On a cold December afternoon back on the 12th December 1992, I went to my first Manchester Untied game which brilliantly happened to be at Old Trafford as well.
It was a Saturday that I’d been looking forward to with extreme excitement throughout the week. The thought of seeing Eric Cantona, Paul Ince and of course my favourite player Ryan Giggs live in person was something that I couldn’t stop thinking about all week!
Our opponents that day were Norwich City who at that time were one of the top clubs in the newly-formed Premier League which had begun the summer just gone.
It was just before my 18th birthday which was 31st December. Yes I know it wasn’t exactly in the same week as my birthday, but for me I considered it to be an early birthday present which I couldn’t come to us sooner.
When I was younger, I could not afford to go to many games but thankfully have come a long way since, so this was a huge thing for me at the time,
The morning before the game I had not eaten breakfast because the joy and excitement was building up inside of me. It seemed to take forever getting to Old Trafford from London, where I live, but once inside the ground I was totally relaxed.
When the players ran out onto the pitch I felt a warm feeling pass right through my body, to finally see the team play live. It was a magical moment as I realised that I had really arrived here at the Theatre of Dreams
Going back to the day itself, at 3pm there was no sunshine anywhere near the ground. It was a cold wet winter’s afternoon, but nothing could dampen or darken my day. I was inside Old Trafford and for me it didn’t matter what the weather was, as long as the game itself just went ahead!
For regular football fans this was another game, but for me it was a chance to see Giggs who was my idol. When I returned home later after the game it was great to boast to my friends about how skilful and talented Giggs really is.
I remember even now that I could not stop speaking to my friends about Giggs for what must seem like weeks. I must have asked my friends a thousand times ‘did you see that run?’ ‘Did you actually see how many players he passed to?’.
As for the game itself sadly, I don’t remember much about the game itself and whether we played that well or not. All I remember is that Mark Hughes scored the only goal of the game as we won 1-0.
I spent most of the 90 minutes just in admiration of Giggs and the talent to run with the ball at speed, with precise and exquisite control. Schmeichel was superb, Ince was all over the midfield like the governor he was with Cantona making the striker role look so easy, what a player he was.
Looking back on my first Manchester United football match so much has changed over the years. Remembering how Giggs played in that game I can only now compare and see just how much the Premier League Football has moved on enormously.
Old Trafford is so much more comfortable now to go and watch a game, sometimes too comfortable, but it still has that magic feel to it that makes it the best place to watch football in the world.
By O’Neil Esson - @oewebdesign
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