Everyone knows the difference that United fans can make at Old Trafford when it comes to winning and losing. Recent clashes such as Barcelona (2008) and Arsenal (2009) are classic examples, but you can go further back to 1984 when a capacity crowd roared the Reds on to another famous European victory against the Catalan giants. As the Reds prepare for another huge European tussle against Chelsea on Tuesday Stretford End Flags are urging you to bring flags, scarves and most importantly your singing voice to make Old Trafford a cauldron of noise on quarter final night!
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is always keen to stress how important the fans can be in aiding the team on their quest for European glory and on the domestic front; however it is on European nights where the Old Trafford crowd really come to the fore.
Stretford End Flag’s European Cup mosaic as showcased in the 2009 UCL semi-final first leg vs Arsenal
Ferguson described the mosaics that Stretford End Flags design and implement as
United stalwart Ryan Giggs also echoed his manager’s sentiments saying that
“When the crowd are up for it I can’t see us losing.”
Ahead of the game against League rivals Chelsea Sir Alex has already issued his regular rallying cry to the fans to really cook up an atmosphere. Ferguson was speaking to reporters after his sides 1-0 first leg win away in the first leg of this quarter final tie.
"Our biggest advantage (in the second leg) is Old Trafford. Our support next Tuesday will be absolutely fantastic there will be an electric atmosphere, I'm banking on that."
For the tie Stretford End Flags have arranged the some of our usual ploys in order to make Old Trafford the intimidating wall of noise for opponents and the legions strong vocal support for United.
We will have our usual flag bearers pitch side shortly before kickoff displaying designs from our Devil logo to references to past triumphs and some which bear the club colours, plain and simple. The club has also given permission for us to use the newly designed large two pole crowd flags, akin to that used on the continent, the two flags are three metres tall and pay homage to our two most successful managers, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby (the Busby flag can be seen below).
For those who made the trip down to London last week they will know just how important our support can be, the travelling Reds thoroughly out sung the home crowd and more of the same is required at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Despite their lack of vocal support Chelsea did however put on a very colourful show of support with flags and scarves a plenty knocking about the Bridge before kick-off. However those who watched the game at home or in the pub on television will have seen the mass of flags that the Red Army brought to the ‘old smoke’ and how the ‘shed end’ temporarily became an unofficial suburb of Manchester. We want to replicate this but on a much larger scale for when Chelsea rock up to M16 next week.
As the club approaches not only a key Champions League fixture but also massive home games that could be pivotal in determine whether this will be the season that United notch a record nineteenth title Stretford End Flags are again urging United supporters to make their voice heard and too make their support known. If we can replicate the amount of flags brought down to Stamford Bridge but times it be twenty Old Trafford really will be a sea of red, white and black, an awe inspiring sight which Sir Alex admits drives the players on even more.
“When the players come out into the arena and see the flags an mosaic they think to themselves, wow we don’t normally get this, they realise it’s a special night”
Recently you may have noticed a new Stretford End Flags banner on the Stretford End paying tribute to Ryan Giggs and his years of “tearing the opposition apart”. This is the first of many new designs Stretford End Flags are looking to create over the next few months and we are always seeking new designs for Mosaics and flags from you, the fans. If you have an idea why not submit it at the SEF FORUM
We encourage all supporters to bring flags to the games which you will be able to hang over the metal fencing at the front of the seating sections, also if your flag is less than 1.2 metres you can hang it over the upper tiers. Furthermore flags on sale outside the ground will also be able to be brought in the ground so we’ll be expecting plenty of flag waving fans on Tuesday night!
Old Trafford is not always as noisy as it could be despite the vast amount of supporters who file through the turnstiles each week. However as the season approaches ‘squeaky bum time’ Stretford End Flags urges all match-going supporters to play there part and to get behind the team. Put your worries about the club or the squad behind you and get behind the players, this could be a historic few weeks for Manchester United and with our help the likelihood of this being the case increases. So let’s get behind the boys and ‘keep the Red flag flyin’ high’.
By Nathan Thomas
Follow Nathan on twitter @NathanThomas8