Last night we saw the travelling Manchester United fans prove what we’ve always known.
All football clubs have a minority of supporters at the outer edges/extremes with their behaviour but Manchester United fans take it to a whole different level.
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When it came to the 17th minute of the match, the usual applause for Liam Sweeney and John Alder began.
Match after match we have seen the away fans respectfully join in, a number of them preparing their own banners/flags for the occasion.
Not the Manchester United fans.
A few joined in of course – but not many.
Newcastle fans then booed the away end because of the lack of respect and a few more Manchester United fans subsequently did join in, though the majority reacted by instead attempting to sing over the applause for the two Newcastle supporters.
It is a minority of fans they have who lack any common decency, but it is a large minority.
Those who have regularly travelled to Old Trafford know this and many more found out at big occasions such as the FA Cup final in 1999 and the later semi-final at Cardiff.
The general mood and ‘rapport’ with the opposition supporters, was totally at odds with that experienced in the 1998 final against Arsenal and the other semi-finals against Sheffield United, Tottenham and even Chelsea.
On the subject of the 17th minute, I think it was a great idea and a special tribute to two of our own, but maybe it will be for the best if we see the season out and then bring it to an end. Especially when it becomes a negative in some ways such as last night and innocently leads to friction between supporters.
Maybe the first home match of each season would be an idea as a yearly one-off, though only if we aren’t playing Manchester United…