Reds of the World will be a series of interviews with supporters from around the globe. If you’d like to participate, get in touch with me via Twitter, @kframpton.
Our last Reds of the World feature was tremendously well-received, and I’m happy to say my little blog has now been read in more than 60 countries worldwide!
We ventured 8700 miles from Manchester to visit Nate Kunz in Durban, South Africa – so let’s bring it in a little closer this time. We’re off to Hyderabad, India now and it’s a mere 6600 miles from there to Old Trafford!
The ‘lion city’ has a population of more than 7 million residents, and was built along the banks of the Musi River. Also known as the ‘pearl city’ for it’s past as a diamond and pearl trading hub – the main industries now are pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and IT. The city’s main sporting passion is the SunRisers of cricket’s IPL.
Hyderabad is also home to one of four official Manchester United Supporter’s Clubs in India [the others are in Bangalore, Kerala and Mumbai], and the newest. Monish Menon is one of the leaders of the club and was gracious enough to answer our questions about MUFC and his hometown. Here’s how to reach the club on social media: Facebook page | Twitter handle
Who are you and where are you from?
I am Monish, and I am the vice-chairman of the Manchester United Official Supporters Club in Hyderabad (MUSCH), the fourth and newest official supporters club in India.
How did you come to support Manchester United?
As I was growing up, David Beckham was a big name amongst the kids in the country. And out of curiosity, I started watching football, and Manchester United in particular. Beckham moved on, but Manchester United stuck to my heart.
Who is your favourite current player and why?
My favorite player currently would have to be Wayne Rooney. There are very few players that are as consistent as him over a long period of time. But over all that, I just love the way he gives his all on the pitch.
Who is your favourite past player and why?
My favorite past player would have to be David Beckham, because of whom I started watching football.
What is your favourite MUFC moment?
That’s a tough one given the amount of success we’ve had. But, if I had to pick one moment it would be Solsjkaer’s winner against Bayern that gave us the Treble. The magnitude of the occasion and the dramatic climax beats everything else.
Have you ever been to Old Trafford or seen the club live on tour?
No, but visiting the Theatre of Dreams is something that I have on my to-do list. However, a few members of our supporters club have seen the Red Devils play. More recently, a few of our members followed the United journey throughout the United States during the pre-season tour earlier this year.
How do you typically watch MUFC matches? And if United kick off at 1500 in Manchester, what time is it in your country?
MUSCH organizes screenings for all United games and we end up watching the games with a 100-odd supporters – chanting and giving ourselves a Stretford End-ish atmosphere. The 1500 kick-off would be a 2030 start for us.
Is football the most popular sport in your country? What others do people watch?
Unfortunately, no! Cricket is the most followed sport in India, but the football culture is really kicking in, especially given the popularity of the Indian Super League (ISL). Having four official Manchester United Supporters Clubs is a testimony to the fact that football is a fast-growing sport in the country.
Where will MUFC finish in the Premier League this season?
As optimistic as I may sound, I’d put my money on a top two finish.
Will MUFC win a trophy this season? If yes, which one[s]?
Yes, the FA Cup. That’s something that we haven’t won in a very long time and I think we will do well in the cup competitions.