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View Full Version : Mike Dobbin. A gentleman, and a true United fan legend. RIP



Red News
29-01-2009, 01:46 PM
It is with great sadness - devastating news to all who knew him well - that we have to inform you that well known United fan Mike Dobbin passed away of cancer this morning.

A great United fan - in fact though he'd loathe such a tag put on him, I'd say he's probably United's greatest fan - having only missed something like 6 games in 30+ years and close to seeing United 2000 times in 40+ countries. Wherever United were playing, Mike was there. He was an inspiration; kind, helpful to all who wore a United scarf and all round decent fella. One of the good guys.

Mike was a RN reader, and we have known him for a long, long time, always smiling when we'd see him as we were selling as he approached with a plastic bag full of programmes and wearing a shirt from whichever exotic destination had played in last. We will miss that. Boy will we and so many of us will miss him. I don't think there's anyone with a bad word for him, always keen to help others, moving from Manchester to London and running the London Fan Club these past 30+ years, helping so many in the process. Unassuming, Mike never has bragged about his record of going to games, just you know that if United were playing, he'll be there.

He liked a nice pint and it was always great to share his company. Mike only found out he was seriously ill recently and the subsequent concern amongst matchgoing support was like nothing I've known before such was the care and love for a United supporting legend; an institution at United, full stop. There will never be another to match Mike at United.

Players come and go but the likes of Mike were there, game in, game out, all his life and on Saturday we'd like all Utd fans to take a moment to remember Mike Dobbin. RIP.

Our thoughts and best wishes go to his immediate family and all members of the United family who knew Mike. It is a sad day.

Red News
29-01-2009, 06:35 PM
I have known Mike for a number of years both watching United and England. From Manchester To Milan, Geneva to Greece, Barcelona to Blackpool Mike always wanted to help anyone and everyone – always greeted you with a kind smile, he made it a point to remember my young son’s name so he could say ‘Hi Liam’ next time he bumped into us. You do have to ask why has he been taken at his young age. He has never had a bad word for anyone – United will never have a more loyal supporter.

Wouldn’t it be fitting if OUR great club give Mike a very special send off
He deserves it – I remember how gutted he was when United decided to do two matches on the same day, how on earth could he chose which game to go too.

Mike it was an absolute pleasure knowing you, sleep well mate

Martin & Liam

Red News
29-01-2009, 07:12 PM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3160/2866977428_3ae6ae841d.jpg?v=0

Red News
29-01-2009, 08:36 PM
A message from Mike Dobbin's sister

I would like all fans and people who knew Michael to know how so deeply moved I was when reading this tribute - http://www.rednews.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?p=432139 - to Michael. What can I say? - completely moved by the words. I read it the same morning of his death and it gave me great comfort in reading it and knowing how well liked and respected he was.

He certainly was a treasure, marvelous Brother, Son and Uncle and Great Uncle. Someone said to me 61 is no age to die but Michael would no doubt be counting his blessings as he fortunately had double the years of his brother John. Life is not about the quantity of the years but the quality of the years. His quality was fortunately a good one compared to some. He certainly had a good innings, fortunately with no real traumas apart from the sad death of his brother John.

One day I had my brother, the next, he was fading away so fast! Before my very eyes and it proves we must all learn from his untimely death that we must grasp life, trying to live it to the full, as we never know what tomorrow may bring.

We must all remember the phrase John Lennon once quoted -
"Life is what happens to us when were busy making plans".

I'd like to give my thanks and gratitude to all the 'Reds' out there for thinking of him on Sat and to all who knew him and are thinking of him at this sad time.

Many thanks to you all,

Anne

be back in two weeks
30-01-2009, 01:35 AM
rip fella. †

http://xs135.xs.to/xs135/09054/mike_copy122.png

1tony1
30-01-2009, 01:51 AM
I am a member of MULFC - the London Branch of the Fan Club, of which Mike was the Travel Secretary. I was born just 4 months before him, and we go back to the early days of the Fan Club, in our teens or early 20's. To me, Mike WAS the Fan Club, had been the Travel Secretary for all that time, and managed the job quietly and effectively. Although he and I were never close, he was always there, always very friendly, always said hello, always happy to receive a call at his office or home when I wanted to know the times of the MULFC train to the next game. I respected him such that I rarely did want to bother him like that.. There are many others who knew him better than I, but a lot fewer for as long a time. I've just come back home and heard the news.. and found myself sobbing.. I hadn't realised just how much those 40 years of knowing him had meant.. The end of an era.. I have rarely travelled with the Fan Club in recent years, owing to having my growing daughter living en-route to Manchester, and making my own arrangements to see her on the way. But we still bumped into each other on stations or more frequently, at the South Stand bar (both season ticket holders there), always exchanged a cheery "how are you".. I knew he followed United all over the world.. would spot him in the crowd sometimes when a friendly match thousands of miles away was on TV. I just wanted to add my piece, to pay tribute to a special guy. Rest in peace, Mike.. you will never be forgotten..

confused
30-01-2009, 09:32 AM
Didn't really know the guy, but his face has been a constant in the years of following United. A lot of my older mates who knew him better are gutted about it. RIP.

gedthered
30-01-2009, 11:00 AM
R.I.P Mike, A sad loss to the World, United and England.

Crewe Reds.

Zar
30-01-2009, 11:45 AM
The best fan United have ever had, and will probably remain so for a long time, if not forever, the guy dedicated his life to the club, and helping others with travel and tickets, It was a pleasure to know him.

ksw
30-01-2009, 12:04 PM
Great bloke helped many lads get to games for a reasonable fares even if they were not members of the club.Last couple of years has fought hard to keep group travel going as Virgin tried to fleece weekend travellers, God knows how many hours he spent organising travel for people who took it for granted. No matter which daft corner of the world you arrived in you'd get the nod & a smile from Mike within a couple hours of landing.
Will be sadly missed.

Unregistered
30-01-2009, 09:41 PM
I never knew Mike as I live near Blackburn but I've followed the Reds for the last 36 years. I'm now nearly 49 and my generation are beginning to fall by the wayside. I despair where the next gen are coming from given the silly tickets prices of today.

Unfortunately people like Mike won't come around again and that's very, very sad. We are a dying breed. I've been home and away since I was 13 (the year we got relegated) and I live and breath United. My 9 yr old son couldn't give a s**t and that really dissapoints me.

Mike I hope you rest in peace and lets win as much as we can this year in your memory!

Good night and God bless.

Unregistered
31-01-2009, 09:25 AM
40 years ago I started going to United. My first away game was with Black Sam and the first home game the following week was on the 10 o'clock from Euston with Mike's Fan Club. Sadly both Sam and Mike have gone in the last couple of years.
Mike, from Euston to Yokohama, it's been a great journey, full of laughs, fun and United. This is a very sad time but I'd like to think that if we got to choose when we die then going quickly and peacefully with Manchester United Football Club Champions of England, Champions of Europe and Champions of the World it's a choice we'd all probably make.

Mike Dobbin RIP.

Clive

john norway
01-02-2009, 11:48 AM
Taken from a other site.

Details of Mike's funeral arrangements have been confirmed this evening.

It will take place at 3pm on Friday February 6th (an appropriate date and time for a Red if ever there was one) at Blackley (aka Blakeley) Crematorium, Victoria Avenue, Blackley, Manchester, M9 8JP. The following link will take you to the Manchester City Council website where you can also access a map: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/site/sc... pageNumber=7 (http://www.manchester.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?categoryID=329&documentID=1086&pageNumber=7)

Lardarsedmanc
02-02-2009, 02:08 AM
Christ, jus back frtom a week or two of my own turmoil and read this - didn't know him well but what a gent, what a supplier of tickets / travel - and simply, what a Red. If I die being half the Red that Mike was, I'll be a very happy man. R.I.P mate, have a kick around with Bestie, Big Dunc, Sandy Turnbull etc and laugh at those of us who turn up expecting to get a game.

Come on United, win it all this year for Mike

Thepraguepost
02-02-2009, 10:11 AM
Mike's funeral is at 1500 this Friday at Blackley Crematorium for those who can make it.

DM
07-02-2009, 12:00 AM
Did today go well gents?

Hope there was a good turn out, am sure there was.

RIP Mike Dobbin

what a fitting day for Uniteds greatest fan to be laid to rest.

Twatengine
07-02-2009, 12:57 AM
Did today go well gents?

Hope there was a good turn out, am sure there was.

RIP Mike Dobbin

what a fitting day for Uniteds greatest fan to be laid to rest.

Fantastic turnout - about 70 came up on the train from London alone!

Lots of faces - not least Drunken Bum himself. Four of the Norwegian flew over specially - Lars Morten, John Norway etc as well as others from Singapore, Holland and Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

Michael Crick did the eulogy - absolutely perfect.

Made you proud to be part of the same Red Family.

PMADDEN
08-02-2009, 11:19 PM
I've known Mike since 1977 when I met him at Southgate Cricket/Squash Club. Like him I'd moved down to London from Manchester and immediately found common ground with him, namely MUFC. He came to my wedding in March 1980 (I think it was one of the few games he missed over his lifetime, but some compensation was that Stuart Pearson came to the reception in the evening!!). I saw him often since then at Southgate and always enjoyed chatting with him over a beer about United's fortunes. I think one of the last times I saw him was at the Oval watching Lancashire trying to win the County Championship. He was always friendly and good company and will be sadly missed by me and all who knew him at Sothgate,

Peter Madden





It is with great sadness - devastating news to all who knew




him well - that we have to inform you that well known United fan Mike Dobbin passed away of cancer this morning.

A great United fan - in fact though he'd loathe such a tag put on him, I'd say he's probably United's greatest fan - having only missed something like 6 games in 30+ years and close to seeing United 2000 times in 40+ countries. Wherever United were playing, Mike was there. He was an inspiration; kind, helpful to all who wore a United scarf and all round decent fella. One of the good guys.

Mike was a RN reader, and we have known him for a long, long time, always smiling when we'd see him as we were selling as he approached with a plastic bag full of programmes and wearing a shirt from whichever exotic destination had played in last. We will miss that. Boy will we and so many of us will miss him. I don't think there's anyone with a bad word for him, always keen to help others, moving from Manchester to London and running the London Fan Club these past 30+ years, helping so many in the process. Unassuming, Mike never has bragged about his record of going to games, just you know that if United were playing, he'll be there.

He liked a nice pint and it was always great to share his company. Mike only found out he was seriously ill recently and the subsequent concern amongst matchgoing support was like nothing I've known before such was the care and love for a United supporting legend; an institution at United, full stop. There will never be another to match Mike at United.

Players come and go but the likes of Mike were there, game in, game out, all his life and on Saturday we'd like all Utd fans to take a moment to remember Mike Dobbin. RIP.

Our thoughts and best wishes go to his immediate family and all members of the United family who knew Mike. It is a sad day.

Red News
10-02-2009, 01:55 AM
a message from Mike's good friend Frosty

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_FcdyMvyJyTI/SZDPzMlpzMI/AAAAAAAAADI/4GaAWn7lGS8/s1600-h/image001.jpg

I’ve been a regular traveller with Mike since the early 70s, initially domestic games, and gradually spreading further afield, but unlike Mike, never beyond Euro Aways. If a trip to Manchester required an overnight stay, it most often worked out that we shared a beer, a meal, same hotel (oh, and nearly forgot; the game!)

One thing to add to the other tributes is not just Mike’s loyalty record, but his ability to recall all facts United. Not just when for example we won a cup final, but far more detailed information about much less notable games in maybe a mundane and uneventful season. It was Mike that pointed out that last season was the 100th anniversary of United’s first trophy, and was mystified as to why it did not seem to get recognition. He set about rectifying this anomaly by sharing this information at every opportunity!

I thought the above photo (can also be seen at http://manunitedfans.blogspot.com/2009/02/mike-dobbin-rip.html) sums up well a typical Euro Away for Mike with his mates. On this occasion a bar in Amsterdam in the 80s and the eagle-eyed will work out the exact year of this particular tournament. (Of the group Mike seems to have changed least over the years!)

Missing you and thinking of you Mike. Cheers from Frosty!

Groomy
10-02-2009, 10:20 PM
Fantastic turnout - about 70 came up on the train from London alone!

Lots of faces - not least Drunken Bum himself. Four of the Norwegian flew over specially - Lars Morten, John Norway etc as well as others from Singapore, Holland and Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

Michael Crick did the eulogy - absolutely perfect.

Made you proud to be part of the same Red Family.


What can be said about Mike that hasn't already been said. I personally have written a 1000 word report for next weeks Red News of my memories of Mike. Must say it was a fantastic turn out for Mike on Friday, his family would have been very proud of all the Reds that turned out. It was a special day on a very special day.It was great to see so many old faces. Once again, RIP Mike

ole pancho
10-02-2009, 11:58 PM
Now and again, my son loves to watch my old United videos. Today as he was watching highlights of, amongst others, United beat Sunderland away 3-1 (2001/2), who did I see in the crowd celebrating one of the goals? Sir Mike Dobbin!
I sometimes think that my son will still be able to see me after I've gone, at my happiest, just by watching my reaction in the crowd after Giggs' semi-final goal. I'm sure that, in time, Mike's closest could always switch on the old video one more time and see him celebrating joyously, too!

Red News
11-02-2009, 01:30 PM
espn today have a tribute to Mike

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature?id=617879&sec=england&cc=5739

below the text

In England, more than in any other country, there is a tradition of supporters travelling en masse to away games.

Those football fans who regularly follow their team away from home will be familiar with the concept of the face of a person you regularly see but rarely know, someone you nod at without saying hello to who reminds you that you're in the right place.

Occasionally you may even give them a name so in my group of Manchester United matchgoers, we silently greet Dowie, The Ghost, Napalm Death and Mr Milky Milky. There'll be those within United's support who recognise the people I mean, others who won't and some who'll know them by another name entirely, maybe even the one their parents gave them. But one person who everyone could identify - usually by his surname only - was Mike Dobbin.

Dobbin died on January 29 at the age of 61, but in those years he crammed in more United games than seems humanly possible. Born in Prestwich, Manchester in 1947, he began going to Old Trafford as a child and over the course of his life his remarkable devotion to the red cause has cemented him into United folklore.

There are numerous anecdotes and statistics that illustrate Dobbin's loyalty, so here are a few. Despite moving to London to pursue a career in accountancy, he attended every single first-team game - competitive and friendly - from October 1991 until Boxing Day 2008. In all, he watched United on close to 2000 occasions and in 44 different countries, not missing a Euro away from 1965 onwards. On last summer's tour, to get to Nigeria from South Africa he flew via London, claiming it was cheaper that way, but few who knew him were surprised when he showed up at a reserve game at Oxford in between.

Most impressive of all, though, and certainly my favourite piece of Dobbin-related trivia, is that in the Fergie era he has attended more United games than the man himself, Sir Alex having missed a few occasions for family reasons, part-timer that he is.

Dobbin's loyalty wasn't just to the boys on the pitch. As travel secretary of United's London Fan Club, he spent a ridiculous number of hours arranging transport and tickets for those based in the area. He was particularly active during the "Red Army" years of the 70s and 80s when United would take thousands from the capital to every game, even though he didn't agree with the slightly mischievous philosophy of many of its members.

Some may think that this is of no relevance to anyone who isnt a match-going United fan, but they'd be wrong. Every club has its Dobbin, people who encapsulate everything that football was once about, and still is for those with eyes to see.

When Manchester United began life in 1878 as Newton Heath, it wasn't as a business or a brand, but a group of mates kicking a ball around for fun, just the same as nearly every other institution in both the professional and amateur game. That's why the league comprises football clubs and not football teams; the point was that they should be groups of like-minded individuals gathered together for a unified purpose, of which the men selected to take the field were but a constituent part.

Those on the pitch are merely transient, just passing through; incidental to the whole shebang when compared to those who were there before they arrived and will be there long after they've left. United supporters refer affectionately to the team as "the shirts" because ultimately it doesn't matter a stuff who's wearing them as long as they do so with honour and pride; what's important is the people and place it represents. Which is why Mike Dobbin is a mark one, bona fide red legend, woven into the fabric of the club every bit as much, if not more, than Edwards, Best, Law and Cantona.

The shame is that those playing and running the game continually fail to realise this. Players become ever more remote, content to milk the adulation of the crowd for the duration of the 90 minutes, before insulating themselves from its members the rest of the time behind minders, gates and VIP areas.
Meanwhile clubs have effectively taken on the mantle of the local drug dealer, treating pathetically-addicted supporters like the worst kind of crackhead, while hopelessly in hock to wholesaling television companies whom the FA are entirely unable or unwilling to police.

All this means that the concept of accountability is exactly that - a concept - with the blame for exhorbitant pricing and inconvenient kick-off times passed around the little circle like a Chinese whisper. Nonetheless its members would do well to remember that ultimately there will be a price; not all supporters have the limitless loyalty of Mike Dobbin.

Red News
16-02-2009, 06:29 PM
Translated from the MUSCS website - original article
http://www.united.no/united/nyheter/kommentarer/2009/mike_dobbin_1947_2009_rip

A tribute by Lars from MUSC Scandinavia in Norway:

Mike Dobbin 1947-2009 RIP
The best supporter in the world!
Just like George Best was the best footballer the world has ever seen, Mike Dobbin was the best supporter of us all.

No one equal, and no one above. And no one will ever be even close to copy Mike. The sad news that Mike Dobbin had passed away 61 years old came on January the 29th. The only graze is that he died without pain. And that he went to rest well assure that his beloved United were reigning champions in England, in Europe and newly crowned champions of the world. And fittingly enough, on top the table.

Did you know Mike, that you where and is a legend among supporters. A legend who never did any fuss about it. You just were there. Wherever United played. Whether it was in Nigeria or Nottingham, Saudi Arabia or Southampton. You dedicated your whole life to Manchester United, your big love in life. When the terrible illness struck you, your immediate concern was that you soon would not be able to go and see United. Such was your love and passion for United. But you managed to go all the way to Tokyo. How I will never understand, weakened as you were then of the illness.

? It was something I desperately wanted to do, you explained to me, and smiled. Before you added. ? But it was hard.
The last visit I made to you was also hard. Your body were much to thin. And you were too exhausted to do much. But you eyes still had the same lovely shine. I am forever grateful for the two good hours we spent together the very last time. When I raised to leave you stretched out your arms for a hug. I guess we both had our thoughts then. Just a week later you passed away.

- I have two principles in life, you once told me.
- Never leave a football match before the final whistle, and never leave a good drink.

But before the Aalborg match in December you showed the seriousness of your illness, when nearly half your favourite bitter was left when you went for the match. At Christmas we rang and texted each other, and on New Years Eve we wished each other all the best for 2009. The toast that night Mike, was for you and 09. To the very end you sacrificed your last strengths to see your beloved United. Drained for energy you went all the way to Japan, and back home in England you took the bus to Stoke on Boxing Day.

- I hope to be in the pub 5.30, you wrote in a text before the Middlesbrough match two days later. But you never made it. Then, all of us others knew how serious it was.

You went a fantastic 990 successive competitive United matches. Not missing a single match since October 1991.

- I always hoped I would make it a thousand, you said as you reached for your cup of cold tea. The only thing you could stomach in the end.

Your sister and I tried to cheer you up with telling you that no one ever had or would match 990. How typical of you to brush the praise aside. The most fantastic thing about you Mike, is that you reached a status within the club and among supporters around the world that no one else can dream about, WITHOUT ever speaking loud about your achievements. Never did you blow your own trumpet. Quiet and modest, but at the same time including. One who invited trust and good company. I once read that to be a gentleman you had to be British. You Mike, was the perfect gentleman. You were s much more than the best supporter in the world. Quite simply, you were the kindest guy I ever met. You had time for everyone, and it is your credit that you tied the bonds of friendship all over the world. Your door was always open. You were friendliness itself. I do not know how many times I had the pleasure of staying at your house. No luxury, but a home that oozed warmth and hospitality. And all the times
we shared the same hotel room! Like in Barcelona 1999. When you in the morning after the historical final was laying in the exact position as when you fell asleep drunk on happiness some time during the night.

Our friendship went back more than three decades. The match in Plymouth 1977 versus St. Etienne was one the very first we travelled together. When we, together with the Red Army, in a police escort walked through the town and sang ?You?ll never ban United!?

- Imagine that is 32 years ago, you said smiling when we talked about old times the last time I saw you.

You Mike, were always first at the bar. You were always the first one to buy a round. You stood there with a pint of bitter in your hand, and for you the glass was always half full, not half empty. You had your t-shirt on that was never picked by chance. Usually from an exotic place that you had seen United, or from a beer festival. At FA Cup Finals you had your t-shirt with the 1909 team.
- Mike?s first final, one of your friends joked.
And you laughed. ?Cos you had lots of self-irony.
Did you know Mike, that the respect for you went all the way to the top? Sir Alex, David Gill and Ken Ramsden all wrote a personal letter to you, though I don?t know if you got them before you passed away. And that legend Paddy Crerand were to see you when United play against West Ham in London.
I think we all wonder what kind of mark we will leave after us when we leave this world. Well, the traces after you are indelible. And they were pure positive. I don?t think there is a single person who has a bad word about you. Just like you never said a bad word about anyone.
Oh God, I am going to miss the sight of you with your pint in your hand in your favourite pub Bull?s Head. Always smiling, busy with talking about the match and full of plans and travel arrangements for your next trip to see United. Oh God, I am going to miss the sight of you in fast walk down Sir Matt Busby Way. If we followed after you we knew we would always be there in time for kick off. How can we others go on without you? I don?t know. You have been an inspiration to thousands of supporters around the world. I guess we all have tried to be ?the perfect supporter?. You WERE the perfect supporter. As long there are supporters at Uniteds matches you will be remembered. The stories about you will go like folklore from generations to generations.
You are gone, but at the same time still here.
You? ll never die.

LARS MORTEN OLSEN.

Tufty
16-02-2009, 07:20 PM
two fantastic articles and very deserving of them.

aidanunited
16-02-2009, 07:26 PM
well done lars,heart felt .

Red News
30-01-2014, 06:26 PM
can't believe it's been five years, never forgotten, always in the thoughts of many is Mike.