Lifelong United fan Andy reflects on a remarkable comeback against Maradona and co…
As a South Stand season-ticket holder for over 30 years, there have been so many moments I could pick out, but I always vividly remember the European Cup Winners’ Cup second leg against Barcelona in March 1984.
With Maradona in the Barcelona side and the fact that we were 2-0 down from the first leg, no-one gave us much chance, but there’s nothing like being written off to bring out a United fan’s defiance.
The atmosphere was electric - we all turned up determined to turn OT into a cauldron of noise. I doubt many of us though, myself included, really believed we could pull it off.
There had been some speculation about Bryan Robson moving abroad, but we were desperate for him to stay and he showed us just why he was so important by putting us ahead in the first half. For the first time, we started to believe we could turn the tie round and when he made it two in the second half we went absolutely wild.
You could feel the momentum building in the stands and it was flowing out onto the pitch. When Frank Stapleton made it 3-2 to United on aggregate I thought the roof was going to come off. As the time ticked away the whole ground was filled with ear-piecing whistles, begging the referee to blow for full-time. When he did we all poured onto the pitch and carried Robbo off the field – it was then I just knew he’d stay.
Outside afterwards I was elated but also exhausted; everyone was dancing around and hugging total strangers. It was a night that just sums up what being a United fan is all about.