Marillion singer Steve Hogarth shares some common ground with incoming United manager David Moyes... with both men having to replace a successful and famous Scotsman, with legions of loyal fans awaiting the outcome.
But while the new boss at Old Trafford is a compatriot of Sir Alex Ferguson with many years of his own in the spotlight, Hogarth was a little-known English musician when he replaced Fish, the band's charismatic Celtic frontman and the voice of their biggest chart hit Kayleigh. Steve lived to tell the tale, however, and is still recording and touring the world with Marillion twenty-four years later.
"I think the only thing you can do when you replace an imposing Scotsman (!) is be yourself and do your thing, while making sure you bear in mind the legacy of what it is you’re arriving into," advised Hogarth, in an exclusive interview with ManUtd.com. "Sir Alex was like a rock here. If anyone could have taken on that mantle and the legendary status of Sir Matt Busby, he has done it, if not gone beyond it."
Hogarth has been a United fan since George Best was first dubbed the 'fifth Beatle' and the parallels between music and the beautiful game still resonate for him today, with Marillion boasting a football-esque fanbase. Devotees from as far afield as Brazil and Poland flocked with their national flags to see the band's UK dates in April, and Steve was heard to say on stage: "Who else has got what we have between us (band and audience)? Maybe Man United?" The singer told us, "We do have this passionate, passionate following globally. I don’t think ours is as big as United's, ha! But it’s alright and that faith never goes away."