I was a 15-year old in Form 3, and it was just a few days after the World Cup. I wasn't a sports fan or anything, which is why I don't watch any football (and really suck at those Pendidikan Jasmani sessions in school because I have no idea of sports physics). Basically just a nerd and stuff I guess.
My dad owns a mini-market and every night, I would jaga the counter together-gether with my old man. We don't usually talk much since I was a rebellious teenager and stuff. We weren't in the best of financials either. So my dad and I were in the depressed zone together-gether. Heck, I thought our world will be over since it would be so depressing and stuff. Those were enduring times.
Then came August 1998. The brand new season of the EPL swung into action. I have always known my old man is a stauch Manchester United supporter. He sometimes wears a replica Man Utd jersey in the shop. Of course, we never talked about football before. But then there was one day Man Utd won against some other club and he was happy for the whole day after that. I was also ditching the rebellious phase I was in so I asked him what was up and all. Then he began talking about the match last night. I listened attentively as he then went on and talked about Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Peter Schemeichel, Roy Keane and so on. He also mentioned George Best, Dennis Law and Eric Cantona. He mentioned that ever since he was a school boy and captaining Penang Free School's football team he was a Red Devil supporter. He went on and on and on.....
As I listened attentively, I was asking myself a lot of internal questions;
- "What is so good about football?"
- "What is so good about Manchester United?"
- "Who are those people he mentioned and why are they so much more famous than the Backstreet Boys?" (I know...I know.....shut up.)
I became a fan. And boy, was it the right time to be a fan! MU were playing such fantastic games and were itching closer and closer to an unprecedented treble! Dad thought the time was right to subscibe to Astro. We also bought a new 29" TV since our financials were getting better.
Needless to say, we ended up watching Manchester United create history that 1998-1999 season. It was the year of the Treble. Much more important than that, my dad and I bonded together-gether as we would watch the matches; chat about the club, dad gives MU history lesson, etc..
We both celebrated the night Man Utd came back from behind to beat Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp with lots of Kacang Cap Tangan and Coca-Cola fuelling us. Like father like son eh?
This is what Manchester United will always mean to me:
Father and Son. Men. United. Together-gether *.
* for those of you who can't seem to 'get it', it means being fans of Man Utd brought my dad and I closer together.
Thank you Manchester United. I am a fan for life.