My United: The Heavy bassist Spencer Page

Tuesday 21 March 2023 10:00

As rock 'n' soul outfit The Heavy prepare to release their sixth album, AMEN, we sat down with bassist and long-time United fan Spencer Page to talk Giggs, Mick Phelan and more...

When and why did you first start supporting United?
Around 1988/89. My mum’s partner was a big United fan so we would usually have the games on at home when they were televised. Most of my friends at school were Tottenham fans so I got a fair bit of stick for it, especially as Spurs were probably a better side than United at that point.
Can you remember your first match at Old Trafford?
I can indeed, it was quite a long time after I had started supporting them. Finally getting to see the pitch as you came up the stairs was a very special moment. It was the 1-0 home win against Arsenal in the 1996/97 season. It wasn’t a great game, as I remember, but it was an important win against a very tough Arsenal side. We were sat in the north east corner, not far from where I would eventually get my season ticket.
Spencer (far left) with bandmates The Heavy.
Who was your first United hero?
I loved Bryan Robson when I first started supporting them, as all United fans did, but I think my first real hero was Ryan Giggs. He was unplayable when he first came on the scene. His pace was terrifying, he could go inside or outside and he wasn’t ever intimidated by opposing full-backs. No matter how much they kicked him, he kept demanding the ball and going at them. Real wingers like him just don’t seem to exist any more.
Are the rest of the band Reds?
They are not. I’m sorry to say that we have a Liverpool fan in our ranks. I suppose everyone has a weird family member, and he’s ours...
Do you have a favourite United shirt, past or present?
The black away shirt we had from 1993-95 was a particular favourite, I’ve still got my replica from that time. In terms of home shirts, I think the mid-late ‘80s adidas shirts are pretty hard to beat.
Which team do you most want United to beat?
Obviously Liverpool and City. Which until fairly recently seemed little more than wishful thinking. I guess your biggest rivals are either your neighbours or the teams that threaten your legacy.
Can you pick a favourite United goal or goals you’ve seen?
There are so many to choose from. I remember Denis Irwin scoring the third goal in a 3-0 cup win away at Wimbledon in the 1990s that was an unbelievable team goal. Cantona’s volley in that same game was pretty special. Van Nistelrooy’s chest and volley away at Charlton after a ridiculous pass from Rooney. So many of Paul Scholes’ goals were incredible. Last but not least, Andy Cole’s one at the Nou Camp in the Treble season where he had the interchange with Yorke was glorious. You really felt United were on for big things when those two hit it off so well. Giggs against Arsenal in the semi in that same season was a huge goal, too.
What are your thoughts on the season and Erik ten Hag so far?
The season has been a real surprise in terms of how quickly we’ve seen an improvement. As Andy Mitten says, ‘top four and a trophy’. Which is now probably the least we should be expecting. Ten Hag is the manager we’ve needed for 10 years. He’s not really put a foot wrong, has he? His handling of the Ronaldo saga was superb, I thought. To think that his tenure is still very much in its infancy bodes well for the future. The Ajax team he built was one of the best I’ve seen, so I’m excited to see where we are in two years’ time.
Goal of the Day: Cantona v Wimbledon Video

Goal of the Day: Cantona v Wimbledon

Today's golden goal was chosen by @Ricky_Spanish89, who's plumped for this unimprovable piece of Cantona magic...

What’s your greatest United memory as a fan?
It has to be ‘that fateful night in Barcelona’. It was the night before my geography GCSE exam. I had promised my mum I’d be revising, but obviously that didn’t happen. I ran out into the street screaming when Ole scored the winner. Being so close to blowing the Treble, the switch in emotions was almost too much when we won it. I can’t imagine what it must have been like being there. I love that Mani says he missed the second goal because he was still crying after the first one! As a side note, honourable mention goes to Mick Phelan popping the balloon at Stamford Bridge and making Fergie jump out of his seat!
Who is your all-time United legend?
There is only one – Eric The King (Cantona).
Who are your favourite current United players?
I think Martinez and Casemiro have brought the sort of mentality that we’ve been sorely missing. That ‘win at all costs’ attitude has been really evident as the season has progressed and seems to have permeated the whole squad. And it’s been fantastic to see Marcus Rashford showing the world what a brilliant player he is again.
All The Goals: Eric Cantona Video

All The Goals: Eric Cantona

Watch all 82 of Eric Cantona's goals for United during his unforgettable reign at Old Trafford...

If you had a time machine, which player or United side from the past would you like to see play live?
"I think George Best would have to be the one. Watching old footage of him, you realise just how ahead of his time he was. There was nobody like him, he was just streets ahead of everyone else. I think he could have played today and, given how much more protection players get these days, his numbers would probably be outrageous."

To finish off, we asked Spencer to pick a greatest team made up of players he’d seen play – it’s a deadly mix of 1990s and 2000s greats, in a trusty 4-4-2!

Schmeichel; G. Neville, Stam, Ferdinand, Irwin; Kanchelskis, Scholes, Keane, Giggs; Cantona, van Nistelrooy.

The Heavy's new album AMEN will be released on 21 April.