Manchester United v. Charlton Athletic 1998
After performing at a birthday party for a member of a TV crew, I was sat in Euston Station waiting for my train back to Liverpool. As I read the paper I realised that Manchester United were playing that evening at Old Trafford against Charlton. It was their first game since the proposed take-over bid by Rupert Murdoch. Seeing a chance to make a comical point, I changed trains and went to Manchester instead.
When the ticket inspector asked me why my ticket had Lime Street on it, I
told him that I was dyslexic and thought i was on the cross channel ferry headed
for Madrid. He accepted my explanation and proceeded to do a back flip into a
On arrival at Old Trafford, I went looking for a tout. With only £25 in my pocket, a packet of Marlboro and a half eaten stale crust of bread. I approached one and was immediately recognized with the statement "Your him aren't you? Your the streaker!". This made me think that I might be noticed by the police as well so would have to keep my head down. After telling the guy that I only had £25 on me, he said that it didn't matter and gave me one for £5 less than face value saying "Do a good one for us Mark!". It would be a pleasure!
I then asked him if he would write the slogan ''TAKE OVER MY'' with an arrow pointing to my arse on my back. He obliged and got a few of his mates to stand around us, so as not to draw any unwanted attention from the police or the thousands walking past us into the stadium. After having a laugh, I thanked the lads and went into the ground, keeping my head as close to my waist as possible.
My seat was by the stewards at the top of the steps and thought that it would be difficult to get undressed there without being noticed. I then saw an empty seat on the end of a row, 8 rows from the front and went and sat in it (if it was somebody's seat then I would move). As the game started, nobody came so I could relax slightly.
It was my first time at Old Trafford and was amazed at the size of it. As I looked around, I tried to figure out how I was going to get on. At the bottom of the steps was a four foot gate with two stewards on the other side of it at either end. Then it was a few yards to the pitch, that was raised with a small barrier around it. I figured that I could get over the gate but didn't know if I would be able to get on the pitch before being grabbed;- only time would tell.
During the whole of the first half, the two stewards sat facing the crowd, making it impossible for me to even get over the gate. They had to be facing the other way. I thought to myself that if they stayed that way then I would do it during half-time, I didn't want to get this far for nothing. When half-time came, they both stood up and faced the crowd. Now I'm thinking that I really have come this far for nothing. I resigned myself to just watching the game in the knowledge that I'd tried anyway. Then as the second half got under way, the both of them sat down and started watching the game. I couldn't believe it! THANK YOU O GREAT ONE!
Now I just had to wait until the right moment, when United had virtually won the game.
When they scored, making it 3-1, I decided that moment was upon me!
I started to take my clothes off as fast as I could, when the guy next to me and his mate looked at me and asked me what I was doing? As the final piece of clothing came off, I turned to them and said "I'll show you!" and darted down the steps like a man possessed and vaulted the gate at the bottom. I landed between the stewards, ran the few yards to the pitch and climbed onto it. As I stood up, one of the stewards grabbed me around the waist, and then we started the tug-o-war! He had nails like an eccentric bat and had a grip on me like an alcoholic holding his pint at closing time. During the to and froing, I lit a pipe and ate grapes and eventually pulled away after being willed on by the crowd screaming "GO ON MATE!". As I pulled away, the steward's nails ripped a line across my waist, but it made no difference. I WAS ON!
I ran towards Peter Schmichael, who looked at me as though he had a piece of snot stuck in his eye. I then started on a tour of The Theatre of Dreams. Both teams were in stitches, as was Alex Ferguson and, as I gave them the thumbs up, the chase began. A steward came at me from further down the pitch but didn't stand a chance. It takes more than one to catch me and I shouted to him to get his mates on as well. Next thing I know, about eight barn doors came at me, all in matching tops, and now it was time to lead them on a merry dance. If I ran one way, so did they, if I ran the other way, so did they. I felt like a shepherd leading the lost sheep! The crowd were loving this, but the sheep weren't and formed a semi-circle and closed in on me. With nowhere to run, I put my hands in the air and was pounced upon. Man United are supposed to have the tightest and hardest security in the country and I'd got through them and had a laugh at their expense, and they didn't like it. As I was led off, one of them said to me ''You think your funny do you?'' in a tone that led me to believe 'there may be trouble ahead'. I was asked where I was from but, because of the rivalry between Man United and Liverpool, I decided to take the Fifth Amendment and keep it shut. One of them looked at my Hong Kong and Thailand tattoo's on my shoulders and said that I must be a foreigner. As I was led through the maze of tunnels inside Old Trafford I was repeatedly punched in the back of the head and one of them kept trying to smash my head into the walls. I was then thrown into a corner, where I put my arms up to defend myself expecting more blows. Instead of blows, I was thrown a coat and told to put it on. As I did, I noticed the police charge room about twenty feet away. SANCTUARY! I was taken over and handed to the police (my friends) where I was asked where I was from. I was in safe hands now and told them. When the stewards outside heard that I was a Scouser they were gutted! If they had known earlier on, there's no doubt that they would have baked me cake (yeah right) !
I was then taken to the police station and charged. The officer who
interviewed me was a decent guy and told me that he had rang his girl-friend to
tell her who he was interviewing. This brought a smile to my face and after a
two minute interview I was released on bail. When I appeared in court I was
fined and banned from football stadiums, again, for 12 months. I later found out
that the streak was shown on Match of the Day. Bonus!