Official United supporters’ team wins English title
Manchester United Supporters FC were crowned league champions in May, earning a first national title in 14 years of competing within the IFA English Supporters League.
The success was achieved with a memorable 6-3 win over serial champions Preston Supporters on the final day, and the trophy was lifted at Old Trafford following a friendly in early June.
United SFC also made a big impact off the field, raising over £800 for Manchester United Foundation.
Our supporters' team pose with their silverware before a recent game at Old Trafford.
“The supporters’ team was set up in 1996, when England hosted the European Championship,” says manager Andrew Kilduff.
“At the time, there was a fear of hooligans, and supporters from UK clubs wanted to show that fans could get along and have friendly rivalry.
“A supporters’ tournament was held in Middlesbrough and United supporters entered a team. From this, the supporters’ league was born. It now comprises a joint British league, and separate Scottish and English leagues. Teams from Hearts to Halifax, Ayr to Aldershot, Man City to Man United take part.”
The club – which plays home games at Eccles College – is open to all supporters, says Kilduff.
“Ideally we look for season ticket holders or matchgoing fans, as the aim is to play in the morning and then head to the professional game in the afternoon.
“Ability is quite mixed and some teams have been know to play ex-pros, especially when United are in town! Four of our players have gone on to play semi-pro, which is a good testament to the team.”
The lads recently took on Lens in a friendly at Littleton Road, just hours after the first team's equivalent fixture.
MUSFC's preparations for the upcoming season even included a friendly against Lens, like our senior team.
Hour after Old Trafford hosted Erik ten Hag's squad, our Littleton Road facility witnessed a supporters' match-up, with both sides contributing fulsomely to a 7-4 thriller.
“We first met Lens many years ago at the WorldNet tournament,” explains Andrew. “They enter two teams each year and travel over to the UK to play and enjoy the local hospitality – sometimes a little bit too much!
Games between supporters' teams helps to encourage friendly rivalries.
“When we won the WorldNet Plate trophy in 2013, many of the Lens players joined in our celebrations and swapped shirts with us afterwards. We won on penalties and all the Lens players were chanting ‘Ooh, aah, Cantona’ every time we took one! We’ve played them many times and it was great to welcome them for a game at the United Academy.
“It was a really good game. United Supporters led 3-0 at half-time, before losing 7-4 – definitely a game of two halves! But many friendships were made.”
Congratulations to Manchester United Supporters FC on a successful 2022/23 season, and good luck for the campaign ahead in 2023/24.