans booing him off, and many carried the kind of evidence repeated here by Scott. This interview, for whatever reason, doesn’t square with any of the facts.

    Me? I adored Smith. Not the most skilled but had the heart of a Red.
    Lad received lots of crap because, like Fletcher O’Shea, GNev, he wasn’t always the most skilled.
    But man he had some great games for us.

    My cup of tea, these players. You don’t understand the Fletchers, Smiths and O’Sheas of this world and you won’t understand half of what I am talking about. Fair enough. That’s me then.

  31. rohan_19 says:

    oh well i should have worded my post better ! I didn’t mean that. came out wrong. Would never question scott. he’s made an awesome blog !

  32. DreadedRed says:

    rohan_19 – thanks for clearing that up. Apologies for my part in the confusion.

    Agreed, RoM is an awesome blog, and the content is above reproach.

  33. samuel - united WE stand says:

    All I read is “gave his all” but that’s expected, was he going to join united just to taste the canteen’s food and not work hard?. Grafter but he was lacking mostly in ability but hey, running around is all you need in british football. Anyway, this situation has long gone but the author of the blog is entitled to post what he please.

  34. awinred says:

    He was unconscious; that says all.

  35. Costas says:


    Well said.

  36. Eric L'edieu says:
    Just read this from Newsnow site.
    Presume the first comment on it must actually be from our Costas on here taking the piss?
    Surely not even a scouser could have that much of a persecution complex?!

  37. Costas says:


    Not that work ethic alone is always enough, but when it came to Leeds, I’d much rather have a Smith instead of a Viduka or a Harte. Players with more talent that didn’t give their all every time. I remember someone wondering why Nani has been critisized more by United fans than Park. For me, even though I am not British, it’s the simple reason that the latter was dependable. You knew he would play to the maximum of his capabilities 8-9 times out of 10. Same for Smith. Nani on the other hand, although a lot more talented that the aforomentioned players, does that how often? 2-3 times out of 10? That’s my take as to why fans often sympathize with the work horse.

  38. FletchTHEMAN says:

    RE Nani, it is a mater of taste and role. I would take Nani anyday over the arsenal lad Gevinho or barcodes Ba. Ba only really shows up 1 game in 4, and v us ofcourse. Never seen Gevinho show up so let’s not get started.

    Costas, Cheers mate. Sum Smith up perfectly. Consistent, brave, and pretty d*mn good!

  39. Nesh says:

    Alan Smith was a warrior for us the time he spent with us, despite not having the out of this world Talent the lad was pure in his giving his all…will never forget when he led the line in the champions league semifinal against Roma with Ronny and Wazza on each side..
    Scott for God’s sake we could do with leaving him out of the demonizing stuff!

  40. el_nino87 says:

    As an exercise in credibilty, I’d be interested to see if the author can produce actual proof of where the quotes from the “horrified” Ambulance men and Liverpool spokesperson came from?? (Much as I like links to miscellanous Bet Fred pages)

    I was at the game and Smith was applauded off the pitch. The John Arne Riise song was a joke, although given the eventual seriousness at the time and retrospectively now, clearly one in poor taste.

  41. Scott the Red says:

    El Nino – It came from the BBC website. I’ll edit the article so there aren’t any other Liverpool fans making themselves look as silly as you just have.

  42. DreadedRed says:

    el_nino87 ?

    Storm in a teacup, more like.

  43. Raizzen says:


    please reread what I said before jumping 50 feet off your seat.

  44. Raizzen says:

    El Nino

    I’d be interested to see if you’d still come around and show up around here. You know, as an exercise of credibility and stuffs.

  45. DrRed says:

    Separate from my views on Alan Smith’s reliability, as an anaesthetist (and a red) the medical “sources” behind this story are just wrong. Smith would have been awake for transfer and free to remember whatever he wished!

  46. el_nino87 says:


    “I’d be interested to see if you’d still come around and show up around here. You know, as an exercise of credibility and stuffs”.

    What does that even mean?

    Was merely surprised the article didn’t include the link to the report. Anyone who coins an ambulance is obviously a tool (and they’re clearly not representative of most Liverpool fans) but given the week that’s just gone why be bringing it up now? It’s antagonistic and divisive.


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