By Matthew Galea
Australia has its newest officially recognised Manchester United supporters club.
The Perth Manchester United Supporters Club became the fourth Australian club to become officially affiliated with the Old Trafford club, which announced their arrival with a video posted on the club’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts which featured first-team players Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera welcoming the Perth group.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 18, 2016
Club president Lee Stroud said it was a day of immense pride for the club that has only been in existence for little over three years.
“We found out about midway through last week,” Stroud said.
“We submitted everything we needed to only three weeks ago … and I think the turnaround was so quick because we had
everything we needed together and sent it all in at the same time.
“The guys at Old Trafford let us know everything that we needed to gain official status and we got it all together.”
Stroud said the biggest task was signing up 51 people to the club’s official membership program, One United on top of membership with the Perth supporters group itself.
“Anyone who signed up for One United this season through us got free membership to our club this season and we got our pub to chuck in a $50 drink voucher to sweeten the deal,” Stroud said.
Being granted official affiliation with United marks incredible progress for the club that started in 2013.
“Steve Long started the group in 2013 and we’ve gone from having about 30-40 members and 15 people in the pub to over 370 members now,” he said.
— James Haywood (@HaywoodRedDevil) August 19, 2016
The group watches games at The Game Sports Bar in Northbridge, while there is a second venue at the Woodvale Tavern for supporters unable to make the trip out to Northbridge.
“The Game are great for us. They give us a 20 per cent discount on match nights and bar vouchers so they take care of us,” he said.
So they should!
Stroud said the club’s biggest turnout so far was last season’s FA Cup final, which United won 2-1 against Crystal Palace, when over 200 people showed up to The Game Sports Bar and another 100 rocked up in Woodvale.
With those numbers, official status seems fitting for the boys and girls in Perth, and while Stroud was delighted to see the club seal that status last week, the video from United featuring Shaw and Herrera was completely unexpected.
“That was amazing. We could not believe that was on our feed, so that was a very proud moment,” Stroud said.
“Our Facebook page has gone up something like 1000 per cent since that video got posted. We’ve had so many tweets and we’ve already had 20-30 people in Perth who had not heard of us asking to sign up,” he said.
“We’re just stoked to be a part of it. We’ll push to be one of the biggest clubs and with our membership I think it’s possible.”
— BMUSC (@BMUSC) August 19, 2016
— OZMUFCSA (@OZMUFC) August 19, 2016
And it is not just all about the football in Perth.
PMUSC holds social events and fundraising events to give back to its members and their communities, having raised over $4,000 for various causes.
For more information on PMUSC check out the following links:
Follow Matthew Galea on Twitter: @mg91