The prospect of playing Christmas carols couldn't come around quick enough for some players this festive season — especially as Paul Andrews took a small ensemble onto the stage at Old Trafford to provide the musical accompaniment to the Manchester United staff Christmas carol service.
As Paul told 4BR: "This is one gig I never have problems filling seats for..."
Paul’s lifelong friend Alan Bird instigated the association whilst working as Facilities Manager at the club and since 1995 the Manchester United Supporters Band has played their part in celebrating Christmas with the famous club’s huge retinue of staff.
Sir Alex on hand
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is always in hand to enjoy the event too, as Paul explained.
"It’s clear Sir Alex considers everybody at the club to be equally as important — from the tea lady right through to the first team players. He treats everyone with respect and holds family values close to his heart."
Top players and famous fans take part in the event too, such as opera star Russell Watson, whilst the music is also enhanced by the Manchester United Foundation Youth Choir and the addition of the singing talents of many of the 17 and 18 year old Academy and reserve team players in the Manchester United Academy Choir.
It’s clear Sir Alex considers everybody at the club to be equally as important — from the tea lady right through to the first team playersPaul Andrews
Many of the current first team squad have sung at the event over the years too and Club Chaplain Reverend John Boyers even quipped that it wasn’t until the band came along in the fifth year of Sir Alec’s tenure as manager that the team started to win trophies!
As Paul added, "It is the season of goodwill but I'm not sure that Sir Alex Ferguson would attribute the clubs success to a bunch of musicians – although he always enjoys our contribution and was delighted to come and have his photograph taken with us."