Growing up, my mother took it upon herself to ensure that my sister and I would always go to my dad’s room and say goodnight to him before we went to bed every night. Because he hardly left his room, we’d rarely speak to him during the day, so my mother assumed we wouldn’t want to wish him goodnight.
What she didn’t know though, was how difficult it would be to get us out of the room instead. We’d curl up under the covers with my dad and watch Manchester United play. Then, my 6 year old self could hardly understand the game. It was always a flurry of names (Neville, Butt, Rooney, Beckham…) and a whole lot of cheering from my dad. I’d cheer right along with him, completely oblivious to what warranted a celebration. I remember he took a good month to explain to me what offside was. Sometimes, even though I understood, I’d ask him to explain again because it just felt nice to spend more time with him, even if it meant seeing my mom (having forgotten we were there) burst into the room a good hour later, red-faced with annoyance, shooing us to bed with a hanger in hand.
And so it was added to my bucket list that I’d one day bring my dad back to the city where he spent his teenage years, and watch a live United match with him. Of course this dream is still very much a WIP, but back in Summer 2014, the opportunity to explore Manchester presented itself, and so I jumped right on it.