‘Why I decided to tell people that Manchester is so much more than football’

This time last week, I was sunbathing in Florida spending my birthday with Mickey Mouse. I am now writing this from my Trafford flat as I look out over the hail-dappled balcony. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

During my time in the ‘Sunshine State’ I spoke to a number of Americans who initially had a bit of a hard time figuring out what part of the UK I was from. As I mentioned earlier, I’m from Burnage, but I don’t possess the same thick southern ‘Manchestoh’ accent that the Gallagher brothers have and that many people around the world now recognise.

Whether that’s a blessing or a curse, I’ll let you decide for yourselves.

The general consensus was that not many people knew much about Manchester other than the obvious. One taxi driver asked me if Manchester was in Birmingham, as that’s where he said his sister now lives, while another local asked me the best time of year to visit Buckingham Palace to meet the King.

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Many people, however, knew about the football clubs. There were people eager to talk about United’s Marcus Rashford or former player Cristiano Ronaldo, but as someone with very limited knowledge of football, those conversations dried up pretty quickly.

It made me realize that even though Manchester often feels like the beginning and the end to me, it’s not THAT big in the bigger scheme of things. But that’s actually kind of exciting.


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