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I need excitement, oh I need it bad, and it’s the best I’ve ever had…

In October 1978 the Irish punk rock band The Undertones released their classic debut single Teenage Kicks. In two minutes and twenty seven seconds of pure genius songwriter John O’Neil captured the intensity, joy and pain of teenage passion. The song’s anonymous hero blurts out his feelings for a girl he sees regularly around his neighbourhood. We’ve all been there. But it doesn’t have to be a boy or a girl. When I hit the teenage years in 1968 girls had to wait; my one true love were the European Champions – Manchester United.

My Dad had taken me to watch the Youth Cup matches at Old Trafford in 1963-64 when I was 9 and the thrills watching young Best, Sadler, Aston, Anderson, Rimmer, Noble etc. lift the trophy hooked me for life. The following season, my dad felt I was old enough to stand on the terraces and watch the first team with him. From September ’64 we took our place on the old Scoreboard End and enjoyed the brilliance of Matt Busby’s last great team. We saw stirring league battles, epic cup ties and captivating European encounters  speckled with magic dust from Best, Law, Charlton, Herd, Stiles, Crerand et al as United reached the pinnacle of club football.

I loved those times with my Dad and still treasure them now, 50 years later. But a strong desire was stirring in the heart of Pete Molyneux as he turned 14 – the lure of independence. The heartbeat of the ground was the Stretford End – a swaying mass of Red humanity that housed United’s most loyal, patriotic, vociferous, foul-mouthed and sometimes troublesome followers. In the days before all-seater stadia, it was the main standing area of the ground, accommodating 20,000 fans under one roof. I desperately wanted to be part of it and not just because of its reputation. All my schoolmates and lads from the neighbourhood stood on the Stretford End. Before, during and after the match we chatted about football – the previous match, today’s game and next week’s fixture. We were obsessed. But the chat covered all things teenage – fashion, girls, music, everything. Most importantly we did it away from the protective but often suffocating glare of our parents. I didn’t want or need my dad by my side at the game just like I didn’t want him to come with me to scour the record shops in Manchester or accompany me to the cinema to see a film. I wanted to go with my mates. For 12 months I battled daily with my dad to let me stand on the Stretford End with my mates, eventually he conceded. It was a right of passage and father and son were better for it.

Our grounds today come in for a lot of criticism, especially from my generation. The sanitisation of all seater stands where any form of animated passion for your team brings grief from Steward with Superpowers. The plastic fans, the day trippers, the half/half scarf half wits all blight our wonderful game. Yet I believe we might be slowly turning the tide. Maybe the pendulum has swung too far one way and some miscalculations can be put to right for the genuine supporter. The ‘singing sections’ – despite the clumsy title – are a start. A fresh look at safe standing with 21st century technology is another. Time, perhaps, to address the issue of succession planning on the terraces. The ‘family stand’ is fine for adults with young children but our match-going teenagers have little option but to settle for sitting with dad, mum or an older carer. It’s better than not being there at all but it’s not like being with your friends, with fans of a similar age, similar interests, similar passions. Twenty years have passed since we last had areas where teenage could choose to populate. That’s a generation that have missed the opportunity to sample what fans enjoyed in the first 85 years of Old Trafford. That can’t be right.

Never have Manchester United listened to their fans like they do today. The change in attitude has been refreshing and welcome. I applaud it. I strongly implore the club representatives to consider assigning part of our fine ground to housing teenagers at prices that they can afford. The size of the area can be varied dependent upon advance demand. Work needs to be carried out to decide what ages are eligible, admission fees and where within the stadium. But let’s agree now to look at it.

We need to support our teenage fanbase and most will repay that support in kind for the rest of their lives.

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If you want to help bring in a section for teenagers at Old Trafford, take 2 seconds to sign the petition and spread the word.


 

24 Comments

  1. Tommy says:

    And are you then going to remove fans from an area who may have been sitting their for 50 years to acomadate a teenage section?, We all want cheaper tickets, one peittion should be done is a petition for cheaper COC tickets, full price is a scandel for those games and FA cup as well, cheaper cup ticketsn is a must, Ticket prices go up for knockout champions league game so rthey should come down for COC cup and FA cup games

  2. David Rowe says:

    ‘Never have Manchester United listened to their fans like they do today.’

    Who’d have thought it, eh?

    Good words Pete. United can lead the way on this one.

  3. wayne barker says:

    Ticket prices have gone through the roof when I was going had a league match book in the scoreboard end for a pound a game so back then teenagers paid the same price as everyone else

  4. Fletch™ says:

    Think Moyes is a lucky lad! Gets off with a fine after explaining how absolutely shocking referee Andre Marriner has been of late :lol:

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2014/Jan/Manchester-United-manager-David-Moyes-fined-by-FA.aspx

    Moyes Magic with the FA?! More likely they don’t pay any attention to managers of teams in midtable :roll:

    Ouch!

  5. Fletch™ says:

    Some cracking Anderson jokes on Twitter:

    Anderson will be back tomorrow, can’t pass a medical…… can’t even pass a chip shop!! :lol:

    To his credit, Anderson won it 4 times and 10 medals in 170 odd matches is a tidier return than most footballers. Ando was a good player for us until injuries caught up. Good luck to him.

  6. Gary Mitrovic says:

    All well and good shipping Anderson out but should we really be letting players go with out current form in an area of the pitch where we’re struggling badly. I can’t see no business being done this month. Absolute joke. What is going on with Coentrao as well? The guy can’t get a game at Madrid and he wants to go and we have already shown an interest in him so how hard can it be to get that deal done. Go get him for fucks sake.

  7. RepeatOf99 says:

    I think it’s genius to let go of one of our midfielders during this transfer window.

    I mean we are getting such a huge return on his transfer fee, and we have so many ample replacements in our squad.

    What a joke!

    No value in January…..No business before the WC…..values inflated after good performances in the WC.

    This is shaping up nicely.

  8. TopRed123 says:

    Yeah, Coentrao should be a no-brainer really. Guess the man Everton fans like to call Dithering Dave needs to watch a couple of hundred more youtube videos of the guy before he can make his mid up. Alternatively he wants to overpay for some overrated English guy like Shaw (who has been terrible this season), before Chelsea come and snap him up in front of our noses.

    Thought our goal was to get some midfielders in, and then possibly get some of the dross out. Getting rid of just Anderson without bringing anyone in as a replacement is just terrible. It’s as if the problems have been Ando whilst in reality the problem continues to play almost every game without any sign of improvement.

    As we are cracking jokes, here’s one:
    Manchester United was a Goliath of English football, then along came David…

  9. TopRed123 says:

    RepeatOf99:
    Yeah, realistically we should be looking at strengthening the team in the summer of 15′, because all the other transfer windows are simply to difficult to operate in.

  10. RepeatOf99 says:

    I’m just happy that while we are so concerned with value in the market, we were at least able to break the bank for our top priority signing of the summer.

    I can only imagine where we would be now without his influence.

  11. wayne barker says:

    Erm has it ever occurred to anyone Moyes is shipping Anderson out because he’s getting ready to bring someone else in

  12. m09538061 says:

    “And he shits on Fabregas”

  13. RepeatOf99 says:

    @wayne

    It did occur to me, in fact, I assumed it as pretty much a certainty. (Not that we needed to make room for an additional midfielder).

    But he keeps coming out with new quotes rubbishing the idea that we are going to sign someone in this window; and while I know that this tactic has been used by SAF in the past as a negotiating tactic, I have this growing uneasy belief that this is not the case with Dave.

  14. Paschal Agwunobi says:

    Cleverley. Keeps playing shite; passing the ball backwards and. He keeps getting game time without improvement and keeps getting paid for the rubbish he plays..he deserves the loan.. He’s not good and will never be’ its time moyes gets. That into his thick skull. Anderson was not even given the chance and yet he was loaned out..moyes my ass

  15. wayne barker says:

    RepeatOf99 well he’ll be filling the squad with someone mate whether it being a new signing or another young lad

  16. RepeatOf99 says:

    @wayne

    well, that’s a relief then. I didn’t realise it was just a squad number matter.

    maybe when Rooney’s contract expires we can replace him with another young lad too!

  17. wayne barker says:

    RepeatOf99 first team squad is 25 so if players are moving on others will becoming be odd if that wasn’t the case

  18. RepeatOf99 says:

    @wayne

    I understand that we are going to literally be replacing the name on our squad sheet, rather than leaving us with less players to choose our match day team from.

    What concerns me is that we are not going to be replacing the player that is leaving. Especially given that even with him, we were severely lacking in that position.

  19. wayne barker says:

    RepeatOf99 he wasn’t getting games mate Ando has been a fringe player for close to 3 seasons now.if Moyes doesn’t sign anyone rather see a young lad get bloodied than Ando hanging around just taking up space.Also tells me everyone must be pretty confident Fletch’s illness is behind him

  20. RepeatOf99 says:

    @wayne

    But that’s my point. Anderson wasn’t keeping some young talent out of the team. He wasn’t even in the team himself.

    If there was someone better that we had, we would have seen him play already (like Januzai).

    There is definitely a need for midfield reinforcements.

    In saying that, I hope you are right about what this means for Fletcher. It is awesome that he is back in the team, and hopefully he can keep his health up. He would be an amazing bonus to our midfield.

  21. Gary Mitrovic says:

    It doesn’t occur to me that we’re bringing anyone in. I’d bet my legs on it.

  22. m09538061 says:

    Message to United players from Keano stop feeling sorry for yourselves take your chance when others are injured fight for the shirt take responsibility.You play for the worlds biggest club FFS.Well said Roy.

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