Saturday, May 11

Life Goes On?!

My life changed forever on Wednesday.

It was a rush of dread and fear I've not experienced since the last kick of last season. Only much, much worse.

I always knew this day would come, but not now. I'd seen the rumours the night before, and even if my head did start to spin somewhat then, it was only until I read the words "Sir Alex Ferguson retires" on Twitter - in a toilet cubical, no less - when it stung.

It's sort of a feeling of 'Wait, so we're still supposed to go on? There is life still to exist?!'

Though I'm not dumb enough to believe in a higher being, I sometimes think I'm just meant to support United; they're like a happy pill of relief for all the shit I've gone through.

He was made United boss a month after I was born. I don't know what it's like to support another team; all I've experienced is glory and, well, heartbreak from so nearly achieving glory again.

It's not easy being a United fan when the expectation is to win all the time. Because when we don't, it just feels wrong. And it was Alex who instilled that in us.

When Beckham left, God was still there. When van Nistelrooy left, God was still there. When Ronaldo left, God was still there. Now, God is not there.

I like that Utd have already announced a successor; it's sensible to act quick. I also like the successor; anyone who Alex backs is fine by me.

But see, Moyes can win the Champions League, the Premier League, even bring back Ronaldo. But his blood isn't United-red and though I know Ferguson's wasn't at first, he's all I've ever known.

I'll forever proudly hold my seat in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. It just doesn't feel the same anymore.

Wednesday, May 8

Thank You, Alex

Dear Alex,

I just want to say thank you.

Football, Manchester United rather, is a massive, massive part of my life. The memories you've given me - both good and bad - will stay with me forever.

I could not have asked for a better leader. No-one has your determination, your power, your drive. I feel inspired because of your mentality to succeed and that's in my life, not just football.

Thank you for Giggs, Scholes, Neville, Keane, Robson, Ince, Kanchelskis, Schmeichel, McClair, Beckham, Bruce, Pallister, Cantona, Irwin, Solskjaer, Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, Stam, RVN, RVP, De Gea, Van Der Sar, Rafael, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Evans, Jones, Smalling, Chicharito, Carrick, Valencia, Rooney, Ronaldo and the rest.

Thank you for the 13 Premier Leagues, 2 Champions Leagues, 5 FA Cups and 4 League Cups. Thank you for the times it didn't work out; it only made us stronger.

My favourite memory of all, though, has to be standing behind the goal in Moscow in 2008 and seeing Van der Sar save Anelka's penalty… what a feeling. My other favourites are watching Ronaldo's debut v Bolton, Owen's last-minute winner v City and even RVP's title-winning hat-trick v Villa the other week.

I appreciate how lucky I am to support our club and can't even begin to imagine what it's like not to be a Manchester United fan.

I always knew this day would come and fuck, it hurts. It will take me time to get my head around it and, honestly, United just won't ever mean the same to me.

I will forever hold my season ticket in your company, the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. I can't believe I got to experience your era; thank you so much.

Love from,

Wednesday, May 1

Album Of Last Month

Frank Turner 'Tape Deck Heart' (Xtra Mile Recordings)

He is not a Tory. He is not a BNP apologist. And he is not a whore who sold his soul to Wembley Arena and scattered the blood-soaked internal remains to anyone who bought Million Dead's debut album on release day. Alright, fine… you can have the last one. But on 'Tape Deck Heart' (scuse the shocking title), Frank Turner's fifth solo album, the smiley 'lil folk-punkster is about as straight to the point as it gets; heartbroken, angry and, if his promo campaign goes as it means, about to launch himself headfirst into another stab at those arenas… if not more. 'Four Simple Words' is the best thing here and about sums up his whole shtick ("Forget about your bitching and remember that you're blessed, punk is for the kids who never fit in with the rest"). Simplistic, sure… but sometimes that's all you need.