Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
Manchester United Supporters Club Goa, the state’s official ManU fan club, is officially affiliated to Manchester United through their global supporter’s club network, as of September 17. Founded as MUFC GOA back in 2013, it is the first and only supporters club in India to have its own android application.
Recalling how events unfolded to get the official recognition, Bradley Godinho recalls: “The first screening was held when ManU played the away game versus Manchester City. Though the game did not go in our favour (losing 4-1), Rooney’s free kick at the end of the game had us all in high spirits. We were cheering and singing to the name of Wayne Rooney and Manchester United. That’s when we knew MUFC GOA was here to stay.” The idea was to get all the Manchester United fans in Goa under a single banner to watch games together.
The journey towards official recognition wasn’t just long and challenging but at times it seemed to appear impossible. But, Founder of MUSC Goa, Brendon D’Souza defied all odds and went ahead to achieve official recognition from Manchester United.
“We started off as the sixth fan club of ManU in Goa two years ago. Initially we just formed a Facebook group and Facebook page. We decided to make it big after our first screening which saw over 100 fans gather at a popular club in Panaji,” says Brendon
The 21-year-old engineering student did quite a bit of research – browsing websites, checking section for supporters clubs, etc. “I quickly sent in an enquiry asking for the criteria to be listed alongside official fan clubs in Malaysia, Singapore and the rest of the world,” informs Brendon, who also happens to be the youngest president in India.
As a result of getting an official supporters club status from Manchester United, the club is now officially affiliated to Manchester United through their global supporter’s club network. With great pride Brendon tells us that MUSC Goa features on Manchester United’s official website (manutd.com) along with current committee details. Besides, they have received a signed letter from the current manager Louis Van Gaal welcoming MUSC Goa to the global Supporters club network.
MUSC have their own ticket allocation wherein any of their members can go for a match to Old Trafford, Manchester and avail of a ticket very easily that too at a discounted rate through allocation. “Otherwise it is nearly impossible to get a match ticket for a game at Old Trafford but through our allocation you can get a ticket in seconds. Our club is entitled to 7 tickets for the big games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City which is based on a ratio (depending on number of members and matches). For the other matches the upper limit is 75 tickets per match. Through this allocation members are assured of the seat and a ticket is guaranteed that to at 40 GBP – a discounted fare,” shares Brendon.
In fact, three members through the allocation went to Old Trafford for the Manchester Derby; one of the biggest matches of the Premier League season that was held on October, 25. MUSC Goa does not only have match screenings but they organise a lot of other activities like meet ups on non match days, club picnics and club dinners. Many members have had the pleasure and opportunity to have met legends like Dennis Irwin and Mikael Silvestre in Goa which was a surreal moment for them.
MUSC Goa, has also featured twice on Manchester United Instagram page- the first time was when United hit one million followers and the second time when the founder and president Brendon D’Souza featured individually on it a year ago. “We are incredibly proud of these accomplishments,” says Bradley Godinho.
The latest major event that the club organised was the launch of the new Adidas-Manchester United kit. Here MUSC Goa worked directly with Adidas–India. For the club members it was a great honour that the first Adidas-Manchester United shirt entered Goa through their hands.
“This is just the start of a beautiful official relationship with Manchester United. We have planned a lot of activities for our members which will get them closer to the club and make MUSC GOA grow bigger and better. We are a little over 2 years old now, but we feel we have just begun and are roaring to go forward and become even bigger than we are at the moment!”