Pete Boyle is that loud fella you’ll see in the Bishop’s Blaize, acting as the conductor for the crowd of reds around him. If you read Red Issue, he’s the bloke on the back page educating you on the history of several chants, as well as creating chants that are sung around all the pubs on match days, as well as in the ground.
Whilst Boyle leads the way, we had a go at this chant making lark here on RoM, with our ‘Sing a Song for the Unsung’ competition, although we have some way to go if we want to compete with Pete’s repertoire!
He has kindly taken the time to have a word with us, to give a bit of an insight to his views on United.
Boyle has been following United since he was a kid, thanks to the influence of his father. “My dad went just after the war,” he said. “We lived in Old Trafford so I was lucky my dad took me when I was just 5.”
He has been attending all away matches since 1982, his life entirely immersed in United. Of all his favourite away days, it’s not Elland Road or Anfield that tops the list, rather Craven Cottage. “Probably nowadays Fulham away,” he replied, when asked which was the away trip he looked forward to most. “It’s nice and chilled around the ground… am I sounding old?”
In terms of the best away day ever, Boyle cites United games against Arsenal, one in 1988 and the other in 1985. The Red Army travelled in force to the FA Cup game in 88, where we lost 2-1 after Brian McClair missed a penalty. “Numbers wise it was probably Arsenal cup game when Choccy missed the pen,” said Boyle. “I used to love going to Villa and Sheff Wed, but one we don’t anymore and the other has been spoilt by over the top police and stewards. If I had to pick one, excluding semis and finals, I’d go for Arsenal again, in 85. Whiteside scored the winner with twenty minutes to go and that cued a big battle in the Arsenal section of the Clock End because United’s lads had gone in. Tut tut me!”
In terms of individual songs, Boyle believes one stands out above the rest, although feels we could amend the way it sounds. “The best song is still ‘Pride of all Europe‘,” he said. “Shame we don’t sing it slower.”
When United won the European Cup in Moscow, it was reported that our players were singing “We’ve won it three times, we’ve won it three times, without killing anyone, we’ve won it three times” we caused a stir in Merseyside and at The Times.
“It’s not mocking any dead people,” Boyle argued. “It’s just acknowledging unlike that lot we haven’t killed in our European quests!” Here here!