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If the kids are united

FC United’s match against Glossop North End was a special day in the history of our young club. As part of the week’s activities by Football Against Racism in Europe, FC had designated this fixture as People United Day. Junior supporter and volunteer Joe Ladley provides his account of the day...

Many different groups had been invited to attend the game, from schools, youth clubs to all sorts of community groups of different backgrounds, with the aim of standing united against discrimination. All under-18s were to be admitted to the game free of charge.

Our job as junior stewards was to guide groups of children and adults into the Cemetery End and hand out various leaflets explaining what People United Day was all about.

The day started off well when I joined the rest of the junior supporters outside the social club. I wasn’t so happy later though as I realised that the others had left the club without me as I was too engaged in watching the Sheffield United match. Myself and another lad called James finally got ourselves in gear and started to hand out our leaflets.

When we got back in to the ground after unloading our leaflets on everyone in sight, it was to find the scoreboard on for once. As you would expect the scoreboard knew the score as its very first message read: "We are the Main Stand and we are louder than you".

Shortly afterwards the first fans started pouring into the ground though unfortunately not in time to see the scoreboard’s message. One thing the supporters did see though was a parading of flags and banners made by some of the schools and youth groups sporting various clever anti-racism slogans.

After the parade, the fans started building up their usual electrical atmosphere before kick off. The teams arrived out of the tunnel to the usual cheers from the MRE and Main Stand and unusually from the Cemmy End.

The first goal was not long in coming as Rory Patterson exacted revenge on Simon Carden by poking home his parried effort. Patterson had soon grabbed his second after Jamie Phoenix had ran down the whole pitch.

Glossop, though, were still well in the game at this stage and could have scored on the 30-minute mark after hitting the bar from close range. Before half time though they had fallen further behind with Carden putting the Reds 3-0 up after good work from Stuart Rudd.

The recently shorn Phoenix made it 4-0 on the hour, and only minutes later Rhodri Giggs popped up just in front of the ‘keeper to nod home. Rob Nugent then scored the goal of the month by responding to our cries of "shoot!" with a 30-yard belter that flew past Williams in the Glossop net.
Three minutes later his centre-back partner David Chadwick scored his first of the season with a textbook header.

United just needed one more to equal their biggest ever win margin and it came from the head of the increasingly impressive Nick Platt who marked his full debut with a well deserved goal after having earlier hit the bar with a similar effort.

FC could have had 10 on this ruthless form and the junior supporters seemed to agree with chants of "We want ten", but I’m sure they weren’t disappointed by the final score of 8-0.

There were fears of a fully-fledged pitch invasion from the Cemetery End at the end of the match but the well-trained junior stewards handled it in a calm and responsible manner! People United Day will live long in the memory for FC fans both old and new, and not just because of the scoreline.

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First Posted ~ 09:42 Wed 1 Nov 2006
News ID ~ 635
Last Updated ~ 13:41 Mon 21 May 2018