My United: Courteeners’ drummer Michael Campbell

Our series of ‘My United’ interviews continues with the drummer from Manchester band Courteeners, Michael Campbell, who spoke to our magazine in April 2017 about wanting to be Roy Keane, soundtracking the champions and bidding a personal farewell to Sir Alex Ferguson…

When and how did you first start supporting United?
“I’m the youngest of five children and we’re all Reds through my dad, so I suppose it’s been ingrained in me from the earliest age. I don’t think dad could have given us any other option and rightly so. We could have supported someone else, I suppose, but we might have had to find somewhere else to live!”
Roy Keane in action for Manchester United.
Watch this video to see why Campbell and so many United fans idolised Roy Keane.
Who was your first United hero?
“Roy Keane. Both my parents are Irish so there was an instant affiliation towards him, but it was his real determination and insatiable desire to win at all costs that made him my hero. Anything less than 100 per cent from United and Ireland with Roy around wasn’t good enough. He may have crossed the line a few times in letting others know his feelings, but to me that showed the incredible will to win. He should forever be known as the driving force behind our Treble-winning season and for that he’ll always receive legendary status in my eyes. Growing up, I wanted to be him. I was the captain of my school team and I tried to instil his traits of effort and desire into my team-mates. It didn’t work because we got beat every week… but that wasn’t through a lack of trying.”
The Courteeners’ song Not Nineteen Forever was adopted by United in 2013 to celebrate the 20th title, and you played at the title party in Albert Square. How did that feel as a Red?
“It really was incredible. It was Sir Alex’s final Premier League win, final trophy parade and we were playing at it. It was nerve-wracking but made us immensely proud to be part of it. When it has finished and Sir Alex was walking down the steps from the stage, I said to him, ‘Cheers gaffer – enjoy your retirement’, like I was a player. He said, ‘Cheers son’. It’s only a small thing but it meant a lot to me. I was made up with that.”
Check out the Courteeners performing at our 2013 trophy parade in Manchester.
Which team do you most want United to beat?
“Apart from the obvious answers of City and Liverpool, the games and title tussles we’ve had with Arsenal over the years have always been a good barometer of where we’re up to, so if we beat them, we’re not far away. They’re usually games packed with quality and incident, so it’s great to get a win.”

What’s your all-time favourite United memory?
“A memory that sticks out amongst many others has to be Eric’s goal in the 1996 FA Cup final against Liverpool. It was a drab affair, from what I remember, and Eric produced something of brilliance out of nothing to win it for us. It was hip-high when he hit it, and the way he moved his feet so quickly and the power he got in the shot was tremendous. Also, RVP’s volley against Villa to win the 20th title… that was a cracker!”
Robin van Persie's iconic volley against Aston Villa is one of Campbell's top United memories.

Which players from the past do you wish you had seen playing?
“From what my dad tells me, there’ll never be another player like George Best. My dad’s from Northern Ireland so is tremendously biased but I imagine he’s not the only person with that opinion. I’d have loved to have seen him. I’d have loved to have seen Duncan Edwards and I suppose the world would have too, to see what he could have become.”

Michael Campbell was speaking to the April 2017 edition of Inside United magazine. Subscribe now for future editions.



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