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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wembley '68 - the sort of stuff that appears in Red News, the first MUFC fanzine

this appeared in RN146, buy the mag and open your eyes to a whole new look at United, by Reds, for Reds...

Wembley 68

Greg Barnes aged 9+3/4

I used to live opposite Bobby Charlton. He lived at number 3, I lived at number 8. We owned our house as my Dad was a well paid Steel worker across the water in Irlam. Bobby Charlton as probably one of the top three players in the world, rented his house off United! No wonder he was so bloomin miserable.

He promised to get us tickets for the Real Madrid semi, but didn’t for some reason. I was gutted. Regularly went to most home games, got in the scoreboard above the tunnel so nobody could stand in front of my 4ft 10 frame. You had to be in by 12.30 or you had no chance. Used to love listening to Harry Mc Shane on the well dodgy PA. Norma Charlton, who was fantastic and really pleasant told me one afternoon as I came home from school that she had got me a ticket for the final. Get in! Cost? Ten shillings (50p) and no tout surcharge of course!

Tuesday off school to travel down by Yelloways coach from the car park in front of Central Station, .which I recall was almost falling down with neglect. Loads of Reds on what was a regular service bus which went via everywhere! Matlock, Chesterfield etc. On the radio? “Today’s Friday” by the Scaffold, over and over. No idea why. Journey took forever.

Next day the excitement of London, the tube from Uxbridge, the teeming crowds- millions of massive blokes smelling of fags, booze and Old Spice. Non stop chat.. ”We’re playing in Blue!” “Oh no Astons playing!” Can Kiddo really replace the Lawman?” I am getting really nervous now.

Into the stadium. First impressions? It’s long and wide but not that high. The terraces are really shallow and filthy. Rush down to the front to stand next to the goals. My mums not happy she’s miles from the loo. My Dads not happy he’s miles from the bar. I’m in heaven, even if I need the bogs. My mum tells me to pee on the wall in front. No real choice as the place is now rammed. 20.000 others appear to have done the same.

Game on. I thought we were playing pretty well. Charlton scores with his HEAD? When has that ever happened? I thought we were coasting it. Never considered they might equalise. Aston was sensational, I mean he just ripped them every time he got the ball. And then they equalised. Slaughtered for a few minutes. Then Eusebio gets free on a one and one with Stepney. Oh my God, we can’t lose this can we? Great save. Eusebio spends the next 10 minutes patting Stepney on the head rather than getting back.

Extra time. Down at the front I’m glad I passed my Bronze Personal Swimming Award as by now everyone has emptied their bladders. Nerves are totally shot. But a salvo of quick goals from George, Kiddo and the ticket provider sends us all into ecstasy. Brilliant. Game over and I just can’t remember anymore apart from writing a letter to Mr Charlton thanking him for giving me the best night of my little life.

RN 147 Champions of Europe Moscow Special Summer Issue out June 30th 2008
RN 145 out March 29th 2008
RN 144 out March 4th 2008
RN 142 out January 12th 2008
RN 140 out November 27th 2007
RN 139 out October 27th 2007


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