30 June 2013

My Manchester United: Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs

Manchester band Oasis are one of the biggest UK acts of the last 20 years. Noel and Liam Gallagher are massive Blues, but ex-guitarist Paul 'Bonehead' Arthurs is staunchly Red...

When and why did you first start supporting United?
Probably about 1973. My dad was an amateur referee, so football was always a big deal in our house. He was a big Manchester City fan and my brother was a massive United fan – he still is, but doesn’t get to matches anymore as he lives in the USA. I lived about two miles from City’s ground; everyone I knew supported them, so my first experience of going to a game was at Maine Road. I was drawn to United as more of a rebellion against everyone else. It was good to wind up friends and family – my sister was, and still is, a big City fan.

Can you remember the first home game you attended?
My first game was against Everton in 1976, so I was about 11. I went with an older cousin. United won 4-0. I can’t recall who scored. [Jimmy Greenhoff, Gordon Hill, Lou Macari and Stuart Pearson all got on the scoresheet, on 27 December 1976.]

How difficult was it being a Red in Oasis, with Noel and Liam being such big City fans?
Not too difficult – as obviously they couldn’t shout about much on a Saturday because they hardly ever won! Tony McCarroll, our first drummer, was a Red as well. If you look at the tickets we had printed for the gig at Maine Road, you’ll notice we’re not on them. Total refusal! As for playing at Maine Road, I don’t think football and who I supported came into it for me. It was a ground I was familiar with, as I’d been to many a match there with mates, and to walk out onto the stage and see 40,000 people cheering for us was a feeling I’ll never forget. It could have been Stockport County’s ground and I’d still have been overwhelmed.

Who are your most disliked opponents?
I’d have to say Liverpool. I’ve nothing against Liverpudlians, but the fans used to terrorise our neighbourhood when I was young. And living close to Maine Road scared me to death.

What’s your favourite United memory?
Beating Liverpool in the FA Cup final in 1977, without a doubt.

And your favourite United goal?
Eric Cantona against Arsenal in 1993. I know a few Arsenal fans and they don’t like being reminded!

Do you get to matches much?
The last game I went to was Bryan Robson’s testimonial against Celtic. My mate Lee caught his boot at the end when he threw it into the crowd. He has it in a glass case now. After I left school I stopped going to the match. I’m an armchair supporter now, but still glued to the results on a Saturday.

Have you ever met any of the players?
Yes, I was out drinking with Roy Keane in my local pub in about 2001. We used to get a few players at gigs, but they tended to hide up in the posh seats away from Noel and Liam.

How do you think United will do next season?
I’d say they’ll win the league again for sure. The FA Cup is due, and hopefully they’ll do well in Europe.

Source: www.manutd.com


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