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  • Fred

Based on a Real Match?

The internet has loads of worthless information, so I attempted to solve a mystery that only I cared about. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, solving my mystery does literally nothing for the greater good.

So there's this awesome song by the band the Giraffes called Man U. Great Lyrics, Great Music, and Great Video. Unfortunately, the Giraffes output was a bit erratic and they were only able to catch lightning in a bottle a few times over their career.

But back to the song Man U. I assumed the song was a generic ode to Premier League play, but the more I listened to it, the more I suspected it may refer to a specific soccer game. Now I had deduced that it was a game between Leeds vs Manchester United a long time ago, but using lyrics as clues, I attempted to narrow my search.

Leeds are down by four, the skinheads are angry....

Leeds is no longer in the Premier League, they were relegated after the 03-04 season, so that narrowed the search down a little bit, and I assumed the Giraffes weren't singing about soccer at the turn of the LAST century.

The goalie has been regarded, the skinheads are angry....

So plowing through dozens of Leeds v Man U scores, very few games actually fit the bill described in the lyrics. And when I say very few, I mean 2. There was only 1 game, September 7, 1996, when Manchester United beat Leeds 4-0. Not only beat Leeds, but Leeds goalie Nigel Martin had an own goal at the 2' mark. The result was so egregious to Leeds' ownership, that they fired their coach Howard Wilkinson 2 days after the result.

Now the song itself is about a soccer riot. Leeds' Service Crew and Man U's Read Army were 2 of the most historically notorious hooligan outfits in all of English Soccer, but their activity had been severely restrained by the 1990's. So after only a few hours of research, I had answered my own questions, all for the sake of having an excuse to write about one of my favorite videos of all time for the Beacon of Speech website.

And what does the video have to do with the song?

Absolutely Nothing.

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