Manchester United fans working on atmosphere
Manchester United fans are working together through a series of a strategies and ideas to improve the Old Trafford atmosphere, especially for the upcoming European ties and Munich air disaster remembrance – most notably the use of a giant surfer flag.
A United supporters group, Stretford End Flags, has agreed with the club to use surfer flags to help support the players and create a better atmosphere.
The group has made notable banners and flags over the years, including a giant 72m long banner which celebrated Sir Alex Ferguson‘s 25th year at the club.
Former club captain and legend, Gary Neville chose which giant surfer flag he thought would be best suited to inspiring the side from a selection of fan designs, which were submitted on the groups website.
The banner which will cover the majority of the Stretford End’s lower tier (30x47m), features the last picture of the Busby Babes side which took on Red Star Belgrade before the 1958 Munich Air Disaster. Neville told Stretford End flags that the image is also used inside the dressing room to inspire the team and is ideally suited.
The aim is to have the surfer flag produced and used for United’s home game vs Everton on the 9th of Febuary, as that game is the nearest to the 55th anniversary of Munich.
Survivor of the tragedy and 1969 European Cup Winning Goalkeeper for the club, Harry Greg‘s twitter account showed an interest and positivity towards the news.
“SEF” also plan to use the flag for all big games at Old Trafford, with most notably the 2nd leg of the Champions League tie vs Real Madrid in March. The group also hopes to make that game a Euro flag night.
The flag, which would really send out a message before games, will cost around £8,000 to produce. Funding been agreed to be split 3 ways between, SEF, Gary Neville and Manchester United. If you are a United fan wishing to help out, read more at StretfordEndFlags’ site.
Other ideas may include drapes in the clubs colours from the 2011 Champions League final and recent League Cup finals being hung over the crowd before kick offs. Whilst talks between the group and the club have been ongoing in the hope of allowing both more allocated space for banners, and the ability for fans to take in their own flags on sticks.
The news is a postive for not only the Old Trafford atmosphere but also United fans, who are finally making a breakthrough in terms of flag regulations. However, the giant surfer flag is the most exciting part, as it will look mightily impressive whilst lifting both supporters and the team. Such increases in support and inspiration may come at a pivotal point in the season; because, whisper it quietly, but the club could still pull off a historic treble.
Another group is also aiming to improve atmosphere and the feel of home games in the FA Cup. Reclaim United has organised the club’s home cup game vs Fulham as a “Flag day”. Fans have been invited to sing classic Cup songs, whilst bringing home made banners and classic bar scarfs along.
By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory