MUFC Player of the Year Awards.
After the red carpet, my dear friend, United fan (borderline obsessive) Steven and I were shown into the reception room on the 1st floor in the North Stand at Old Trafford. We were taken straight to 'the gaffer', 'the boss', that is to say, Sir Alex Ferguson - the greatest football manager of all time. I paid my respects to him, and wished him all goodwill and happiness on his well deserved retirement from the job. He shared horse racing tips with me, including the state of his thoroughbred Telescope. All of which went pretty well over my head, as I'm not the turf head he might imagine that I am. Still, we soon got down to the grit of Sir Alex's successor David Moyes. He told me that I shouldn't worry, that DM is serious about football, "and… he's Scottish"
Sentiments echoed later in his speech when he said:
"What I know of David is he's hard working and has integrity. He's also got a work ethic about him and he's a serious football man. I think these are the qualities he's going to need." The Boss then paid tribute to his fellow Scot's achievements with Everton."He's got a perseverance about him - look at what he's done at Everton," said Ferguson. "Eleven years without any tremendous financial backing, but he's persevered with it and created some decent teams in the last few years. They are the qualities he's going to need at our club. The one thing you have to do is definitely sacrifice and persevere - it's not always a golden path of riches."
I sat with Liam and Daniel from local indie rock band 'Courteeners' and had a fine time throughout the evening.
The line up of award winners is as follows:
Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year – Ben Pearson
Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year – Adnan Januzaj
Goal of the Season – Robin van Persie v Aston Villa 22nd April 2013 (second goal
Players’ Player of the Year – Michael Carrick
Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year – Robin van Persie
Later on, during the charity auction, the 'Manchester United/Duran Duran Experience' item raised £28,000. for their local children's foundation. In total they raised £128,000. Well done to everyone involved.
I had a very pleasant chat with an old acquaintance and one of my football idols - Ryan Giggs. What a gentleman he is. The first thing he asked me was if I was still doing Yoga. I said that I was, but obviously not as much as he was doing.
Robin Van Persie has had an extraordinary season at United. He was rightfully voted by the public to receive the big POTY award. Afterwards he was asked about whether or not he was excited about the possibility of him winning the Premiership's Golden Boot (or equivalent award) for scoring the most goals in the season. In reply, he spoke some very wise words; he said that he thought there should be many more trophies, for all the guys who've tried as hard as he has, that it wasn't all about him.
And it got me to thinking, that we - who are football's followers, as opposed to players, are always so eager to place one player above another; one player above all the rest. And is it possible that somewhere in all that, there's a message which is saying something like: "you're not like all the others, you're the one we all approve of. And that must make you… well… more like us"?
Think about it.
SLB, London, May 16, 2013