It’ll Be Off

FC All Over The World
August 22, 2008, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So the ‘Through The Looking Glass’ issue ended up as a huge misunderstanding, and I was made to look ridiculous having shown my arse without bothering to check up on the facts. And having called in to question the integrity of another, I can only apologise fully and publicly to Mikael Holmkvist, who never intended to cause offense.

But some good has come out of this. As I read his apology, it clicked with me who Mikael was.

A couple of years ago a mate of mine who lives in Sweden emailed me about a book that had just come out. Called ‘From The Ashes FC United Rises’, it had been written by Mikael, who had taken a job in Manchester just so he could follow the team he supported. He picked a bad time for it, right at the start of our annus horribilis of 2005. But even from the biggest piles of manure do delicate roses grow (or something), and Mikael became an FC United fan.

Mikael has very kindly agreed to write a few paragraphs about his story, and it’s a great read. To paraphrase the Simian King of Philosophers, Ian Brown, it’s not where you’re from that matters, it’s where you’re at.


My name is Mikael Holmkvist. Up until 2004 and I was working as a classroom assistant in Sweden with kids who have problems in different ways (mentally, socially or phyically). I really liked it ’cause I love working with kids, but my desire to move to Manchester was too strong. I found a family just outside Manchester that needed an au pair for a year so I thougt it sounded great, working with kids, living in an other country and being able to watch United live.

So 2 weeks before Rooney signed for United I was there and everything was great! Can’t find a better family to work for and I could watch United live whenever there was a game and I had the money. I can imagine it souds a bit funny with a 25 (29 now) year old male au pair haha, but I have no complaits whatsoever.

And then, in 2005 I got an offer to buy a seaon ticket at Old Trafford for the coming season (2005/06), I thought I was dreaming. But I had to think about it for a while (and save up some money haha). I had already signed an extension with “my family” to stay for one more year, and in came Glazer. I hate all the commersialism going on around United but this was just too much. I made up my mind quite quick, I was not going to attend Old Trafford or give the gimps my money, but I was gonna stay in Manchester for another year, so I was really confused about what to do.

I read about the fans that wanted to set up their own club and thought it sounded ok but I wasn’t sure it was the right way to go. Then I went to the Apollo meeting and it really inspired me and suddenly I felt hope (for the first time in a very long time). So in September 2005 I went to my first FC game, and Godness me, this felt like home, this was me, standing with nice people feeling the same way as me and who really loves United! We won 4-2 and I felt a tear after the game. The next thing I did was to buy a season ticket and since I had missed a couple of games I didn’t have to pay for them, only for the games that were left to be played at home that season – was it a dream or was this for real?

After that I don’t miss many FC United games and I love it all, it doesn’t get any better. All my mates back in Sweden said I was an idiot and stuff like that, living in Manchester and don’t attend Old Trafford because of the owners. So every time I go home I preach the message for them and tell them all the facts that the newspapers never mention. A few of them have visited me and I always take them to Gigg Lane and they all say, ‘wow, that is football like it was meant to be!’ (and yes, they really like all the pubs around the ground as well).

After convincing some of them that this is not a bad idea I thought about my long lived dream, writing a book. And I thought that this was a perfect opportunity, writing a book about the thing I love the most, next to my family. Said and done, it came out in 2007 and I’m pleased since I’ve sold 200 copies (doesn’t sound much but this topic is not something that is really big in Sweden). And I, as you know, write a blog about United and FC. I do all this, blog and book, because I want to show the people over here the great example we at FC set.

What started as one year has now become 4 and I’ll stay for more year, in the same family. My life can’t get any better and when I’m at the M.R.E singing my heart out for the lads it doesn’t get any better, FC United is my drug! Me and the oldest son in the family has got a ST and 2 of the others come along when they’ve got time, and they all love it as well!!

I hope we will have another great season with FC, this will be my last as a season ticket holder, but just the fact that we’re still (very much) up and running (“it won’t last until Christmas”, hey?!!) is great, it’s the ultimate fuck off to the suits ruining our game!!


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