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Man down John Aldridge recalls the day he was attacked by Man United mob who threw him in front of bus

A teenage Aldridge visited 'enemy territory' to watch his beloved Liverpool take on old enemy United in a match in the mid-1970s when he was set upon by an angry mob.


John Aldridge. Photo: Sportsfile

John Aldridge. Photo: Sportsfile

John Aldridge. Photo: Sportsfile

JOHN Aldridge has opened up for the first time about a brutal attack inflicted on him by a gang of Manchester United fans who threw him in front of a bus outside Old Trafford.

A teenage Aldridge visited 'enemy territory' to watch his beloved Liverpool take on old enemy United in a match in the mid-1970s when he was set upon by an angry mob.

With football hooliganism in England at its height, fighting between rival fans was common place and this was an occasion when Aldridge admits his life was put on the line.

"I used to follow Liverpool home and away and you would see fights most weeks back then," he told the Sunday World, ahead of the latest instalment of Liverpool's latest trip to face United at Old Trafford in a top of the table clash this afternoon.

"Rivalry is still there in football now and especially between Liverpool and United, but it was tribal in those days and you needed to be sensible to avoid getting yourself into trouble.


"As a Liverpool fan going to Old Trafford, you had to make sure you were not detached from the rest of the away fans, but that's what happened to me on this occasion.

"A bunch of United fans got hold of me and gave me a good beating before the match. It was pretty scary stuff, but things got worse when they threw me in front of a bus.

"Thankfully, the bus wasn't moving too fast and I managed to get up after I was hit and got away from them, but I was shaken up, as you would expect.

"It could have been a much more serious situation if I had got under the bus or worse.

"When you are young, you try and brush these things off and I actually still went into the ground and watched the game, but I've never forgotten how bad that situation could have turned out for me."

Aldridge's Old Trafford nightmare did not end there, as trouble after the game saw him thrust into the line of fire once again.

"I remember a few of us decided to leave the game a few minutes early to try and avoid after of the aggro that would happen after the game with United fans," he recalls.

"As we headed out of the stadium, it was clear that our plan was not going to work as there were at least 100 United fans waiting to have a go at us outside of the away fans exits.

"The police were there, so we thought we would be protected by them as they marched us up the road and seemed to be on our side.

"The United fans were still taunting us when the police turned around to us and said: 'Run for your lives Scousers'.

"Luckily, I had a bit of pace in my legs and I managed to get over some railway tracks and escape the mob of United fans that were chasing us, but some of the Liverpool fans were not so lucky."

Aldridge went on to enjoy a glorious football career with Newport County, Oxford United, Liverpool, Real Sociedad and Tranmere, scorning over 400 goals in a career that also saw him play 69 times for the Republic of Ireland.

Yet the memories of his brush with disaster at Old Trafford have never left him as he added: "It was a pretty scary experience all round and something like that leaves a lasting scar in your memory."

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