13/10/2009 14:59, Report by Adam Bostock
I'll still be Red when dead
Prepare to be amused, or bemused, when you watch Brian Blessed's interview with Terry Christian on MUTV Online.
Best known to my generation for playing Prince Vultan in sci-fi movie Flash Gordon
, the booming-voiced Blessed claims to have been a United fan from an early age - "I'm a Yorkshire lad, born in Golthorpe, between Barnsley and Doncaster. But just over the Pennines from us was Manchester, a place that was always very glamorous to us, moreso than London. My dad once took me to Belle Vue to watch the wrestling and we passed Old Trafford. He said in awe, 'Look, there's Manchester United's ground."
If reeling off the 1948 FA Cup-winning side, granted with one mistake ("Russell" instead of Anderson), lends Blessed's fan status some credibility, his tale of actually playing against that same team might raise an eyebrow.
"I was on the recreation ground with my friends when a red bus pulled up. These guys got off the bus and I said, 'It's Manchester United!' They were on their way to a game in Sheffield.
"I went up to the captain Carey and said, 'Congratulations on winning the cup. We're big fans of yours. You're training on our park... can we play you?'
"Johnny Carey said yes and so we, a group of 10 year-old lads, played the entire United team, who'd just won the FA Cup, and beat them 26-0! I scored about 11 goals and it was wonderful, how they allowed us to score all these goals past Jack Crompton the goalkeeper.
"After that, how could I not be a Manchester United supporter?"
A well-travelled actor, Blessed believes no club has as much global support.
"Everywhere I've been, from the jungles of Venezuela to Russia or Mongolia, the favourite team throughout the world is Manchester United. More than Real Madrid, more than Barcelona, Manchester United is the famous