'It still gets me when I walk up those stairs'

Friday 17 March 2023 09:00

Being a full-time producer and DJ, football is one of those things that helps me switch off from the craziness of being in the music industry – without losing the buzz factor.

I was born in Bury, Greater Manchester and now live in Lancaster and, like my parents before me, I’ve always been a huge Man United fan. 
How could I not be, without downplaying my upbringing and that nudge in the right direction?!
I still remember my first game at Old Trafford, when we sent Sheffield Wednesday home empty handed. March 15, 1997. The score was 2-0, and Cole and Poborksy were the ones who took us there.

I was hooked from the start and wanted to go to as many games as possible.
United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Video

United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0

15 March 1997: After defeat at Sunderland seven days earlier, the Reds got back to winning ways, versus the Owls...

I have been very fortunate to have been able to do it as a kid, and I know not all fans get that chance.

To me, nothing compares to watching one of the world’s biggest football teams play their hearts out at Old Trafford. It’s a magical feeling, and it still gets me every time I walk up those stairs and go out to the stadium.
Because football, for me, is right up there with the passion I have for music. The way I feel in front of a roaring crowd or while hearing a track of mine blow up on the radio definitely reminds me of holding my breath in the stands or that rush you get when you witness a goal.
The biggest and most fantastic memory as a Man United fan is winning the Champions League and, of course, winning the Treble on the 26th of May in 1999. 
Though it’s almost 25 years ago, I can still see myself running around the house like we’d all just won the lottery. My parents, good sports as they were, even let me skip a day of school to celebrate. I will never forget that feeling of winning the Treble. And there are so many moments, big and small, that will stay with me forever.
Like so many others, I also have my fair share of memorabilia. I always buy the match programmes, so I’ve got a load of them from all the games I’ve been to. And I’ve also got a signed ball from the squad of 1995. It holds a lot of sentimental value to me, so of course I try to keep it very safe.
D.O.D. has been featured in DJ Mag's 'Top 100 DJs' list.
I now have two boys of my own, Leo and Jesse, and I’m hoping I can influence them to become a Red just like their dad. I still regularly go to Old Trafford to watch United games when I’m not on the road touring. 
It’s been an especially hectic time in the past 12 months with my track Still Sleepless, featuring Carla Monroe, hitting the UK charts, and even more recently my tune Set Me Free has really taken off on radio and in clubs.

It’s amazing to see, for what was essentially a club record for my DJ sets! I’ve got a string of new releases on the horizon including Love Nor Money, which dropped on 10 March.
90 in 20: United v Palace Video

90 in 20: United v Palace

Watch extended highlights of an exciting Premier League encounter at Old Trafford...

The last game I went to? Crystal Palace, in February, when we won 2-1. Bruno with the pen seven minutes in and Rashford with a clinical goal in the 62nd minute. 
That was actually the first time my nephew, Sam Pickup, went to a game and he absolutely loved it. It was so nice to be able to share that first moment with him, and to see him stepping out in the stadium for the first time with a big smile on his face.
It takes me all the way back to my first game in 1997. And whenever I’m back climbing those stairs, getting a first glimpse of the pitch and hearing the roar, I’m that kid all over again. 
Check out D.O.D’s latest single Set Me Free, available to stream via all digital service providers.