People watching back home as Man City beat Sheffield United in a hard-fought win on Sunday were tickled to see an away fan come flying out from the stands to hug Erling Haaland and, as it turns out, this wasn’t any old supporter — he actually happens to be an ex-world champion boxer.
We thought he looked familiar.
For those of you who missed it, after Haaland opened the scoring following a difficult afternoon over at Bramall Lane, hitting the post with his penalty and scrapping with the home side’s defence for a good 60 minutes, his exasperated celebration was made much more amusing when a fan jumped on his back.
While his teammates initially looked concerned to see the pitch invader come flying over the advertising hoardings, they needn’t have worried as it soon became clear the City supporter just wanted to give their star striker a big kiss and a cuddle. Sure he’s not the only one.
Leaping from his seat, he ended up clinging to the big Norwegian number nine’s back like some kind of Manc monkey, planting a big wet one on the 23-year-old’s cheek as the centre-forward reciprocated with a friendly hug of his own.
The random moment turned out to be not just a humorous but a wholesome one too, as Haaland’s exhausted expression suddenly turned to a wry smile and even as the stewards came to haul off the mystery man, it wasn’t anywhere near as tense a situation as most of these fan interactions tend to be.
In fact, not only is he a well-known City fan who has regularly attended matchdays home and away down the years, he’s a famous former boxer and two-time world champion from Crumpsall called Terry Flanagan. Good job it was a happy pitch invasion, eh?…
The 34-year-old fighter from north Manchester won the WBO lightweight title in 2015, becoming the first Englishman to ever do so in that class, and then again in 2017 before ultimately retiring in 2022.
Featured Image — Sky Sports/Terry Flanagan (via Instagram)
Manchester Storm offering cut-price tickets for blockbuster quarter-final against Sheffield
Local ice hockey starts Manchester Storm are taking a hit to their own pocket in an effort to help fans get to as many games as possible this winter by offering cut-price tickets to their upcoming Challenge Cup quarter-final on Thursday, 7 December.
As their exciting 2023/24 campaign continues, the Storm have found themselves amidst a run of home games in the space of a week and besides the test the players are now facing, they also know it presents a challenge to Manchester ice hockey fans who want don’t want to miss any of the action.
That being said, as they prepare to face league leaders Sheffield Steelers in the quarters this week in Altrincham, the Manc skaters have decided to reduce the cost of tickets across the board to pack out their barn as best they can.
It’s sure to be an electric night and a busy month at the Storm Shelter.
With the big fixture looming, the Trafford-based team are looking to continue their impressive turnouts so far this year and this cut-price rate will certainly help keep that trend going.
Notching the price of adult admission down by a fiver to just £18, the concession prices to just £15 and children tickets to a mere tenner for this highly-anticipated match-up, the Storm Support will no doubt be in full force even on a random Thursday night.
General sale is never that expensive to begin with and the local venue has been one of the most affordable and accessible places to watch live sport in Greater Manchester, but discounts like these make it an even better way to spend an evening midweek.
The home team head into the Challenge Cup quarter-final against the high-flying Yorkshiremen following a 4-3 loss to the Glasgow Clanand will face off against the Fife Flyers just two days later before back-to-back away trips to Belfast in the league on 15 and 16 December.
In just 10 competitive games across all competitions at home this season, Manchester Storm have welcomed over 18,700 supporters through the doors of the Storm Shelter, a.k.a. Planet Ice over in Alty.
With two sellout games already this campaign and plenty of others close to capacity no matter the day of the week, their 60% increase in season ticket sales alone shows just how fast the fan base is growing.
Doors for Storm vs Steelers this Thursday, 7 December open at 6:30pm with the face-off set for 7:30pm — let’s get behind our lads, you lot!
Club de Padel – The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally coming to Manchester this month
The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally about to arrive in Manchester – and in a seriously impressive location.
Club de Padel is taking shape at the foot of the Deansgate Square skyscrapers and has officially locked in a launch date.
With four state-of-the-art panoramic courts, the new sports club will be bringing the global sports phenomenon to the city centre for the first time.
It will also have one of the city’s most popular brunch spots and coffee shops, Federal, on site to provide caffeine, snacks, and a selection of drinks in the evenings.
For those unfamiliar, Padel is a mash-up of tennis and squash, where players are enclosed by walls and can play the ball off any wall.
The sport was first invented in Mexico in the late 1960s but has exploded in popularity across Europe in recent years, drawing legions of famous fans.
Andy Murray, David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Serena Williams have all declared themselves fans, and Lionel Messi went so far as to install a Padel court at his home.
Co-founder James Wigglesworth says: “We can’t get over the support we’ve had from the city so far, our inbox hasn’t stopped with people asking when we’re opening, when they can book, how they can learn to play – it’s been great.
“We’ve also discovered a hardcore element of ‘paddicts’ who travel miles every week to play and are just delighted that we’re landing on their doorstep.”
Club de Padel is partnering with Adidas and HEAD on its equipment and will have one of the UK’s top padel competitors, Alberto Cubero Torregrosa, as head coach.
Alberto said: “I can’t wait to get started at Club de Padel. Having grown up in Malaga, I have been playing padel for over 25 years, so I’m delighted to see it finally arrive in Manchester, where I now call home.
“It is important to me that everyone can enjoy this amazing sport, so it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, I am committed to helping you improve and have fun while doing it.”
Club de Padel will officially open its doors on Tuesday 19 December, with bookings open from 5 December for Padel+ members and general public bookings from 12 December.