Die-hard Manchester United fan Eamonn Holmes was moved to tears while reminiscing about his first trip to his club’s home ground, Old Trafford, on Friday.
In a rare interview on Kate Thornton’s podcast, the Sky TV presenter remembered the first time he clapped eyes on Old Trafford as one of the best days of his life.
“It was scary beyond belief, but it was amazing,” he said. “Everybody was standing and swaying.”
The Red Devils were playing against Newcastle United, which was a whole new experience for the young Eamonn.
“It was the first time I ever heard a Newcastle accent,” he laughed. “They were all speaking in this language that I didn't understand!”
His dream day almost didn’t happen though: he, his father and brothers had a nasty surprise when they landed at the Liverpool Docks on the ferry from Belfast.
“We arrived on the Liverpool from Belfast overnight ferry,” he explained. “And we were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. My dad hadn't gotten any identification on him. So Special Branch were standing there, and they kept my father there.”
The young Eamonn was understandable terrified, but thankfully their GP was also on the ferry and vouched for his father.
“I remember the row he got into and he said, ‘I have taken the Hippocratic Oath! You doubt my word? This man is who he says he is. How dare you?’” recalled Eamonn. “Special Branch had to release us!”
Eamonn has been a Manchester United fan since he was small and even opened the eulogies at the funeral of former Man U player George Best. He spoke on the podcast about how football has always bonded his family.
He explained: “You have very few things in common with your children or other members of your family.
“You may not share the same music; you may not share the same taste in fashion or politics or whatever. But my whole family circle are Manchester United Red.”