Nick Pettitt's story
Mascot, ballboy and an encounter with a moose ...
The photo is of me as a 10-year-old mascot in the 1981/82 season – the first time United had had a ‘goalkeeper’ mascot. It was against Shrewsbury Town and I think we won 2-1. What a keeper Malcolm Webster was, and what a great day I had!
Some of us who went to Cherry Hinton Community School were lucky enough to be ballboys for the FA Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday in February 1983, which was recorded for Match of the Day. I was placed in front of the away fans. I thought I knew most swear words but I received an education that day. There was a pitch invasion at the end and my running talent surprised even me as I raced me to get away from the invading hordes of away fans.
After the game we went into the penalty area in front of the Corona Kop, to pick up all the coins that had aimed at the opposition keeper: a small fortune was made! Then that night we watched it all again on the telly: ‘Can you hear us on the box?’
On another occasion, Marvin the Moose was throwing sweets to the crowd and swung his arm back with a handful of sweets, knocking a ballboy about 10 feet backwards. I was that ballboy.