Hello Reader! My name is Chris! A.K.A. “The Villager.”
Firstly, I want to say that if you are reading this, then thank you for taking the time out of your day to look at my article! The reason I go by the name, “The Villager” is because it’s the name of my personal blog that has primarily covered my local team: The Vancouver Whitecaps (nick-named ‘The Village.’). Oh! I forgot to mention.. I’m Canadian and live in Beautiful British Columbia. Fun fact, I’m one of the only Canadians out there who can’t skate!
WHY I WRITE:
I’ve never considered myself as a literate person; having a B+ average in my English studies at University… That being said, you may be wondering, “Why did you even decide to make a blog?” It started a couple years back after I listened to a podcast made by a co-worker of mine. This co-worker was once a professional soccer player (for the Whitecaps) and his podcast was dedicated to soccer talk. I found myself constantly writing in to the podcast with my own opinions and questions; so much that I finally decided to create and write my own blog on soccer talk and news. Working shift work, buying a home and helping my Missus [the fiancée] plan a wedding for next September has caused this hobby of mine to temporarily take a seat on the sideline in the past..
If I have not lost your interest at this point, then I guess I should introduce myself a little more. To be honest, I wish I could tell you I had some unique soccer related story to share on my articles. Something like being born somewhere in Europe, played the game competitively, got seen by a club’s scout and later had some career ending injury before the big call up that has now left me with only stories and tales of success and misfortunes to share with you. I know what you’re thinking.. “That’s some imagination,” or “Why does your story end with you having a career ending injury.” If you knew me and my luck and being a very accident-prone individual, I’m sure you can figure out why..
All imagination aside, my story in a nutshell is that I fell in love with the game ever since I could walk and kick a soccer ball. Growing up in a blue-collar family, with an older brother and sister who both enjoyed playing the game; it was only natural for my parents to put me in a pair of ‘hand-me-down’ cleats, shin guards and give it a go. Years later, I’ve found myself still as a Sunday League Goalkeeper; who loves to play and officiate the game and watch and talk endlessly about the game.
So How Did I Come To Love Manchester United?
Growing up, there was such an age gap between my older brother and I [over 15 years age difference…My parents called me a surprise [A.K.A an accident]], I was never very close with him. The fondest memories I had growing up with him was when we still lived together. On the weekends he would turn on the TV and we watched soccer. One of the clubs my brother followed was Manchester United. As he was older and had power over the TV remote, I slowly came to realize that I too was becoming a fan of the Red Devils!
My brother being a fan of David Beckham, I also began to idolize the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary and Phil Neville. Being a goalkeeper myself, I idolized the tall Dutchman: Edwin Van Der Sar. Having Scottish blood in my background, my Dad also admired the personality and management style on Sir Alex Ferguson (he kinda yelled like him too).
My Visit To Manchester
That’s pretty much how it all started for me. Living in Canada I always dreamed to go to the Theatre of Dreams and watch United live at Old Trafford. In 2015 I came close to fulfilling that dream of mine. I joined up a Contiki tour and had the opportunity to travel for a month long around Europe. I timed the trip poorly as it was still the off season in the Premier League. At the end of this month long escapade, I was lucky enough to stay longer in the East Midlands of England.
Back in Canada my old neighbours were ‘Geordies’ from Newcastle and still had friends in the Midlands; who allowed me to stay with them for a couple weeks. Even though it was still the offseason, I took a 2 hour train ride to Manchester where I came close to my dream and took a tour at Old Trafford. For half a day, I immersed myself in the club culture, the history and stories of the infamous treble winning season.
Walking through the players tunnel and onto the sideline of the pitch, I got chills just thinking about all the famous United players who once walked through that very same tunnel and made history on the pitch. It’s the closest I’ve come to fulfilling my dream and I hope one day to go back and see the Red Devils play.
Before I wrap this up, I want to give a huge thanks to John and Alex for all the work they have done for United fans alike and for allowing me to contribute to their already amazing podcast and website that is “For the Fans, By the fans!” In my future articles, I hope to cover off a mix of United topics and provide opinion columns on recent events on the club. I feel that after the last couple seasons United have had (especially this year), we as fans (and family of the greatest club on earth) need to be more than ever dedicated to expressing our thoughts and support.
I believe that we must get these message across to Ed Woodward and the Glazers; who (in my view) have put their wallets first and the fans and team’s success second. It may take some time; however, I have faith that it will be once again the youth of the club and the likes of Greenwood, Rashford and Williams that will once again bring glory to the greatest Club on earth!
That being said, if you’ve made it to the end of this write up, thank you again for joining me and I hope you all enjoy my future posts! You can follow me on twitter: @_The_Villager
GLORY, GLORY MAN UNITED!