MUSC South Elmsall celebrate a special anniversary

Thursday 28 September 2023 15:30

This weekend, Manchester United will help our South Elmsall supporters' club celebrate a special anniversary, ahead of our Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

The branch, which is based in West Yorkshire, will be treated to a pitchside reception on the day, to celebrate 30 years since they first registered as an official supporters' club.
Based just 10 miles or so away from Wakefield, and around 45 miles from Manchester, the group has been loyally attending every home game (and many aways) since 1993 – shortly after Eric Cantona made his own controversial journey across the Pennines to Old Trafford.
“It's just a way of life,” laughs club secretary Bill Fieldsend, as we caught up with him ahead of the recent Burnley game. “Even now, I'm down at my caravan and people are texting me about tickets!”
South Elmsall remain staunch Reds, despite being surrounded by Yorkshire clubs like Leeds and Huddersfield.
Bill estimates that an unofficial group of United supporters has been travelling to games from South Elmsall and the surrounding villages of South Kirby, Upton and Hemsworth since at least the mid-1960s.
But it wasn't until 1993, following extensive discussions in the Harlequin social club, that the local Reds took the plunge to get together and contact staff at United.
“We used to go in cars with three or four of us,” Bill recalls, “and before I could drive, we'd have to get on a bus to Barnsley and then another bus to Manchester just to watch the game. I remember I once went to Wembley in a van with deckchairs in. No windows, just deckchairs!
“One day we got talking and said: 'Why don't we just get a minibus together?'”
Fast-forward three decades, and MUSC South Elmsall now has 125 official members and 37 season-ticket holders. Many of the same supporters that founded the branch are still going to games – and bringing their kids with them. 
“We take one bus and we have done for every game for 30 years,” notes Fieldsend, proudly.

“And there were only two occasions, last year, when we didn't get to the game. One was because of a fire on the motorway, and the other was when a load of snow came down and the coach company didn't want to put their driver at risk. But we usually take between 35 and 50 fans, depending on tickets.”
This Saturday they'll enjoy some well-deserved time in the spotlight, as they arrive in M16 as guests of the club for the day, with maybe a few treats in store.
Congratulations, South Elmsall, and here's to the next 30 years!