Well there has been a legitimate reason why I haven’t posted over the past few days. On Tuesday I travelled to Manchester for Roy Keane’s testimonial game. For those unfamiliar with Keano’s career there’s an excellent entry on Wikipedia. Needless to say he’s a legend. A mate from work, Rob, got us tickets through the Celtic Supporters Club he’s in. As Keano is now at Celtic, the game was between the two clubs and he’d play a half for each team.
The day started early as the bus to the ferry picked us up at 6.30am to get to Dublin Port. After a bus transfer to Manchester from Holyhead we arrived at about 4. We rambled into the city centre after dropping our bags at the hostel and then made our way out to Old Trafford. We packed onto a crammed tram and sweated our bodyweights out of us over the next 10 minutes. Not a nice experience. Found a decent pub close to the ground called “The Trafford”. The pub itself was mobbed with supporters but the atmosphere was great.
The game itself was due to kick off at 8 so we walked up to the ground and got our seats in the North Stand. United had allocated the whole of the stand to Celtic supporters as they always travel in numbers. The atmosphere created by close to 30,000 Celtic supporters is beyond description. When Keane emerged onto the pitch flanked by both teams in a guard of honour, the stadium erupted with the staple “Keano, Keano, Keano” chant ringing out at deafening volume. It was a special night for him and every supporter in the ground who’d turned up to honour Ireland’s best player. Throughout the game, while playing for United and Celtic, Keane played his classic style and didn’t hold back in lambasting his teammates on a number of occasions. 🙂
United went on to win with a goal from Christiano Ronaldo just after half time but the result wasn’t important to either sets of supporters. Keane took the microphone at the end and did a lap of honour to a massive ovation. We left the ground and headed into Manchester for a night on the town. Great experience and I’ll be going to see Celtic in the Champions League next season if I can get a ticket. All of the photos are uploaded if you wanna view them.