“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.”
Morrissey’s solo recording career is peppered with United references. Witness the track on 1997 album Maladjusted called Roy’s Keen, and his moving tribute to the Babes, Munich Air Disaster 1958. Growing up on the King’s Road, Stretford, round the corner from Old Trafford, it’s not surprising the Reds proved influential.
"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