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”.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. No idea what DAVspurs is banging on about. But great article….. especially the conclusion, a lot of United fans have expressed the same sentiment to me. A lot of them are rooting for Spurs if it means preventing Citeh and Liverpool from getting 4th – not sure if any of them are lending their weight behind Villa, on that basis?

  2. DBS Knees} Dont tell me you did not see Nani and Evra overheating and Evra being sick of course this could be a virus . But Nani is making a habit of collapsing he had the referee running over to him against Bayern when he went down clutching is chests . Then he went Dizzy very scary. If you listen to is fans they wanted hi sold before Christmas and now they are saying he is the new Ronaldo .How many footballers dropped dead last year in Rugby Union and League and Football the answer a lot . So my argument is this do i keep my boring mouth shut and ignore what i no is causing players to look like starving models and except we are shite and Wolves Stoke Hull are better or do i Highlight with energy supplements you can overheat Vomit faint and die in extreme cases of pushing your body beyond its endurance to up your teams tempo and prevent your opponents from having any time or space on the ball . This is achieved by players not tiring this is the bases of all our defeats this year. Eeven though we helped with the penalty’s we would have caved in to Utds( LATE LATE GOALS ) another benefit of energy teams hope this sad but true tale has helped and if you dont belive me then the people who test players told me its true and the only one they have tested positive is Paddy Kenny and he is back in goals for Sheffield all because he had a bad chest and accidental bought it from is Chemist it must have bean old stock because Ephedrine is now banned wait for it killing people . I educated myself wen i found out a top four team using this and you overheat go red like you have bean scalded you can have nausea sickness dizzy spells and death or strokes like the 27 year old Luton player had on the bus before is game coincidence yes of course it could be like Nanies fainting but why no explanation this has so far ruining our season and the evidence was all over Wembley in our shock defeat at half time i turned my beloved team off. I had seen enough evidence to no we where in trouble in Browns tackles and Rocha and James saves to know we where not going to win . I swear on my life this is true You see both James and Finnan played for the sarcastically nicknamed Duracell Bunnies they run all day . The rest of our games will be very high tempo even from teams with nothing to play for all to help Citys Millions and to get loaned players next year Lets hope we raise above this tempo with Skill and Harry gets is tactics right and stop this second half abuse of Energy

  3. Harry got it all wrong on that day for Spurs. He took a gamble in changing players’ positions around which did not work. A pity he did not stick to the winning team of the previous matches. Anyway, this is behind us now and we must win our three remaining matches.

  4. Rumourman, ever cross your mind that perhaps they both drank too much water at half time? Happened to me before many a time. Not saying thats deffo what happened but I would say its at least 200% more likely to be the case than the conspiracy essay you have posted above pal.

  5. If Harry hadn’t f****d about with the team selection we woul dhave stood a better chance. We beat Arsenal and Chelsea with a specific team selection but Harry has to go and change it…why?!?
    To accomodate Palacios is the answer.
    But in doing so he loaded our current best player and biggest threat with blanks by putting Bale in a left back position. The one thing we all remember from the previous two victories is Bale attacking like a train down the left flank time and time again. Harry puts him at left back and he gets forward about twice in the first half.
    Ekotto goes the right back and has the worst game he has ever had for us and Palacios also had his worst game in a spurs shirt.
    Brilliant Harry…but try to remeber the old adage…if it aint broke dont try to fkin fix it!!!

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