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Boston United Bumper Bank Holiday: Kids Go Free

The world was a very different place in 1773. The United States of America was three years from being created, and the Imperialism that is now pursued with such vigour by this soon to be created nation was, at the time, a strictly European pursuit. And of all the busy nations sailing to the newly discovered corners of the globe, greedily grabbing any land available and wiping out all indigenous people fool enough to object, Britain led the way.

Our forefathers didn’t have the subtlety to primarily use economic rather than military means to subjugate smaller, weaker nations; a policy that has been so well employed by modern America. Thus, rather predictably, these nations sooner or later woke up to the fact that they were being royally exploited by their colonial rulers.

And so Boston, Massachusetts. 1773. December 16th. The exploiters had become the exploited. A group of colonialists named the ’Sons of Liberty’ rebelled against the British Empire’s levying of tax on American sales without allowing any representation in Parliament. Their iconic stance of direct action became known as the ’Boston Tea Party’. They dumped 45 tonnes of tea into the harbour, an act that helped to inspire the War of Independence two years later.

Manchester. 2005. May 12th. A different society in a different time. The French have a saying, ’plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Over two hundred years of evolution later and some people still want to dominate the world. To plunder far away places for far away riches. At this time and in this place the plunderers were American. And the riches were Manchester’s.

So we did what humankind has done since time immemorial. We rebelled. There were protests, there were marches: some were so disgruntled that we formed FC United in direct protest to the Glazer takeover of Manchester United. The new club began its first season playing in the North West Counties Second Division, hosting home matches at Gigg Lane, Bury. Also playing at Bury that year, against our landlords in League Two, were Boston United, a team based in the Lincolnshire town that leant its name to the American city made famous by the protest all that time ago.

Since then the two clubs’ fortunes have been diametrically opposed. As we soared with three promotions in three seasons, Boston have fallen dramatically into, and then down through, the non-league structure. In 2007 they were relegated from League Two and financial difficulties forced them to enter a Conditional Voluntary Agreement, with the consequence that they were demoted further to the Blue Square North. Or the Conference North in old money. Last season they managed a mid-table finish in the Conference North, but due to a further complication with the CVA they have been demoted again.

That we are playing Boston in a competitive league fixture this season is testament to how far we’ve come in a very short space of time, and to how quickly clubs can fall if prudent financial management is sacrificed.

Well then, there ends the lesson. Let’s look at ourselves. Let’s look at the here and now. Here we find plenty to be cheerful about. United are the European Champions (opposition to the takeover and regime at Old Trafford doesn’t preclude us from enjoying such successes.) We are starting our fourth season in another new league: new challenges, new teams and new experiences. It is safe to say that Boston are the biggest club that we have ever faced competitively. (Would it sound bitter here if we mentioned that Bradford Park Avenue are not a direct continuation of the famous old club that can uniquely claim to have a better win loss record against Manchester United? Well we’re mentioning it anyway.)

Back to Boston. We play them at Gigg Lane on August 25th. A Bank Holiday. A day where we sit back, forget about the daily grind and concentrate on things from which we take pleasure. Things like FC United of Manchester. It will be a kids for free day meaning that anyone under 18, and any cheeky scamps with a baby face and a fundamental misunderstanding of the ethos of being part of a supporter owned football club, will enter without paying one penny.

There will be various activities before the match, many for the junior players but also the ever popular Course You Can Malcolm. And for those too late to be admitted to Starkies, or who prefer a pre-match venue with a little more room, beer with chemicals added to it and no loud popular music, we are planning an event in the social club as well. A tea party if you will. Whether much tea will be consumed is questionable. But then the Boston Tea Party didn’t see much of that either.

We may even see a large away crowd, and possibly a vocal challenge to unite the bickering factions in the Main Stand and MRE. It’s a big game and we’re hoping for a big crowd. Round up your friends, the ones who keep meaning to give FC a try, or those that haven’t been for ages, keep mentioning that they should come down again but don’t get round to it.

Let’s get a bouncing bank holiday atmosphere going and start the season off with a bang!

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First Posted ~ 10:19 Tue 26 Aug 2008
News ID ~ 1745
Last Updated ~ 12:34 Mon 21 May 2018