12/05/2010 15:00,

Reds bound for Dublin

United will play a pre-season friendly match against an Airtricity League XI to celebrate the opening of the new Aviva stadium in Dublin on Wednesday 4 August. This historic match will form part of United's pre-season preparations for the 2010/11 campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson says he is "really looking forward to going back to Dublin" for the first time since 2002 for a friendly match with Shelbourne, which United won 5-0.

The Reds boss told "We have a massive fanbase in Ireland, it will be great to play a match on their home turf and I know the Irish supporters will make the atmosphere very special."

Ireland has always formed a strong part of the Manchester United family. Over the years, many Irish internationals have represented United and include legends such as Johnny Carey, Frank Stapleton, Paul McGrath, Kevin Moran, Denis Irwin and Roy Keane, whilst not forgetting current players John O'Shea, Darron Gibson, Robbie Brady and Sean McGinty. It is therefore no surprise that Ireland is home to the largest number of Manchester United season ticket holders outside of the UK, who will no doubt give the Reds a warm welcome in August.

Irish connections

Last visit with first team squad was in 2002 against Shelbourne for a friendly match which United won 5-0.

United's Irish fanbase
Over 850,000 followers, over 525,000 core fans (TNS sport 2007)
Over 4,500 One United Members
25% of football fans in Ireland support Manchester United


Premier League