16/08/2010 15:31, Report by Paul Davies

The handshake is back

Fans arriving at the ground for tonight’s season opener with Newcastle will notice a number of changes since last clicking through the Old Trafford turnstiles.

New boys Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling could make their Old Trafford debuts, the new home shirt will be worn in action at OT for the first time – showing the name of new sponsor AON – plus a new Barclays Premier League football will be used.

There’s also another change worth noting: the image of the fan and player handshake has been restored to the front cover of the matchday programme United Review.

The traditional symbol of unity between supporters and the players – which adorned the front cover of United Review for over half a century – returns after an eight-season absence.

First introduced in 1946, the banner of union has been updated periodically – only dropping off the cover for short periods in the 1960s, 70s and from 2002 until now.

Over the past decade the handshake has resided inside the publication, but has been restored to the front cover after overwhelming calls for its return in research with United Review readers over the summer.

*Inside tonight’s United Review: an exclusive interview with Dimitar Berbatov, Sir Alex calling for unity between fans and club in his programme notes, there’s six reasons for optimism ahead of 2010/11, a look at new boys Chicharito and Smalling, a pull-out fixtures poster, plus new sections on United’s rich history and the return of ‘Where are they now?’ feature.

United Review will be on sale inside and outside Old Trafford tonight, priced £3.


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