Manchester United Change

Manchester United John Stenson

Many of us recall the first time we ever saw our team play. I have always thought that my own experience takes some beating.

It was 7th April 1956 when my Dad, who wasn't into football, finally relented and took me to Old Trafford. He wanted to turn around and go back home when he found that we would have to stand. I made a terrific fuss on the forecourt and we ended up on the old Popular Side, where the North Stand is now.

United needed to win that day to clinch the league title and were playing nearest rivals Blackpool. I had been fascinated as we walked down Warwick Road and I gazed in wonder at the sea of bobbing heads making their way to the ground. I noticed there were a lot of kids carrying small stools into the ground, which they stood on once inside to gain a better view. The noise was deafening and the match began. Two minutes in and horror of horrors, Blackpool took the lead through a header from Dave Durie. Things stayed that way until United were awarded a penalty, duly dispatched by Johnny Berry. With the score level at half time the noise level increased still further in the second half and up popped Tommy Taylor to ram in a Berry cross at the Stretford End to clinch the win and with it the title.

So - my first-ever game and my beloved United had won the league ! My Dad never took me again, but I managed to find other ways to get there and was a regular for almost fifty years. I would estimate that I must have visited Old Trafford around 1,500 times over the years, gathering many incredible memories along the way, but that wonderful day in 1956 will always be my number one !

John Stenson

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