Tuesday Briefing: Brandon, his nana and Moscow!
The star of our latest UTD Podcast, Brandon Williams, was only seven when Manchester United won the Champions League in 2008 – yet he has vivid memories of that rainy night in Moscow.
When Sir Alex Ferguson’s team walked out at Luzhniki Stadium, Brandon was glued to his TV and explains during his UTD Podcast how our dramatic success in Russia upset his grandma.
“That is the memory when I think of football years ago - that is the first memory I get,” says Brandon. “I was at home. My mum and dad went to the pub to watch it with their friends.
UTD Podcast: How Williams watched 'Moscow'
"My nana was begging me to go to bed," laughs Brandon, discussing his memories of the 2008 Champions League final...
“She didn't really understand what type of game it was. I don't think she really understood. I was like, 'no Nana, I have got to watch this, it’s just penalties and there will only be five penalties'.
“There ended up being loads of penalties! That was my first memory. I just remember screaming by myself as a young kid in the living room and my nana not having any idea what was going on.”
Brandon’s passion for football became all-encompassing after a chance match while at primary school, when he filled in as an emergency substitute to ensure the game went ahead. The team was losing when Williams was thrown into the action: he scored a hat-trick and they won the game!
From then onwards, the young Mancunian fell in love with the beautiful game and went on to sign for the United Academy, training regularly at The Cliff as he enhanced his education.
As Brandon explains during his UTD Podcast, the occasional trip to the Aon Training Complex provided an opportunity to meet his heroes who had triumphed on that night in Moscow.
“At that age, our training was more at The Cliff but when you got the opportunity to come here to the Aon Training Complex it was like playing in a Champions League final at that age,” he says.
“Coming to where the likes of those players were playing, sometimes they might come across and you wanted a photo with them. Seeing players like that, they were your idols and at that time they were the biggest players in the world. So you were looking at them, wanting to play with them, to train with them and that pushed you even more.”
Brandon’s episode of UTD Podcast is available now on all of your favourite streaming platforms.
Our international players are preparing for a series of fixtures – the first of which are on Wednesday night, with Netherlands (van de Beek) v Spain (De Gea), Portugal (Fernandes) v Andorra and France (Pogba, Martial) v Finland.
Meanwhile, we’re celebrating the birthday of Daniel James, who is 23 years old today, so make sure you send the Wales international a message via his social-media accounts to wish him well.
Our latest edition in the popular UTD Unscripted long read series will be published later today, from the fascinating mind of former Old Trafford favourite Andrei Kanchelskis.
There is also a very special edition of UTD Podcast being recorded, but we can’t reveal who the star guest is just yet – until then, make sure you enjoy the latest episode from Brandon Williams.
The Manchester United Foundation was awarded the North West Football Award in the category of Community Initiative of the Season, for our response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford were also recognised with prizes from the organisation.
We also highlighted how the latter had convinced the UK government to support his campaign to support struggling families, after receiving a phone call from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Finally, Edinson Cavani delighted his followers on social media by sharing a selfie from his Sunday off, trekking in what looks like the Peak District of England. It’s definitely worth a look!