It was an earlier than normal start for this game and it was still pitch black when my carer walks Kelly into my bedroom with my morning medication and a cup of tea.
It is 4:15 AM, but despite this, Kelly is still her normal jolly self. Because of my disability the process of getting clean and dressed before we leave for our trip to Lancashire will take about an hour and a half. All goes well and we leave my bungalow in Plymouth at precisely 6: 00 AM to make the early kick-off of 12:45 PM between United and Spurs.
I had been to Old Trafford before, but this was my first visit as a wheelchair user. From my limited experience, I have found that most modern stadiums have good facilities for the disabled, but I suspect that Manchester United Football Club might lead the way when it comes to disabled supporting.
When we arrived at the disabled car park beside the East Stand at Old Trafford, a steward already had my name on his clipboard and we were directed to our position, that happened to be just yards from where Sir Bobby Charlton was parking his car.
My next objective was to visit the Manchester United megastore. I know what you are thinking; why would a Tottenham fan want to go there? I had however, an honest and genuine reason for making this pilgrimage.
My son James (a passionate Spurs fan) plays for a junior football team in Plymouth, but unfortunately, his teammate Lewis sustained a serious ankle injury that required surgery. Lewis is a United fan and I was given the task of buying something from the megastore to cheer him up.
This situation reminded me of when I bought my first porno mag; trying to look inconspicuous while glancing at the merchandise, but sensing that everyone is looking. I felt dirty and ashamed, but I purchased something for Lewis and hastily left the store as quickly as my wheelchair would take me.
On entry to the disabled section of the stadium, the friendly steward points us towards the Ability Suite, a dedicated lounge area for the disabled. On a warm dry day in April, it is more enjoyable to be outside savouring the pre-match atmosphere, but I am sure that if you were visiting Old Trafford in December or January, then this lounge area would be a warm and comfortable place to wait before kick-off.
The Spurs fans were now filling up the away section that is directly behind me and they are all in good voice. After fantastic victories over our fiercest rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, we were feeling positive and optimistic.
I recognised some other Tottenham wheelchair users and we chatted about our prospects of finishing fourth. As games go this was certainly not a classic, but that moment when Ledley rose above everyone in the United penalty area to head an equaliser for Spurs was glorious. I have been in a wheelchair now for nearly 6 years, after breaking my neck in 2004, but I still get the uncontrollable urge to stand up and raise my hands when these beautiful moments occur.
At 1-1, Tottenham were looking to gain at least a point from this difficult fixture, but typically, my hopes and dreams are shattered by one moment of skill by Nani and one moment of clumsiness by Palacios.
On leaving the stadium, some United fans with broad smiles on their faces tap me on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry mate, just beat those blue bastards to fourth spot”.