Managers were similarly intolerant of players who dared to be remotely different. Smiths City-supporting guitarist Johnny Marr remembers being rejected by the Blues, despite impressing in a trial.
“I was good enough for City,” he once said, “but they didn’t follow up because I was probably the only player out there wearing eyeliner.”
He wasn’t the only Smith, it later emerged, who was a football fan. That most unlikely, and uncelebrated United fan, is none other than the messiah of Mancunian miserablism himself, Steven Patrick Morrissey (pictured).
In 1988 Mozza admitted: “I’ve been seen once or twice on the terraces... I once bought a Manchester United hat, which I think was 12 shillings, and somebody ran up behind me and pulled it off and ran ahead. So I thought, ‘It’s a very cruel world, I’m not prepared for this.’ I decided to get my revenge on society.”
He later confessed finding Bryan Robson "impressive", and admiring Eric Cantona, saying of his Kung-fu kick on Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons: “I think he set a good example.”
"I’ve been seen once or twice on the terraces... I once bought a Manchester United hat, which I think was 12 shillings, and somebody ran up behind me and pulled it off."
- Morrissey, The Smiths