The former Hollyoaks star discusses his support for United...
How did you become a Red?
It was my uncle who got me into football, but unfortunately he’s a Liverpool fan! I opted to follow United though mainly because of the big influence players like Norman Whiteside and Sammy McIlroy had on me. I watched them play for Northern Ireland at the World Cup and followed their progress at United. Supporting the team is a massive part of my life and one of the main reasons behind taking the job on Hollyoaks was the fact Old Trafford was only 40 minutes down the road.
When was your first game?
I made my uncle – the Liverpool fan – take me to Windsor Park when United were in Belfast to play a friendly against an Irish League side, back in [August] 1990. I was 14 at the time and just got such a buzz from the whole matchday experience. I came to my first game at Old Trafford in [November] 2000 when we played Panathinaikos – we won 3-1. I’ve had a season ticket for the last few years so, work permitting, I’m here for pretty much every game now.
Who is your United hero?
My lucky number is no.11, not because of Giggsy as everyone expects, but because of Jesper Olsen. I don’t know why he became such a hero of mine, I just loved his style of play. He was like a little whippet darting down the wing.
If you could play a United star in a film who would it be and why?
With me being from Northern Ireland, I’d have to say George Best. He’ll always be a legend back home.
We hear there’s a mix of United and Liverpool fans on the Hollyoaks set – what’s the banter like?
Football was usually the first thing we discussed every Monday morning with the United and Everton fans joining forces against the Liverpool lads! There’s a big group of us who follow United – me, Quinny [Anthony Quinlan who plays Gilly], Nico [Mirallegro who plays Newt], Tony Hirst [Mike], Ashley Taylor-Dawson [Darren] and Jimmy McKenna [Jack] – me and Jimmy actually went to Rome together for the Champions League final last year.
Finally, are you confident of United’s chances of silverware this season?
It’s not going to be easy but on our day we can beat anyone. It’s been a strange old season with some