MUFC has plenty of celeb and televisual supporters across the spectrum of the media. But only a small percentage of them have Manchester running through their blood, and an association with our club that goes back decades.
Recently our very own Siobhan Dockerty got a chance to interview tv and radio presenter Terry Christian, who has been a Red his whole life and grew up in the Old Trafford area. Terry is well known to British audiences as the host of the classic 90’s tv programme ‘The Word’, and as a presenter on MUTV..not to mention his extensive radio work with stations such as Radio 4, BBC6 Music, Key 103 and Talksport
TF: If United had an unlimited budget this summer, who would you tell Alex Ferguson to sign and why?
TC: Jack Rodwell, Wesley Sneijder…actually, I can’t do unlimited budget or it would be Xavi, Messi and Ronaldo back, and Tevez just to annoy City fans. Realistically though, Rodwell because he can play centre half too – although I think that’s a waste, and I like him in midfield. Sneijder for his creativity is realistic, but to be honest even with an unlimited budget I don’t see an awful lot out there. I wouldn’t mind Wilshere and Bale either, that would annoy lots of people.
If The Word was still going, still live, and still as anarchic, which footballers would you want on the show?
We only ever had Ian Wright on it. He was good, very forthcoming. Nowadays, what he said on The Word would be all over the papers! He was the top scorer in the Premier League, yet the England manager Graham Taylor had him playing wide on the right wing to put crosses in for David Platt – the media luvvies weren’t quite onto football back then in that way. Nowadays, no-one – footballers are much better when they’re interviewed after they’ve finished playing.
Who is your favourite United player of all time?
George Best. No-one else will ever get in that bracket.
If you could choose any manager to replace Sir Alex after he’s retired, who would it be and why?
Fabio Capello. He would make us play 4-4-2, pass the ball, and attack.
In your opinion, who is the greatest United captain of all time?
No idea, loved them all. Charlton, Buchan, Robson, Bruce and Keane were all great leaders.
How do you feel about the way that Fabio Capello handed the captaincy issue with Ferdinand? Do you think that he should carry on playing international football or retire and focus on United?
I would have ignored them in the first place and just played for United – no doubt we would have won the league under Big Ron if it wasn’t for injuries to Robson and Wilkins when they were playing for England.
What is your view on the prospect of ‘safe standing’ at football matches?
It would bring the atmosphere back, and hopefully cheaper tickets, so youngsters could go with their mates – the crowd has been getting a bit Last of the Summer Wine at Old Trafford.
If you could choose any United players, living or dead: who would make your ultimate Manchester United starting XI?
I can only go with who I’ve seen, and its tough. So, since 1969/70:
Schmeichel, Parker, Irwin, Stam, Pallister, Best, Robson, Charlton, Ronaldo, Law, Rooney.
Subs bench – Scholes, Giggs, Buchan, Keane, Neville, Cantona.
Out of all the games you’ve seen since you started supporting the club, which is your favourite game of all time?
We’ve been so spoilt in terms of the sheer awesome quality in Sir Alex’s time, and 1999 was the most amazing season of football I’ve witnessed in my life. Even if we had lost the title to Arsenal on the final day, been beaten by Newcastle in the FA Cup, and never come back against Bayern in the final – it was just breathtaking and exciting. When Giggs was out, Blomquist was superb and gave us balance, and in the semi against Juventus in Turin, Roy Keane’s performance made my heart burst. I almost cried, it was like a work of art, and Cole and Yorke in that game were hustling. Just too many fantastic games, and even forgetting the treble, I’m so happy I could witness that season. We had wobbles, but I’ve never seen a team quite as fearless. Atmosphere wise though, the semi-final versus Liverpool at Goodison in 1979, the semi final versus Derby County at Hillsborough in 76, or the game against Barcelona at Old Trafford. But, for me, my all time favourite game was when we were in Division 2 in the 74/75 season, and we played Sunderland in front of 62,000 at Old Trafford, and won 3-2. I can’t remember a noisier crowd or a game that was so open and committed.
Finally, if you had the choice of winning either the Premier League or the Champions League this season which one would it be? Or do you fancy another Treble instead?!
Of course I fancy a treble. I haven’t had such low expectations about a United season for years, and I can’t believe that we’re still in with a good shout in all the important competitions. I still think that the Premier League is the most realistic and the one I’d settle for, but I would gladly let City have the FA Cup for a league and Euro double.