One of the TV hits of the year has been the BBC’s McMafia. But eagle-eyed Oxford fans will have spotted that the hit show has a strong connection to the U’s: the book sponsors left-back Ricardinho!
That’s down to supporter Misha Glenny who wrote the original book ‘ McMafia’, which has been adapted into a TV series which follows the life of Alex Godman, a British-raised son of a Russian mafia boss. That has now been adapted into the successful Sunday night drama and Misha explained to us this week why he then chose to sponsor Riccy’s shirt for the season:
“I knew we had the TV show coming out and as soon as I saw we had signed a Brazilian player, Ricardinho, I wanted to sponsor him. All my books have been published in Brazil, so Ricardinho can read them in Portuguese!” he told us.
Misha is an investigative journalist who has published several successful books and also happens to be a life-long United fan.
“I started supporting Oxford when I was nine years old,” he told us. “We’d moved up from west London in 1968 where I was an embryonic Chelsea supporter; Chelsea were in the First Division and we were in the Third Division. My first game was a 0-0 draw with Bury with Mickey Bullock leading the line.
“For quite a while I could happily support Oxford and Chelsea in parallel but then we went up to the old Division Two and Chelsea came down. In the run up to the game at the Manor I was in a state of real distress because I didn’t know who I was going to support but the minute the game kicked off I lost any affection I’d ever had for Chelsea and ever since then I’ve been entirely indifferent to them and the only team I can ever get exercised about is Oxford.”
You can read a full version of the interview with Misha in Saturday’s celebrity-packed programme when Oxford United welcome Bristol Rovers to Grenoble Road - Timmy Mallett’s latest adventures are also part of this week’s award winning matchday magazine.
McMafia continues on BBC 1 at 9pm on Sunday. SPOILER: Ricardinho does not appear in the TV series.
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