THE THEATRE OF DREAMS was awash with a large crowd to applaud Wayne and his three young boys Kai, Klay and Kit as the officials and both teams lined up in a guard of honour to salute the 12 year United veteran after he moved from Gooidison Park at the age of 18.
Everton provided the opposition for his TESTIMONIAL MATCH with four of his favourite local children's charities benifiting from the receipts. Also there were so many young fans with their parents, dressed in expensve United jerseys, shorts, hat and more. Normally it is very difficult to obtain tickets for Barclays EPL matches with many sell outs, and fans, even those from abroad who want to make an occasional visit, have to pay an annual £22 membership fee for the privilege.
Without Champions League football this season fans are waiting for the EUROPA LEAGUE draw when reasonably priced tickets will be available in order to fill THE THEATRE OF DREAMS for a disappointed fan base...
The evening before I had been at THE HOME OF FOOTBALL where the WORLD'S OLDEST DERBY was taking place. Host Sheffield FC are the world's oldest football club since 1857 while visitors Hallam FC from another part of Sheffield are the SECOND oldest formed in 1860. Their ground at SANDYGATE in a leafy suburb at 800 ft is also the world's oldest. The match finished 1-1 with CLUB taking the trophy with a post match penalty kick decision.7-6.
The Man Utd dug out was filled to overflowing with substitutes and even Kai, Wayne's oldest, so new boss Mourinho and three assistants were placed in front on fold up chairs. The Portuguese was making his home debut along with the self proclaimed new GOD OF OLD TRAFFORD Zlatan Ibrahimovic, hired for one season and earning £220,000 a week.(£80,000 a week less than Wayne). He and his family are about to move out of their city centre suite at The Radisson Blu into a mansion they will rent for £17,000.00 a week. If Jose and Zlatan were made of chocolate they would probably eat themselves !
While Wayne and wife Coleen and the boys were at Old Trafford a burglar tried to get into their £6 million mansion in Cheshire. An elaborate security system with lights and noises did its work and in minutes a police helicopter and four police cruisers descended on the property. The masked criminal fled in a waiting accompice's car but left behind a swag bag with tools and tape. A lot more exiting than the measly fare served up at the stadium.
Mourinho has been criticised around Europe for his handling of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who turned 32 earlier this week and was told to clear out his locker with the first team, train with the u23's and look for another club. Karl-Heinz 'Kalle' Rummenigge 96 caps and twice European Footballer of the Year and now FC Bayern CEO, is very critical of this decision, as is a member of Fifpro - the players union, Dejan Stefanovic the Slovenian lawyer, who thinks that the Portuguese should go to prison for three years. Former Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who gave Bastian his debut as an 18 year old said it was a lack of respect for a World Cup winner.
Rooney came off after an hour and sat next to Kai, both laughing at Memphis Depay's attempt at an overhead scissors kick. The match was absolute rubbish with United having to face Leicester City on Sunday at Wembley in the Charity Shield. I had had enough and made my way from the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, via the Munich Tunnel, past the Hotel Football and a short distance down Sir Alex Ferguson Way and climbed aboard the X50 express bus to Piccadilly.
Referee Michael Oliver, who was booed as his name was announced, was hopefully applauded for blowing for full time on this bore draw. but I was long gone, along with thousands of disappointed spectators.