Cleat Geeks

Manchester United History : “Football Bloody Hell ”

Sir-Alex-FergusonWhen the then plain and as yet unknighted Mr Alex Ferguson proclaimed the words “football, bloody hell” after the final three minutes of extra time in the Champions League Final of 1999, he summed up the feelings of a football loving nation.

Manchester United had in extra time transformed a seeming 1-0 defeat into a 2-1 win, the faces of the Manchester United supporters reflecting joy, unbridled pleasure and rapture. Unfortunately other words such as despair, disaster and whatever goes for ‘football karma’ in German could be witnessed abundantly in the faces of the opposite Bayern supporters, their team, and probably the nation.

Those three exasperated words, proclaimed staccato style by Ferguson in the post match television interview, were born out of the Sheringham and Solskjaer extra time heroics. The footballing equivalent of the old 1-2 to use a boxing phrase.

sir-alex-ferguson-hd-wallpapers2However no matter how dramatic that night was I suspect those three words also had their roots in United winning the Premiership and the F A Cup in the previous ten days. Three words, three trophies, the historic treble, forever bonded in football folklore and most likely never to be repeated.

As the blood drained from German faces like snow melting in the morning sun, there seemed to me at least a connection with past United defeats and former glories. The phrase, ‘football bloody hell’ itself is ambiguous, in that it can be uttered in victory, as on that night in Barcelona, or in defeat, as in the FA Cup Final of 1986 and the 1-0 defeat to Everton.sirAlexFergusonPhilosophy

What lives in the heart of those three words, which on the night in Barcelona sounded like one of Stanley Baxter’s “Glaswegian phrases” is the unpredictably of the game we love, of football.

This is true for any supporter of any club, and Manchester United supporters have had their fare share of “football bloody hell” over the years.

On the wider stage football fans in general I believe, will identify with those three little words, and ultimately, whichever team you support, as a football fan, they will always have a home within you.


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