T’was the night before Christmas, Old Trafford was bare.
The staff all gone home, there was nobody there...
The lights cast a shadow, a soft glimmer which
Lit up the soft green grass on the pitch.
Just as the clock gave out its twelfth chime,
An old man appeared, as if frozen in time.
He gazed at the tunnel, then broke out in voice,
“ITS TIME TO BEGIN... LET’S HAVE YOU MY BOYS!”
Out from the tunnel appeared a lone figure,
Same as in life, only infinitely bigger.
The old man called out as he slowly drew near:
“Good evening Duncan, are the rest of you here?”
The figure broke out in wide open smile,
“Good Evening Sir Matt, it has been a long while.
The rest are all coming; they’ll be here soon”,
As seven more shadows were cast by the moon.
Whelan and Bent, Pegg, Taylor and Byrne,
Jones, and Colan, they came out in turn.
He greeted each one, just by calling their name,
then proudly announced “do you fancy a game?”
They took to the pitch, and the still night was broken.
By leather on leather, not one word was spoken.
They played once again, like they did long before,
And imagined the sound of the Old Trafford roar.
Edwards called out “come on lads let's pretend
That we’ve just scored a goal at the old Stretford End”.
As they ran to the edge of the pitch by the goal,
There in the stands sat a solitary soul.
His eyes were all puffy, his cheeks wet with tears,
As his mind wandered back to those wonderful years.
“Come down and join us”, they cried all as one.
“Yes come down and join them,” said Matt, “go on son”.
The lonely man stood and with much pain he said:
“I’m afraid I can’t play with you, you are all dead.
You are all ghosts, and I am alive,
That was the price that I paid to survive.”
“My role was to go on, inspire the team
And finally realise Sir Matt Busby’s dream
To tell of your greatness, and as I get older
To burden the weight of your life on my shoulders.”
The ghost of Sir Matt then raised up his head,
Giving out a loud groan, he finally said:
“Bobby, you survived, that much is true,
But we wouldn’t be here if it were not for you,
“For you are the one who has kept us alive.
That was the reason you had to survive.
If you were with us, all we have would be gone
And the game that we play could no longer go on.
“If you can’t understand why it happened this way
Then come here and watch when United play.
They sing about us, they remember us all.
We live and we breathe with each kick of the ball.
“The legends that live here — Robson and Best,
Cantona, Law, Giggs, Scholes and the rest —
They are us, we are them, we are all here as one
And that is the reason United goes on.
“So come down and join us, we’re begging you do.
You are still one of us, and we’re still one of you.”
And then Bobby’s face rose and he gave them a smile
And he said “I would love to come play for a while.”
They played and they played, as they did in the past,
Only not quite as skilful, and not quite as fast.
And when it was over, and when it was done,
They’d defeated Benfica by four goals to one.
Then Sir Matt said “lads, it's been fun you know,
But it’s now Christmas day, and we really must go.”
They walked to the front of the stadium and turned
And Sir Bobby said “there is something I’ve learned.
“You did not die, on that February night;
You’re still here with us, as you’re with me tonight,
And you’ll live on forever as long as we play”,
As the ghosts disappeared down Sir Matt Busby Way
All the best to everyone on the lounge for Xmas and for 2019
100% Top Red