Dusting off the old boots – By Luke Chadwick

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A few times every summer I dust off the old footy boots and play in some games for a team of former Manchester United players. And although the team is called Manchester United Legends and some of our team undoubtedly are, I certainly don’t put myself in that category although it is always an honour to pull on the famous red jersey no matter how old you are!

As I write this blog I am out in Malta enjoying the sunshine and preparing for a game to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Maltese Manchester United supporters association, one of the oldest in the world. When I played for Manchester United as a young man I didn’t probably realise the size and scale of the club, of course I realised I was at the biggest club in the country at the time. I certainly didn’t realise how many fans all over the world it had and what it means to so many millions of people.

I’m of course incredibly grateful to be invited to these events and am always very humbled to attend, as I was a mere footnote in Manchester United’s history but still very proud to have represented the club playing 39 times for the first team. But there is something very special about the club and despite the fact I didn’t have a glittering career there I still very much feel part of it’s history. It will always have such a special place in my heart and where I grew up after signing as a 14 year old schoolboy.

I have been fortunate enough to travel with former teammates to games all over the UK and to different countries like Dubai, Finland, Jersey, and Norway and although the standard of play and particularly fitness isn’t what it once was, it’s still fantastic to get out on the pitch and have a run around! I still get that old feeling of nerves and excitement stepping out on a pitch in front of a crowd but all too often the body doesn’t do what the mind wants it to these days!

It’s seems so crazy how time flies as I sit here as 43 year old man, I still have such vivid memories of my earliest experiences playing football as a 7 year old boy, and without doubt it was because of those positive early experiences that I still love the game today as much as when I fell in love with it back then. I truly believe the experiences I have had in football has led me to where I am today with the Football Fun Factory coming out of the professional game to be part of an organisation that ethos and values are all around football being fun and enjoyable which is what it always should be when children are involved.

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