Stagecoach Manchester has crowned lifelong Manchester United supporter, Jimmy Langland, as Greater Manchester’s biggest football fan after he won a recent competition.
As part of the prize, Jimmy had his photograph taken by the creator of the National Football Museum exhibition, sponsored by Stagecoach; The Game: 30 Years Through The Lens of Stuart Roy Clarke. Jimmy’s photo now hangs in the exhibition alongside Stuart’s photographs, which place fans and grounds at the heart of the communities they represent.
Jimmy, who has sat in the same Old Trafford seat for the last 23 years, first began watching his beloved Reds in 1979 after his friend offered him two spare tickets. Having become captivated by the match day atmosphere, he began travelling to watch the team home and away and hasn’t looked back.
Particularly prominent in Jimmy’s memory is Sir Alex Ferguson’s early years at the helm; “When Fergie took over in 1986, he got rid of the drinking culture at the club and tried to turn things around. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, he struggled for the first four years and I vividly remember leaving games singing ‘Fergie out!’ and ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’.
“There’s been some great times since though and I’ve been there every step of the way. I’ve watched from every stand at Old Trafford and it’s great to see the good times coming back with Ole at the wheel.”
Jimmy was declared the region’s biggest football fan after a competition which saw entrants from all areas of Greater Manchester apply with their stories, images and videos to show the love they have for their clubs.
Elisabeth Tasker, Stagecoach Manchester managing director, said: “Jimmy’s love for his football club is great to see and I’m sure the passion he shows for Manchester United is mirrored by those supporting any one of our Greater Manchester clubs.
“Stagecoach Manchester is a business which plays an integral role in so many communities across the region. We’re therefore happy to support an exhibition which details the passion for the game of football, which has the ability to bring people together like little else.”
Stuart Roy Clarke, creator of the exhibition, said: “Jimmy’s winning entry was one of a number of fantastic stories which really showed the hunger that people have in this region for their football clubs. The exhibition displays that need for football and presents a view of the game you would not normally witness. The focus is very much on the people behind the players and it brings to life the fear, the excitement, the shock and the surprise so many football fans go through each match day.”
To see Jimmy’s photo, as well as the full exhibition of The Game, visit the National Football Museum this March and plan your journey at stagecoachbus.com. The exhibition is scheduled to end on 17th March 2019.