Outside the Box: Old scores still to be settled between Manchester United and Real Madrid

 

Manchester United are to have a rematch with Real Madrid, though not as a result of any admission that the Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir made a mistake in sending off Nani in Tuesday's Champions' League tie.

Senior citizens – sorry, "legends" – of the two clubs will meet at Old Trafford on 2 June in a return game from the one played in Madrid last summer, when a Spanish side including Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo won 3-2, Teddy Sheringham and Lee Sharpe scoring for United.

Among those due to take part are Bryan Robson, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Denis Irwin, Dion Dublin, Emilio Butragueno, Amancio Amaro and Manolo Sanchis. Ryan Giggs, who is almost old enough to be taking part in the aforementioned game – and is unquestionably of legendary status – is said to have played his 1,000th senior match against Madrid at the Bernabeu but that statistical landmark has been the subject of some dispute.

United's official figures, backed up by the English National Football Archive, give him 932 club games to go with his 68 for Wales and Great Britain. But the normally reliable Soccerbase website has him on 934, with two extra League games, which meant his 1,000th game would have been in the first leg against Madrid, not the return. As Soccerbase have only been inputting their own data since 1995, they admit the mistake is more likely to be theirs.

Cheer for the supporters

The breakaway supporters' team FC United continue to thrive, drawing a crowd of 2,465 against the EvoStik Northern Premier League leaders North Ferriby United, which was only 26 fewer than their landlords Bury attracted in League One the previous day.

Sharing Gigg Lane should soon be a thing of the past; last week the club learnt that a legal challenge to their proposed new £4.5m stadium at Moston in north-east Manchester had been dismissed. The theme for yesterday's home game against Chorley was "A Woman's Place is at the Match", celebrating the role played by female fans, volunteers and staff, as well as the newly formed women's team, who are guaranteed the runners-up spot – behind Manchester City Ladies – in their first season in the Greater Manchester Women's League.

One of our fans is missing

Staying on the northern non-League circuit, last week's column mentioned that the "other" Bradford club, Park Avenue, had an attendance of 285 for their home game with Corby Town; next match, against Workington last Monday, it was 284. But what had upset the missing fan? Park Avenue did after all beat Corby and then Workington for a fourth successive home victory. No doubt he or she will be back...

Fists better than Blades

There is no meeting of Sheffield United and Wednesday this season so the recent fight between two of the city's welterweights, Ryan Hardy and Dale "The Black Mamba" Hutchinson, at the Don Valley Stadium seems to have been viewed as a proxy derby.

The fighters posed for press photos in the strips of the rival clubs, with Sheffield's former referee Uriah Rennie pretending to step between them. Ahead of the bout, the unbeaten Hardy tweeted: "Three days till I get to smash a Blade's head in and not end up in a riot van." He didn't manage that but did win on points – to the refrain "The city is ours" from Wednesdayites.

As they fight to stay in the Championship and United push for promotion from League One, it could be seconds out again next season.

Name changed by depot

Farewell the Home Depot Center (sic), a name that conjured up visions of a furniture warehouse rather than the glamour of David Beckham and LA Galaxy. The MLS club have sold naming rights to an online ticketing company – though whether the StubHub sounds any more ritzy is a matter of opinion.

s.tongue@independent.co.uk; twitter.com/@stevetongue

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'