Daily Voice – 18/07/08

Football giant Man United snubs out-and-out South African fans

“Hear them before you see them” is the aspired reputation of Cape Town Man United supporters.
And the line you’ll hear? Glory, glory Man United.*whistle, whistle, cheer, *
And you won’t just hear them – they’ll be dancing, waving flags – oh, and they’ll be head-to-toe in red.
They’ve memorised over 17 chants.
But that’s just the dedicated official members.
There are thousands of unofficial supporters.

But why are these South Africans so excited about an English football team?

The Cape Town Supporters branch manager simply answers “because they are the best team in the world”
But he adds that “it brings the community together, giving light relief from the concrete jungle”.
Devon September says “it’s more than just a hobby – meetings take members’ minds of all the negatives of life as a hard-up Capetowner”.
Every year four lucky South African members bag season tickets, while the rest save their salary for the pilgrimage to Man United’s last home game of the season.

Yet despite their incredible loyalty and worship of the English team, fans have not been invited to be involved in this week’s Vodacom Challenge.
“We’re furious – it’s our support that makes Man United so popular, so it’s our support that is bringing them here.”
September enthuses “The challenge sees the football giants play the two financially top South African teams for a R1million prize.”
But the supporters say “its not about the money, it’s about the opportunity to see our idols.”Man united will play each team before the final next Saturday (26th July).

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