Lord of the Rings and Lost actor Dominic Monaghan on his Stretford End days, United/City family rivalries and hanging out with the lads on tour…
Alongside acting, United have always been one of the most important things in my life. I grew up about 15 minutes from the ground and was a regular at matches until I moved to the States – unfortunately there’s more work here than in Manchester. I still get back when I can and much of my life is planned around following United; wherever I am in the world I make sure I’m free to watch the games no matter what time of day or night. And I wear my shirt everywhere – to the gym, on set, during TV interviews… wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, the club are never far from my thoughts.
We hear there are split loyalties in your family…
Yeah my dad has always been a big City fan, whereas me and my brother grew up as Reds. Derby day is always interesting in our house and now with what’s happened at City in the last few years it means even more. Me and my brother went to as many games as we could from about the age of 11 – my uncle would take us as he was a Red as well. I remember standing on the Stretford End as though it was yesterday. They were great times.
Do you see City as our biggest rivals now or is it still Liverpool?
It’s changed a lot over the years. Of course, it always used to be Liverpool - for years we were desperately trying to match what they had achieved and now we’ve overtaken them in terms of titles. It seems like that rivalry is a little hollow nowadays because you never really feel Liverpool will be a threat for the title, well we all hope they won’t be! All us United fans probably have to come to terms with the fact that our major rivals are Manchester City now; it certainly seems likely to be that way for the next few years anyway. They’re a strong team, organised and have top players and they’re our local neighbours which makes it even more interesting. But in some ways I welcome the challenge and the fact that it really puts Manchester on the map in terms of world football, and it certainly makes every derby even more interesting. I think it’s great to see the two Manchester teams going head to head for the big prizes.