As Nigeria celebrates her independence day on October 1, 2023 two ardent fans of Manchester United fans who are choristers in St. Giles Choir will be having a double celebration, as they also mark their seven years wedding anniversary today.
The historical celebration came up on October 1st, 2016 when the two friends who are Manchester United fans and also members of St. Giles Choir at St. Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos led their wives to the altar and formalized their wedding with a joint-reception where they brandished their club jerseys while the event sparked off memories in the Yaba environs.
Prior to their wedding, the two friends, Michael Ezenweani and John Jidonwor had thought of how best to initiate their wives into their childhood football club United, after they found out their wives were considering becoming fans of rivalry clubs such as Man City and Chelsea.
Understanding that some misunderstanding could come up in their marriage when their wives allegiance is divided from the clubs they support, they worked towards building a home where both parties could comfortably relax with their wives and share the joys and sorrows which Manchester United promises.
Their idea was supported by the then Chairman of the Musical Commission of St. Dominic Catholic Church, Mr. Pat Okpuzor, who coincidentally is also a fan of Manchester United. Okpuzor charged the couples to keep hope with Manchester United and faithfully believe in the club’s philosophy.
Also backing their idea was the then Choirmaster of St. Giles Choir, Mr. Tolulope Fashoro, who although not a football fan, believes that the idea and principles which the couples shared need to be respected provided it could serve as a lubricant towards building the love which brought all parties together.
However, since luring their wives into accepting a life of being football fans of the Manchester United seven years ago, the Old Trafford-based club have failed to live up to the expectations of the couples who have watched their noisy neigbours Manchester City dominate Manchester and England as a whole.
Since 2016, Manchester City have risen and carted away a total of 15 titles, which consists of five premier league titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, Two Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League trophy and a UEFA Super Cup while United, have managed to secure three titles within the period which consists of one FA Cup, one Community shield and the Europa Cup in 2017 which happens to be the last time they tasted any glory.
The couples hope of enjoying their loyalty to United was further hit by a heavy blow when Man City defeated United 2-1 in the 2023 FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium to win her 7th FA Cup title making life more miserable for Mike and John who had hoped that their clubs could bring some joy to their families.
While expressing their displeasure, Mike and John who spoke with Sports Intelligence Magazine correspondent, described United’s performance in the last seven years as disappointing.
“We had hoped that Manchester United would give us more joy as family” Mike spoke up. “But its so sad that Man City’s rise in the past seven years have brought more woes to United as a club” . “Maybe we keep hoping that United would rise soon but am not sure how soon that could be, but I think my wife (Eche) understands the situation and we are looking forward to a brighter day” he concluded.
For John “We had hoped that we would watch United in the final of the UEFA Champions League since 2016, and that dream is yet to be realized”. “Moreover, situation situation have also gotten worse as United have failed to win a premier league title since then, and this makes me and wife feel miserable most times and reluctant about watching United’s matches, but we still hope that situation will get better, and we see that happening this season” he concluded.