Why we're proud to have Katie on the cover

Friday 13 August 2021 11:35

The last 17 months have been difficult for everyone, but especially those fighting Covid-19 on the frontline of our National Health Service. Plenty will be inside Old Trafford for the first match of the season against Leeds.

So as our little bit of ‘normality’ returns, it’s fitting that the latest star of United Review’s iconic handshake illustration is one of many heroes that helped make the return of crowds possible. 

Katie Egerton, 36, hails from Gorton (“Nicky Butt territory”) and has been coming to M16 since she was eight. A regular both home and away, she says this match can’t come soon enough. 

“How much have I missed it? Massively,” admits the Stretford Ender. 

“Unless you go to games, you might think, ‘oh, it’s just a sport.’ But it’s the social side of it as well. I’ve got quite a few friends through United. We’ve all been in touch, texting during games, trying to build up the atmosphere we had when we were together, but it’s not been the same. One of them I’ve sat next to for 13 years. The other two girls I met through the United We Stand coach.”

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Katie did attend the recent friendly with Everton, even bringing her four-year-old daughter for the first time. “She’s already asked if she can have her dad’s ticket for Leeds!” she laughs. “He told her it’s ‘grown-ups only’! 

“But last weekend was just preparation. We’re all going to be down at Old Trafford for half past nine for the Leeds game, aren’t we?! When the adrenaline’s pumping and you can feel the stadium moving underneath you, the shake... I can’t wait.” 
Egerton came of age in the late ’90s, when she idolised two unlikely heroes. “I liked to be different,” she chuckles. “All the girls fancied David Beckham, but I fancied Phil Neville. Figure that one out! I remember being on holiday in Kos with my Phil Neville shirt on and all these lads were whistling at me and red-carding me. And my hero was Steve Bruce! 

“Favourite memories? Scholes’s winner against Barcelona and Owen’s against City. I’d come back from Ibiza, flying through the night to Birmingham. I’d had about half an hour’s sleep all weekend! Owen scored, and I was in a heap on the Stretford End. I carried on at the pub back in Gorton and just kind of floated round the pub for hours. Then I was suddenly asleep in the corner!” 

More of those memories are the focus now, with NHS life thankfully more stable. 

“We’ve found it very tough, but it’s brought us all together. I work in renal transplants, and our service was stopped at the start of the pandemic. Our 10 consultants were redeployed elsewhere. I mentioned United to some of them before this interview, and they wanted to thank the club for the meals they sent. They said it really helped and made them feel appreciated. 

“We’re back up and running now, and able to carry on doing transplants. It’s been tough, but I’m extremely proud.”

You’re not the only one, Katie. We know that everyone in the stadium for the Leeds game would like to express their gratitude to the entire NHS for its marvellous efforts in the continuing battle against Covid-19.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.