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Dear Indian media, it is Manchester United, not Man U

If you are a true Manchester United fan or even a reporter, let's not disrespect the history of the club and stop calling it 'Man U'.

Manchester United Premier League

Manchester United celebrating their 2012-13 Premier League win (Source: Premier League)


Md Imtiaz

Updated: 23 Oct 2021 6:30 AM GMT

Indian sports media widely covers the day-to-day happenings of international football. From the highly competitive action of the English Premier League to the Spanish tactical brilliance of the La Liga, every move of players and clubs are talked about in newspapers and portals. However, one particular thing has come to our notice, which has to be changed once and for all.

Often while writing about the English Premier League giants Manchester United, Indian media abbreviates their name as 'Man U'. Though it is an easily printed abbreviation for Manchester United, one in their right mind, shouldn't call it so. Even the true Manchester United fans abhor saying so. It must be told that calling Manchester United as Man U is an insult to the club. Though we must agree that no United fan in their right mind would use 'Man U' as an insulting disrespectful term, it needs to be understood the history related to this term and why it need not be called so.

How did the chant Man U come into existence?

The term 'Man U' first came into because of an insult from West Brom fans who chanted this about a United Legend, Duncan Edwards. They said, "Duncan Edwards is manure, rotting in his grave, man you are manure—rotting in your grave."

Liverpool and Leeds United fans also made fun of the players who died during the airplane crash while they were coming home from Munich.

The Munich disaster is one of the most tragic incidents in the history of world football. The insulting nature of the term originated with some chants used by the supporters of opposing clubs. The song went like this:

Man U, Man U, went on a plane; Man U, Man U, never came back again.
And "Man U Never Intended Coming Home".

On combining the first letter of the latter chant, it comes out to be "MUNICH".

Since then the term has become derogatory to the club and synonymous with insults aimed at United fans after the tragedy.

"Across our fan club, the members know it pretty well the fact that it is derogatory as it reflects the incidents of the Munich tragedy. But still, a majority of fans and even newspapers and television in India refer to it as Man U, because they are not familiar with the history of the club. It's okay that many of the fans don't know about the history, which I cannot be making amends. But it hurts when Indian media houses refer to the club as Man U. We are not comfortable with that and I think there should be an initiative through which people should learn it is not Man U but Manchester Utd or Man Utd," says Dhruv Dua, one of the founder of the MUFC Delhi, the official supporters club of Manchester United in Delhi.

In a conversation with Arnab Ozah, Program Manager at Khel Khel Mein Foundation, who is also a staunch supporter of the club since his childhood days, he said, "Calling Man U is quite derogatory. And I have seen some of the club fans loosely calling the same without knowing the history. Every time someone says Man U in front of me, I try to correct them. Nobody should make fun of someone's death. It does make you sound cool but at the end of the day, it is derogatory."

So, if you are a true Manchester United fan or even a reporter, let's not disrespect the history of the club and stop calling it 'Man U'.

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