It was fifty-seven years ago. But I still remember the day I was ABUsed by a priest.

Manchester United - 1963 FA Cup Winners
Manchester United captain Noel Cantwell is chaired by his teammates  Johnny Giles (arm raised), Albert Quixall, Jimmy Murphy, Bill Foulkes,, David Herd, Paddy Crerand and Bobby Charlton.

 

Have you ever heard of someone being called an ABU?

An ABU is a person who hates Manchester United and wants every competition to be won by Anyone But United. ABU.

Well, when I turned on the television this morning in the vain hope of some live rugby, I was reminded that, 57 years ago, I was ABUsed by a priest.

There was no rugby on the telly.

But Eir was replaying the FA Cup Final from 1963.

That final was between Manchester United and Leicester City.

Now, I had a vague like for United probably because my mother had links with the city.

But I wasn’t really fussed. I was then, as I am now, mainly a rugby fan.

Anyway, I was strolling around Mount Merrion with a friend in the late morning when a car stopped and a local curate, Fr Patrick Devine, asked us if we’d help him do a bit of work on what was to become a pitch and putt course in the nearby Priory estate.

So we did.

But we told him we had to be home by three o’clock because we wanted to watch the Cup Final.

He said he’d have us home by three.

Well, he didn’t. We worked away picking up stones from the soon to be pitch and putt course and shortly after three, Fr Devine told us he’d drop us home.

He stopped his car outside the house, said thank you and asked us what we were doing for the afternoon.

I bluntly said we had hoped to watch the FA Cup Final but it had already started.

He got the message. He apologised.

Then he asked who was playing.

I told him it was Manchester United and Leicester City.

“Oh. I hope Leicester City win. I don’t like United at all,” he said.

That was it for me.

The 25th of May 1963.

The day I became a Manchester United fan.

Because I was ABUsed by a priest.

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