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It's the final that apparently no-one in Scotland cares about. The fall out over the decision to arbitrarily shunt the Scottish Cup final to a 5.30pm slot all because the English equivalent was being held at the same time of 3pm, has raged for weeks with the Scottish Football Association claiming that it was nothing to do with them while pointing the finger of blame at broadcasters. There has been a general seethe from those who hold the game dear to their hearts, here. But there is a sizeable number of football fans in Scotland for whom the main event will be at Wembley tomorrow – and not Hampden Park.

There are three official Manchester City supporters clubs in Scotland and five for Manchester United. For one man, the trip south will represent the latest voyage that has taken him all over the world for the best part of 50 years as a United fan.

Peter Wood is the chairman of the Edinburgh branch of the official United supporters club. The club has more than 400 members making it not just the biggest United supporters club in Scotland but one of the biggest in the United Kingdom. They take a 70-seater coach to Old Trafford for every home game. The 55-year-old's first match was a trip to the famous Theatre of Dreams on Boxing Day in 1974. He was taken to the game by his dad who plonked him in the luggage rack of the supporters bus and then, later, lifted him over the turnstiles whereupon he watched United defeat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 thanks to goals from Sammy McIlroy and Gerry Daly. As free days out go, it wasn't half bad. It was also the start of a love affair that continues to this day.

“I was eight-years-old and by that time I had been to see Hibs and Hearts. The thing about going to Old Trafford when you are that age, the impression that it leaves is everlasting. Back in the 1970s there were a lot of Scottish players playing for Manchester United. Denis Law was the best Scottish player, the king of the Stretford End, Tommy Docherty became the manager. I'm glad I was part of that time. Docherty and the amount of Scottish players he brought created something. We didn't win a lot at that time but Tommy Docherty got them to the FA Cup final in 76 where we lost to Southampton and then 77 where we stopped Liverpool winning the treble which is very, very similar to what is happening this weekend and we need to do that again. A lot of people think there is no way that Manchester City are going to lose this game, I think any game Manchester United play, they have a chance.”

While he chooses his matches more judiciously these days, he has enough memories to fill a lifetime. 

“There was a 25-year period where I missed two games not long after Sir Alex Ferguson took over at United, from about 1990 to 2015. It was lockdown that made me think 'I can now get some work done'. I remember thinking to myself 'I could be a millionaire instead of watching Manchester United kicking a ball about'. I've been to China, North and South America, South Africa, Australia. I've been to Australia twice. A lot of people do exactly the same, guys who have been to every game for the last 40 years. I have a tiling company, I know that there were customers of mine looking at who Manchester United were playing on certain days before phoning me. Madness.”

Of those memories, the one that stands out most is in 1999 when United won their own treble courtesy of two stoppage-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after what had been a miserable 85-odd minutes against Bayern Munich.

The Herald:

“I was sitting beside a guy who was Celtic's managing director at the time, a guy called Allan MacDonald. I was having a conversation [about how badly United were playing] and five minutes later I was on his son's head. Two minutes later I ended up on his head. Lennart Johansson came down in the lift to present the trophy and he couldn't believe that the other half of the stadium were now celebrating. I went to that final with Eamonn Bannon (ex-Hearts and Dundee United), Colin Campbell (ex-Hibs) and Derek Rodier (also ex-Hibs). The other tickets went to three total bampots from Edinburgh. I had one of the best days ever with those guys in Barcelona. Mark McGhee was sitting next to us, we were in a section with loads of Scottish guys. There is nothing ever going to top that.”

Despite transport issues affecting most of the country, tomorrow, Peter says he will be at Wembley – he just needs to work out how he's going to navigate his latest journey from Scotland to watch his beloved team.

“The unfortunate thing with this game is what is happening with the train strikes. People might be flying to Stansted and they can't get the train into London, it has made things very, very difficult for people who are travelling to this game including members of our club of which there are 50 going down. I still don't know how I'm going. I've got various options. I've got a car I could go in, I have someone who works in an airline who can get me down for not a lot of money. I'll make up my mind tonight.”