A brief history of the club
The Manchester United Supporters’ Club Cyprus was formed in 1987 by an enthusiastic group of people who got together to bring under the same roof the supporters and friends of Manchester United with the object of promoting and maintaining good and lasting relations with Manchester United and its supporters throughout the world.
It was officially registered as a supporter’s club, according to the relevant Cyprus legislation, in April 1987 and since then the interest and support for the club has been growing steadily with the result that it has today more than 200 active members.
The establishing document was signed, as required by the relevant regulation, by twenty founder members. Among those founder members were one Mayor, three Local Counselors, a Senior District Judge, a Bank Area Manager, high ranking Officials of Cypriot Football Clubs, Businessmen and many others.
The finances of the club are audited and reviewed by Mr. Panicos Loizou, the well known Chartered Accountant of KPMG Accounting Firm. Mr. Loizou, a founder member of the Branch, is offering his valuable financial advice and services free of charge.
The historic first Annual General Meeting of the Club took place, among enthusiastic scenes and great satisfaction, on June the 5th 1988 when the first Governing Committee was elected. The second A.G.M. took place a year later on the 25th of June 1989. At this, the members of the Cyprus Branch were extremely honored by the presence of Alex Ferguson, the popular manager of Manchester United, who attended the meeting and addressed the members.
Although Cyprus is a long distance away from England, we try to keep in touch with all the great events that take place in Manchester and to inform our members accordingly. When the legendary Matt Busby celebrated his 80th birthday, the Manchester Evening News published a special offering – souvenir about the great man. The Cyprus Branch secured enough copies of this impressive document so as to make sure that every member got one.
Our club is famous for its Functions. The first big event took place in Limassol on the 6th of February 1989. Guest of Honor was Alex Ferguson. Present also were Brian McClair and Jim Leighton. McClair was specially honored for his goal scoring ability. The date of the function coincided with the anniversary of the Munich air disaster. Accordingly our Chairman started his speech as follows: ‘This day today the 6th of February brings to our memory sad remembrances. It reminds us of the tragic event of the Munich air disaster that occurred this day in 1958, exactly 31 years ago. However as many years as may pass, this tragedy will never be erased from our memory. Therefore I ask you all standing to observe a minute silence in memoriam of those who lost their lives.
Our second big function took place in November 1991. At this we celebrated the winning of the European Cup Winners Cup. Present to join in our celebrations were Captain Bryan Robson and Vice-Captain Steve Bruce.
Steve Bruce, as Captain, also attended our third big event in September 1994. He was accompanied by Lee Sharpe and Membership Secretary Barry Moorhouse.
Our fourth great function was in February 1997 when we celebrated in style the 10th anniversary of the Cyprus Club. This was a truly memorable event. Manager Alex Ferguson, Assistant Manager Brian Kidd, Membership Secretary Barry Moorhouse and players Phil Neville, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ronny Jonsen were all present. Apart from our members and their families many friends locally and from abroad joined in our celebrations. The trophy of the Championship was also here to be admired and photographed with. Honorary Certificates were awarded to all our Founder Members.
Our fifth and most recent Function was in March 2007.
At this we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Manchester United Supporters Club Cyprus. The success of the event was unbelievable. Sir Alex Ferguson flew over from Manchester specially to attend this function of ours. He was accompanied by Player Liaison Manager Barry Moorhouse, Kit Manager Albert Morgan, MUTV presenter Steve Bower and former players Paul Parker and David May. In all 16 important people came from Manchester, London and Greece to join in our celebrations. Ministers of the Cyprus Government, Members of the House of Representatives, Mayors, Government Officials and Personalities from the Football World were also present.
Six hundred (600) lucky people attended the function (the official capacity of the hotel hall was 400). Another 200 persons were refused entrance. Sir Alex Ferguson was honoured for his 20 glorious years as manager of Manchester United and he himself honoured our Founder and Chairman Ronis Soteriades. Honourary commemorative plaquettes were presented to our 10 Founder Members.
The Founder of the club and Chairman Ronis Soteriades was honored as one of the best supporters of Manchester United all over the world. The award took place at Old Trafford before a capacity crowd in February 2001 just 10 minutes before the big kick off of the Manchester United – Arsenal game
(6 – 1).
He also appeared on Cyprus Television, British TV and MUTV and gave many interviews to local, British, Greek and European radio stations.
In October 2002, Manchester United came to Cyprus to play Macabi of Israel in the Champions League. After great efforts, we secured from Macabi (which was the ‘home team’ and consequently responsible for the allocation of tickets) 1000 tickets for our members and local friends. We also arranged to meet Sir Alex Ferguson and the players. The Manchester United party interrupted its preparations for the match so as to give to our members and their families the unique opportunity to have a chat with Sir Alex and the players, take pictures and obtain signed autographs.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Club Cyprus has managed, in a relatively short time, to become well known in Cyprus and abroad. It hopes to expand even further and offer to its members whatever is reasonably possible, taking into account the distance from Manchester and the present day football related difficulties.