Back in the 1980s when United were having mixed success on the pitch with a new manager from Scotland, a group of disabled fans who huddled around the edge of the Old Trafford pitch on match days got together and formed MUDSA, which has gone on to become the largest disabled supporters’ association in the world.
On October 23rd, 2015, the Manchester Suite, at Old Trafford, played host to a star-studded bash hosted by our usual funnyman Mark Jones with guest speaker Bryan Robson sharing some hilarious stories from his days as captain of the Club and a well received performance from Duggie Brown.
The highlight of the evening was an emotional set of speeches from Chas Banks, Phil Downs MBE and the man without whom, none of this would have been possible — Sir Alex Ferguson. It was with the help of Sir Alex and his secretary Lyn Laffin that MUDSA was born, way back in 1989.
To mark the occasion, Sir Alex was installed as MUDSA Patron, David Gill as MUDSA President and Lyn Laffin became our honorary vice-President. Each received gifts to mark the moment.
Sir Alex was given a specially commissioned sculpture entitled ‘Part of Football’, as MUDSA has helped so many disabled fans to be involved with the Club. Made of stainless steel and created by Lancashire artist Clare Bigger, it features half a football with strips of steel that form abstract shapes of people celebrating — it even includes a guide dog and a wheelchair.
David received a hand-made plaque and Lyn a specially made gold brooch.
Specially made plaques were also presented to the GPS team and a plaque to Phil himself. Phil didn’t know about this and was visibly moved when the moment came to receive it.
In honour of reaching the 25 year mark, MUDSA also commissioned a book written by Mark Metcalfe to chronicle the history and achievements of the organisation over the 25 years of its existence.
This was presented to Sir Alex and other guests and copies were placed on every table for the members to enjoy.
Once again, MUDSA would like to thank everyone who’s been involved with helping us over these 25 years to become the proud organisation we are today and we hope we can be just as successful in the next 25.