ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Broken Sporting Curses - Manchester United

Updated on March 20, 2017

Red Devils climb out of Hell

Broken Sporting Curses - Manchester United

Growing up as a Manchester United fan in Warrington in the 1980s and early 90s, wasn’t too much fun. At school fans of Liverpool and Everton would mock us about how long it has been since United had won the league. Even City fans would pipe up, because they had won it in 1968, one year after United’s most recent triumph. For my first few years of watching football I never even considered United winning the league being a possibility, a successful season would be winning the FA Cup and beating Liverpool at least once at some point during the season. Then in the 1991-2 season it all started to change. They’d got off to good starts before, but they hadn’t lasted long enough to make us believe that they could actually win it. Now though it was Easter time and in sight of and nearly touching distance from the finishing line and they were still in front. Just when they needed a few more wins to clinch their first title in twenty five years, they started losing, three defeats in a row handing the title to a grateful Leeds United. The last of those defeats being at Anfield against Liverpool meant that the tortuous pain was as bad as it possibly could be.

The following Easter United were once again in a great position to win the league, once again they looked on the verge of another spectacular collapse, everything seemed to be going wrong in an all too familiar way. Losing 1-0 at home to Sheffield Wednesday as the ninety minutes were up and only stoppage time to play, turns out there was about 7minutes of stoppage time (or a week if you listen to fans of other teams tell this story). It turned out to be a classic case of it always being darkest before the dawn as Steve Bruce created what is still one of the most dramatic moments in Premier league history twenty four years on from that crazy day. He scored two heading goals during that stopping time, sparking memorable scenes of celebration on and off the pitch. Maybe that was the day that the true belied they could win the title was born, it also signified the beginning of the football phenomenon that would soon become known as 'Fergie time', as United became famous for late, late goals.

Around the time of United’s collapse the previous year, the lead singer of Queen had passed away. The day after that defeat at Anfield I was in school and a lad told me the following joke: ‘What have Freddie Mercury and Man United got in common? Both will never sing We Are the Champions again.’ I didn’t rise to the bait, just stored the joke away in my memory bank. The following year when United, aided by Bruce's heroics, by complete contrast won their last seven games to finally end the wait for the title, I found that same lad as soon as I could in school on the Monday, reminded him of his joke and told him that they are singing it now.

If ever the phrase ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ is to be used in sport, it would be difficult to find a much better example of it than United signing Eric Cantona from Leeds in 1992. His unique playing style and flair complemented the outstanding players around him, but maybe as much as anything it was his complete confidence that had the biggest impact on the team. That group of players, along with their legendary manager were responsible for waking the sleeping giant and turning the club into a trophy winning monster. The fact that Liverpool and Everton have now gone twenty-six and tweny-nine years respectively without a title is a source of much smugness to any United fan, particularly ones around my generation. Especially as those curses don’t show any sign of being broken any time soon.

Lesson to be learned from breaking this curse:

You have to put yourself in position to lose the big one, if you want to win it. Losing is part of the learning process.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)