Two days on from those truly awful and despicable terror attacks here in Manchester I still feel the hurt. On a day when us United fans should be giddy about the build up to tonight’s game, whether we are in Manchester, Stockholm or not. Wherever we all live though, our thoughts are still elsewhere and towards all those families affected by what happened at the Manchester Arena late on Monday night.
The heart of Manchester of course has been affected terribly and for a day and a half now I’ve still found it difficult to comprehend what has happened in my great city. A City that I love. A City that I love people to come to and enjoy. For Manchester it is truly horrific and we thank everyone around the World for your thoughts and wishes towards us.
Like most cities though, big or small we have a vast array of people living here and visiting here from all over England, the UK, Europe and the World. We welcome people. That is not just Manchester though, that is how it is and should be all over the World. And that is who we should also remember today. Manchester is where the cowardly incident took place. Manchester is where people lost their lives. Manchester is where we rallied to help those in need but Manchester is not the only place affected. Many people at the concert or outside the concert were family members and people who have come to our great City from here, there and everywhere. Our thoughts are with all those affected wherever they live.
We’re a diverse, varied, cultural and vibrant City and the reason for that is not just because of us Mancunians. The reason for that is because of all the other people who now live and visit here and why we welcome everyone. The Stone Roses once sang “Don’t these times, Fill your eyes” and they certainly do at moments like this. We’ll carry on of course but we’ll never ever forget.
As for the match tonight, is does seem a distance second thought currently, but I’m sure we’ll all come together later to support and cheer on our boys in the hope they can win the Europa League trophy. Not just for themselves, or us fans, but for the whole of Manchester.
I myself am hoping United can come back with another European Trophy to add to our collection. This trophy is now deemed as a very low second to the actual Champions League, but in my eyes all I see is a trophy. All trophies are worth winning and if we can win it this evening, we’ll become only one of five teams to have won all three major European trophies alongside Juventus, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and of course Ajax themselves.
Our opponents Ajax are a young side and it will be difficult for them too this evening, not just footballing wise but because of all the emotion attached to the game now. We’ve played them fours times in total and we both have two wins each. That will change tonight and hopefully we’ll have the three wins. Whatever happens though, lets just hope tonight passes without incident and all fans get there and back safely.
I’ve heard there will be a minutes silence before kick off too, rightfully so and I shall be doing the same in my front room with my family close by. Never forget. This is Manchester.