Bailee Maddison & Blake Richardson with our 2023/23 away shirt.

My United - Bailee Madison & Blake Richardson

Tuesday 01 August 2023 10:00

As preparations were under way for our 2-0 victory against Arsenal at the Metlife Stadium on 22 July, actress Bailee Madison and her partner, musician Blake Richardson, stopped by for a visit to team training in New Jersey.

Bailee, who hails from Florida, is well known for her roles in the hit TV show Pretty Little Liars and the film Bridge to Terabithia. Blake, who is originally from Macclesfield, is a talented musician, the lead vocalist of New Hope Club, who have supported The Vamps on tour. 

MUTV’s Sam Homewood took some time to find out about the pair’s passion for Manchester United, their favourite players, hopes for the upcoming season and more.

Bailee explained that, while she never got to play too much sport when she was younger due to her hectic acting schedule, it was always a family activity to watch it together. Despite this, it was not until she met Blake, who hails from Macclesfield, that she became infatuated with United.

“It was always meant to be," admitted Blake, referencing Bailee’s relationship with United, not their own. 

'I was shaking when I met Erik!' Video

'I was shaking when I met Erik!'

Actress Bailee Madison and her partner, musician Blake Richardson, talk of their love for Erik ten Hag and his team...

A Stretford End regular before having to travel frequently due to his music career, Blake, like many United fans, supports this club because it runs in the family.

“I just went from a very young age, and fell in love," he said. "I always played seven-a-side, then 11-a-side, and just always loved it [football], it was an escape. 

"And the boys are the boys, you know? The best of all time. Who else can you support?” 

When asked about his United heroes, Blake didn’t hesitate and responded with none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as Marcus Rashford, or “Mr Zen”, as Blake referred to him, after what was a fantastic season for our no.10 under Erik ten Hag. 

“Bruno [Fernandes] too obviously, but I love them all. She’s a big Lukey [Shaw] fan," Blake said, pointing towards Bailee. 

This led Bailee to explain how Luke caught her eye due to his work ethic and commitment, during the first United game she attended, as she was impressed by these qualities.

Asked if she has a particular preference for defenders or attackers and if she has any other favourites other than our no.23, Bailee explained: “Rashy is so incredible in terms of being a goalscorer, but he also defends and plays for the team, left and right, and I feel like they go hand in hand.”

Showing off the eye-catching new away shirt.
Discussing the parallels between music, acting and football, Bailee notes how all of the players in the group carry themselves with such grace, respect and class, which is the best way to be when they’re in possession of the talent that they are. “They’re such a definition and show of a great example," she said. 

Focusing then on Erik’s first season, presenter Homewood asked the pair for their thoughts on the boss’s first campaign in charge. “Great, you know he’s doing an amazing job. He’s got good control of the dressing room, which has been needed. There seems to be an actual team at the moment, which I feel for a while we lacked. Everyone seems like they’re fighting for the same thing,” stated Blake. 

“We love him," added an ecstatic Bailee. “We met him! I was shaking. He was lovely, he’s a legend."
Looking ahead to next season, Sam asked the duo what they would like to see from the team throughout the 2023/24 campaign. “Keep on the path that we’re going. Always would rather have positive football. I know it sounds stupid, but the team that scores more goals wins the game, so I would rather us go for it," explained Blake. 

In regards to another visit to the Theatre of Dreams, Bailee detailed that, while they don’t yet have any dates locked in to visit the hallowed turf, perhaps they should just block out days in the calendar when the boys are playing. 

“It’s usually pretty last minute," she acknowledged. “It usually falls over our December break when we can go and see them, like on Boxing Day. If I could just quit [acting] and travel with you all, I would!” she joked. 
Meeting Marcus Rashford and the other players at training.
Showcasing her presenting skills, Bailee was then given the microphone from Homewood and asked him what he was excited about while in America, to which he replied: “Taking in the culture." 

She then turned to Blake and asked what his favourite moment of the day was, to which he responded “Spending the day with you, here.” 

To keep up with more our USA tour content, keep an eye out on club socials and on the United App and, as we head into the new season.