“The great support you gave the team here [at Anfield] last season has seen our allocation back up to near-full levels. I want you to continue that progress today.
“But today [Sunday] is about much more than not blocking gangways. Today is about thinking hard about what makes United the best club in the world.
“Our rivalry with Liverpool is based on a determination to come out on top – a wish to see us crowned the best against a team that held that honour for so long.
“It cannot and should never be based on personal hatred. Just ten days ago, we heard the terrible, damning truth about the deaths of 96 fans who went to watch their team try and reach the FA Cup final and never came back. What happened to them should wake the conscience of everyone connected with the game.
“Our great club stands with our great neighbours Liverpool today to remember that loss and pay tribute to their campaign for justice. I know I can count on you to stand with us in the best traditions of the best fans in the game.
“Yours sincerely, Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Writing a letter to the fans ahead of another trip to Anfield makes sense, particularly in light of the fuss over our “it’s never your fault” chant, but you’ve got to wonder why he would even suggest we stopped hating Liverpool. We can be a part of the human race and not disrespect the deaths of 96 innocent people, but expecting us to stop hating Liverpool fans? Yeh. Ok.
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.