A Red farewell in the Orkney Islands

Thursday 09 February 2023 12:00

We’ve known for a long time that the dedication of United fans knows no limits.

But our matchday programme, United Review, was particularly moved to hear that a delegation of Reds travelled to the Orkney Islands in late January to pay their respects at the funeral of a fellow supporter.
Dave Ogden – known as ‘Oggy’ to his friends – passed away peacefully in his sleep on 7 January, in his adopted hometown of Stromness, more than 500 miles north of Manchester.
The Red Army gathered with Dave's family in Stromness.
Oggy was born in Marple, near Stockport, in 1950, and followed United home and away from the beginning of the 1960s. He had many adventures throughout his decades supporting the team, with many memorable trips to Europe and beyond. 
“His unique laugh was extremely infectious,” remembers Pete Chappell, one of a group of United fans who travelled all the way to Mainland [Orkney’s main island] to attend his memorial service at Stromness Town Hall. 
“As a Red, Oggy went everywhere, by any means, until the beginning of the millennium, when life took him off to the Orkney Islands, where he settled in the town of Stromness. He was known to the locals there as ‘Manchester Dave’ and fully participated in the Orkney drinking culture and was very popular among the islanders!”
Chappell and friends undertook an epic journey to get to Stromness, with all manner of cancelled ferries, missed train connections and adverse weather conditions complicating the arrangements. 
But the group made it and were able to represent the Red Army at the service, where the congregation were told in advance that United shirts were “recommended” attire, by order of Dave’s family. Chappell and the cohort from the North West had a flag made in Oggy’s honour and brought their ’70s scarves along.
“My ferry got cancelled on the way back,” smiles Pete, “so I missed all my train connections back from Thurso to Manchester Piccadilly. I had to book flights from Kirkwall to Inverness, and Inverness to Manchester. 
Dave followed United everywhere until life took him to Orkney in the early 2000s.
“But it was all worth it to be there for Oggy. His outstanding quality was his loyalty – not only to his family and Manchester United – but to anyone that did the right thing by him.

“He will be sorely missed and the United family is much the poorer for losing another genuine old-school Red.”
David is survived by his children, Lisa, Gemma and Mark, and his grandchildren: Connor, Jake, Sophia, Leland and Lewis. Rest in peace, Oggy.