The first Wednesday of every month is when the Manor Club meets at the Cowley Workers Social Club on Between Towns Road. The Manor Club is for United supporters aged 60 and over, and this season’s meetings started yesterday with a question-and-answer session with Ron Atkinson, one of United’s all-time greats.
Under the expert questioning of Peter Rhoades-Brown, Ron spent the best part of an hour regaling the 70+ attendees with anecdotes from his time at Oxford and beyond. Stories included his first visit to the Manor (“I thought Headington was in London”) where he was astonished to see tree-lined roads with posh houses rather than rows of terraces like at many football grounds.
Ron also talked about Manager Arthur Turner (“He was rubbish at tactics but he couldn’t half spot a player”) and the culture at the club (“We may have liked a night out at the Northgate, but on the pitch we were a proper team”).
Ron told us about his time as manager at Kettering, where he swapped a player for a lawnmower and when he was at Cambridge when he sold a full-back to Barry Fry for a case of Champagne (“Barry called me and said that player is rubbish, can I have two bottles back”), followed immediately by a phone-call from Fry to confirm the story!
Next month’s guest at the Manor Club is Malcolm Crosby, who will be there at lunchtime on Wednesday 4th October.