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"Hopefully once the swimming is out of the way in London, I can catch the end of the football. I’ll be tapping up my contacts for tickets, don’t worry about that."

– Fran Halsall

04/08/2012 10:00, Report by Ben Ashby
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Red Olympians: Fran Halsall

Team GB swimmer and United fan Fran Halsall came fifth in the 50m freestyle final at London 2012 on Saturday. Inside United previously interviewed the 22-year-old...

How long have you supported the Reds?
Ever since I can remember. My dad’s a huge United fan. But my mum and brother are Liverpool supporters, so there’s quite a bit of rivalry in our house. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl so there was only ever going to be one team for me. I grew up in Southport before we made the move to Northwich.

Which was your first game?
I think I was about 10 or 11 when I first went to Old Trafford, for a Champions League match. I can’t remember who we played, but United won 5-1 [it was 26 February 2002, against Nantes]. Every time I looked up someone was scoring, it was awesome. I was there with my dad and a couple of other lads – I was a bit of a tomboy when I was little so I would always be mucking around with the boys. I went straight home and gave my brother some serious stick. He was gutted.

Who was your first hero?
I used to love Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when I was growing up. He was just brilliant – every time he played he seemed to score, but always seemed so nice as well. I have to admit, though, that I transferred my affections to Cristiano Ronaldo when he arrived because, as well as being amazing at football, he’s extremely good-looking!

The Olympic village contains a few United players…
It’s amazing! At the last Olympics we got to meet some of the young Argentinian and Brazilian footballers, and I also bumped into Pelé when he was sitting in the canteen in the Olympic village in Beijing, which was slightly surreal. He was just tucking into some dinner before a queue of people formed to speak to him. He was a really nice guy. David Beckham was also there, at the closing ceremony, and we got to meet him at the party afterwards, which was fantastic. Hopefully once the swimming is out of the way in London, I can catch the end of the football. I’ll be tapping up my contacts for tickets, don’t worry about that.

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