Much thanks to my dedicated dad my brother and I grew up embrasing the madness that is football
My dad would spend endless hours watching the mighty reds and their opponents and scroll through text tv to catch up with all football related news. At the end of the season he would buy us merchandise and the resume from the season before so we could watch it all again.
Our weekends would revolve around football and still does to a less extent. I think that most commited football fans would agree with me if I say that once the season finish or whenever the players go on national breaks you find yourself feeling empty, confused and slightly restless.
Even up until this day my sweet granny will rescudele the time of her yearly christmas dinner if my dad happen to mention that United is on tele.
As a little girl I was dreaming of making is as a footballer and to wear the famous red shirt.
When you are a kid you believe that nothing is impossible and that's just what I did, surely if I was good enough they would let me play even if I was a girl!?
Soon I realised that I had to give up my dream and to make up for my loss I decided to become a season ticket holder at Old Trafford once I was old enough to travel on my own
Not long before I went on my great adventure I played football for my local team
I started out as one of three girls of similar age playing with the boys. Because of the lack of interest and children in my hometown there were no established girls team at the time.
As the years went by kids would come and go and once we reached the end of youth football at the age of 18 I was the last remaining girl among the boys. My dad who was the coach made me a centre midfielder and on a few occassions I would wear the armband. I felt such commitment and dedication towards my teammates and local club that I had promply declined several requests from girls teams in my surroundings.
I was devasted after I had played my last game and were forced to quit playing with the boys. Most of my team mates would go on to train with the seniors but unfortunately none of them continued to play. And as for me, I tried to keep it up by joining a ladies team but I never really liked it. I never adjusted to the different style of playing and the misjudged comments and odd looks that used to fuel me were replaced by encouraging cheers.
So as I moved to Manchester to live my dream I felt as if I had found a way to compensate for the dream I had to give up.
When I moved back to London in 2015 I came across this website for everyone interested in a game of football. The first few times I was a bit anxious as I felt that I had to prove myself worthy to these guys. I soon made some friends and the game soon became the highlight of my week.
Even if the rain was pouring down I would happily wake up early and make the long journey every Saturday morning to spend two hours playing with these guys.
I often left the games feeling frustrated because I didn't have the same abbilities or advantages as men do. New players especially would often give me a odd look or say something sarcastic behind my back until I proved that I didn't expect special treatment.
Just because I was girl I had the feeling that I wasn't taken seriously. Just as I wouldn't wear the Manchester United shirt that my parents got me after United had battled themselves to the treble in 99. The shirt had Beckham on the back and had been ordered from the supporters club. I thought Beckham was a fantastic player at the time but I didn't dare to wear it as much as I didn't want to be confused for a girl that simply liked him for his looks. I can reveal that the day Beckham returned to Old Trafford to play against United wearing a Milan jersey I cried like a girl, just as I do every time I see a tribute video of Roy Keanes career with United.
London is like no other city. People come from all over the world to strive for greatness. There are endless possibilites and opportunities to new experiences for those who dare to dream
Today I am grateful for this picture and for the guys in it, they are all fantastic people and players.
I think I counted to 12 different nationalities in this picture, all brought together for the love of the game.
Frank said to me at my last game that when he played against me for the first time he was holding back until I said
''don't go easy on me because I am a girl', tackle me just as hard''
Picture taken after a game against another team