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13/01/2010 22:11
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Nathan Burch on Benfica 2006

A Canadian Red recalls his first trip to OT...

When Sir Bobby Charlton referred to Old Trafford as the Theatre of Dreams he probably did not know how true a statement that was! I had been a United supporter abroad for many years and always told friends and family it was a lifelong dream to attend a match at OT. It's a stadium that is so far away geographically, but so close to me personally as I have been reading, watching and dreaming about the team since I was a teenager.

Finally, my dream came true, in December 2006. I booked my flight to the UK to witness United play a Champions League match against Benfica and we stayed on to the weekend for the derby against City.

As I stepped off the tram at Old Trafford station, I could feel my heart quickly beating faster and faster. Each step down Warwick Road seemed to be lighter and lighter as if I were beginning to float. There they were, the chippies on the corner, fans congregating and chanting, and of course Sir Matt Busby Way. It was a spectacle to behold, the beauty of the place. I couldn't believe that I had finally arrived to witness the best football team in the world play the beautiful game the right way! It was all too much and almost brought a tear to my eye. The emotion I felt that day is indescribable.

First was Benfica, in a match that I thought would have no meaning, but we needed a win to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League. Old Trafford was like a cauldron boiling over, the fans were well in the mood and the players did not disappoint, winning 3-1.

Being able to attend a European match was unimaginable for myself growing up, but it happened and

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