Fan story Adam Marshall Why Nou Camp in 1999 was such a pivotal time

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I took a glance to my left from my vantage point of standing on my seat (sorry Barcelona) to see the players milking the acclaim on the pitch. There was a young lad stood with his father but clearly unable to really see what was going on. It felt right to step down and let him take my spot. I’d had my moment, he should be able to share it too. I guess he’d be well into his thirties now.

 

We attempted to celebrate for much of the night in one of the best cities in the world. Yet it had been an emotionally draining experience and we ended up being rather detached from the main groups of United fans. Perhaps Planet Hollywood was never really going to be a great option for partying.

 

A sleep in the hire car was required as all the hotels had been fully booked for ages beforehand. Any thoughts of blissful rest not only hampered by sitting upright in the passenger seat but also by my friend having a panic attack prompted by claustrophobia as dawn approached and bashing the door against a pillar in the car-park in desperation to relieve his tension.

 

Yet moving on to nearby coastal resort Lloret de Mar ensured some time for more complete satisfaction with United’s glorious success, even if it meant missing the parade in Manchester. During the return stop in Perpignan, we even drank Champagne all evening at a bar, something which made us look incredibly ostentatious and showy and stick out like a sore thumb. To make matters worse, for once, I didn’t really care.

 

Within a few months of my return to England, I’d made the seismic decision to move north to start a new job, where I’d, ultimately, meet my wife and settle down to have a family. I would never say I was reckless, far from it, but responsibility soon became more of a prerequisite. None more so than after the birth of our children.

 

However, this has not diminished my love of the Reds, nor how much the team and club means to me. Far from it, in fact. Any initial fears that the hunger would be at least marginally reduced after winning the lot quickly vanished.

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