My United: Snooker world champion Judd Trump

Monday 12 December 2022 13:05

Judd Trump is one of the most recognisable names in snooker, known for his shot-making, cue power and flair around the table.

But the Bristol-born star is also a big United fan, who follows the Reds' matches wherever he is in the world – unless he's at the table, of course, winning one of the 23 ranking titles he has to date.
We caught up with Trump ahead of last month's UK Championship to find out more about his love of the club...
Trump triumphed at the iconic World Snooker Championship in Sheffield in 2019.
How and when did you start supporting United?
“When I was a kid, from a young age. Man United were one of the first teams I saw on TV, and so it was just really from that. At the time they would have been one of the biggest teams, so they were on TV the most, and as a kid I just took a liking to them. I can remember my first ever game was Bristol City, which my dad took me to, and it finished 0-0. And I told him I didn’t ever want to go to another game again! So I think United was the team for me after that.”

Do you remember which players were the standouts for you at the time?
“When I was growing up it would have been David Beckham, Dwight Yorke, Giggs, Scholes, Roy Keane, Gary Pallister, Poborsky, the Neville brothers. It was the real hotspot, when United were probably at their best. So it was a good period to be getting into it, and that’s probably one of the reasons that attracted me to it.”
You’re extremely busy with the snooker, travelling, different time zones, so how do you follow games?
“Wherever I am in the world, they’re normally showing Man United. If there’s any game on, it’s still normally a United game. Hopefully we don’t let things go too far and it’ll be Man City showing everywhere! But at the moment it’s still United. I follow United on Twitter as well, so I always get up to date with everything that’s happening.”
Is there much football banter on the snooker tour, are there other players who follow football or support United?
“There’s quite a few players that are quite passionate. Shaun Murphy’s a Man United fan, I also know Ryan Day is, Mark Allen as well. There’s a few other players who are quite passionate for other teams, Neil Robertson is a big Chelsea fan. There’s quite a lot of football talk, there’s a few players that do fantasy football, always chatting about taking players out and stuff.”
Judd fell in love with the Reds during the 1990s – a decade which climaxed with the incredible Treble success of 1999.
Have you ever met any of the players?
“Harry Maguire, I saw him out on holiday a couple of years back. Luke Shaw I speak to now and again, I’ve seen him quite a few times and he’s very friendly. Scott McTominay is someone that messages me now and again. Those three are the ones that I’ve spoken to.”

If you hadn’t been a snooker player and you could have been any United player instead, who would you like to have been? 
“I think Paul Scholes is a good one. He was never really someone to take the limelight or anything, he just went about his business quietly, he didn’t really do interviews and stuff. He got massive respect and that’s something that I’d like to have in snooker. You don’t have to scream and shout, but as long as the other players know that you’re good at what you do, I think that’s the respect that you want.

Have you got a favourite kit from down the years?
“There’s a photo my mum and dad have at home, I’ve got a United kit on and my brother’s got a QPR top on – I don’t know why! It’s the grey one, from the ’95/96 season I think, with a collar. So that’s one that reminds me of my childhood, a picture that my parents have got up around their house and one that brings back good memories.”
Trump holds a special place in his heart for 1990s goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.
Who would be your all-time United legend?
“There’s so many (pauses). I think Peter Schmeichel. When I was a kid I wanted to be a goalkeeper. Peter Schmeichel was always on form, every single week, and one of the reasons I think United were so successful. So I’m going to say him.”
What about your all-time United memory?
“There’s both the Champions Leagues. The one where John Terry missed the penalty and the comeback in ’99. Those two clearly stand out. I think the more recent one I was a little bit older, so you know what’s going on a little bit more. I can just remember Terry slipping and missing, in a bit of disbelief. Incredible. The ’99 win would have been when I was nine or 10 years old. That final, Solskjaer scoring the goal to complete the comeback, was incredible.”
If we offered you a ride in a mythical Manchester United time machine where you could visit any era, where would you go? 
“I think it would have been in one of the teams with Roy Keane in, and his battle against Patrick Vieira. Back in the day there seemed to be so much passion and so much pride, just how heated the game got and when people used to fly in, and just get up and shrug it off. So I’d like to have been in the mix there, just to hear some of the arguments and some of the things that were said on the pitch when United were playing Liverpool or Arsenal, one of those games. Some of the tackles you just wouldn’t get away with now. It was a good period for football.”

This interview first appeared in the December 2022 issue of the club's official magazine, Inside United. To subscribe or buy individual issues of the magazine, click here.