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Thread: May 26th 1999. Twenty years on. By the RedNews Editor

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    Default May 26th 1999. Twenty years on. By the RedNews Editor

    May 26th 1999. Twenty years on. By the RedNews Editor


    It all comes down to emotion.


    There will be others who more forensically analyse the Treble win - and there is no better place to start than the excellent https://www.eurosport.co.uk/football...33/story.shtml - but I want to trade in what we are all here for, what we were all in Barcelona for; the hope, feeling and emotion of it all.


    That isn't to say even now I can either explain or fathom it.


    We could sit here all day, all of us lucky enough to be there, bear witness to it and try to figure it out. We might share another hug, a smile, a shrug, but explain it, no.


    It was just meant to be, surely?


    Now anyone who has been lucky enough to have had a kid then or now would be morally challenged to say that events of the 26th May 1999 were the greatest of their lives, so can I allow myself a simple tributary; it was the greatest night of my life.


    I knew then and I know now. I will never have another like it.


    I knew it then as I left, as I write now. Nothing United wise would come close, or has. It was a high you'd always want to chase but come up short. I've loved Moscow, and completing the set via Japan or Stockholm, but those lucky Reds in their 30/40/50s, saw it all. Lived it all. We can demand, but we got our fill.


    We're lucky. Most other football fans chase any high, and we had the ultimate. Football rivalry of course is such so you try and compare the feats before or those that come next, and I'll admit a jealous pang to that Aguero goal in 2012 and Arsenal at Anfield in the 1980s because even with all we did, we never quite won a title that way, but, and there is always a but, no elite triumph will ever or has even been achieved like this night.


    Not in 3 minutes.


    30 maybe. But 3?


    It's unique.


    Shove any other success up your arse if they try and compare it.


    Only Fergie could have managed such a feat.


    For the hours, days and weeks after, I'd create a fear, did that really happen?


    And not just the Treble itself, but the magnitude of that final victory.


    I'd worry it could be undone.


    -


    What was it like?


    I, still, can't really sum it up.


    I could try, and we all have, but you could list 40 superlatives and still shrug your shoulders knowing none of them do it justice. It is the stuff of legend and make believe.


    How did we do it?


    We just did.


    In a way, the finale of those moments is actually entirely plausible after all that team had gone through and overcome that season, but listen to the commentary, ITV or BBC radio, watch the highlights (and let's be honest, you never watch anything but those last moments, the game itself was pretty rubbish), and you are listening to an event that transcends normality.


    I still get either or both of goosebumps or a smile seeing it unfold. For years after like an addict I just wanted a sniff of that we'd experienced. One more time.


    I've watched the goal 1000 times and still can never tire. How could you?


    We all have our stories around the game. Ours was a trip via Magaluf. Of a mate who was sick in a hotel sink the night before the finals in Rotterdam and Barcelona and rather than being appalled seeing it as an omen (not nerves I hasten to add, just the evils of shots).


    But everything was and is about the game. All that mattered for these games is the Final itself.


    The equaliser was immense. It was a delirium of fuck you, Utd are back in this, come on. Hugs, grabs, fall a row or two, grab onto the person next to you. Hold your head, we're right back in this. Even though I'd said moments before the way this season has gone, come on, I didn't think we really would... but now, come on extra time we can do this...


    the winner itself... now that was primal. I bet now those there can picture it. But explain it? It's out of body. It's almost beyond ecstasy as well as explanation. Who knows what today's era would have treated it via, a film it, youtube it culture, but this was one end exploding, together. It was the biggest Utd travelling support celebrating as one fucking mass.


    We did it all together.


    The joy is even now we can't describe it. That was the point.


    How can you fucking explain that.


    It was such a life affirming high I've been chasing it ever since.


    It was bouncing. It was flares to the side and below.


    It was, just was.


    Everything you start a football journey for. This is it. This was it. Football heaven.


    There is only one blot for me. We thought it might be the start of something. But I realise now, for my lot at least, it was the endings of something.


    Some gave up, saying they'd seen it all. So many of my group no longer go as they once did or worse still are no longer with us. Of those closest to me; Rob and Mum, I'd give so much to rejoice in what we'd gone through all our Utd lives to share such an experience just one second more. But they are gone. That makes sadness seeing the pictures of that day now.


    But sharing something so special mattered. I got to experience that with them, that night. We knew it.


    Thank you.


    I'm not a religious person but in my eulogy to Mum at her funeral I described her own heaven; listening to jazz, cats around her, glass of wine.


    I'll add to that. I hope she, Rob, so many other Reds like Jimmy, Coco, all the others there in 1999 no longer with us have some fucking big party today buzzing their tits off. Top of the fucking world.


    We all got that together that night.


    That night itself we ended up in Velvet Bar in Barcelona not wanting the night to end.


    That's how I'd be for the days and weeks after. I never wanted it to end. Same, really. Such was the mark it left.


    Not just a moment but the moment in our footballing lives.


    Fergie couldn't have said 'Life, bloody hell', but he may as well have done. 'Football, bloody hell' was good enough though. It is the greatest escapism and when it is great it feels like life itself. I often quote Carlo Ancelotti: "Football is the most important thing amongst the least important things in life. And that’s the way it should be."


    It's the way it is Carlo. We don't do it for the glory, but if you're lucky enough to do it whatever happens, then sometimes the glory can land in your lap/


    1999 wasn't why we do all we do as Utd fans. But it was the pay off, the reward, for all this madness.


    And it was done in such a mad, perverse, only way that Utd could under Alex Ferguson that it'll never be matched or beaten, like that side itself.


    It was the night we reached the Promised Land.
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  2. #2
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    Found this on twitter and told the kids its the closest I can get them to what it was like.

    https://twitter.com/GavinC85/status/...707920897?s=08
    Last edited by Chubbed-Again; 27-05-2019 at 07:50 PM.

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    Found this on twitter and told the kids its the closest I can get them to what it was like.

    https://twitter.com/GavinC85/status/...707920897?s=08
    Last edited by Chubbed-Again; 27-05-2019 at 07:51 PM.

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