SALE football enthusiast, Victor Black admits to being a secret cricket fan although he has Manchester United etched on his heart.

He can remember loving football from the age of seven in 1952 and recalls the derby that year.

“United had just won the championship so I was very disappointed when City won, he said.

When he was at Chorlton Grammar School in 1963, his teachers encouraged him and eleven other pupils to take the referee examinations. He ended up refereeing for 20 years. He has also been a steward at Manchester United and holds a special membership ticket.

The only time he can recall the season being interrupted was in 1963 when bad weather disrupted play.

So when lockdown came, he found it difficult to face three months without his favourite game.

“I read, gardened, spring cleaned and walked,” he said.

He was delighted that the League had decided to play the rest of the season’s games on television albeit without any fans.

He said: “I saw most of City’s match with Arsenal and some of Aston Villa v Sheffield United.. City were very good. Audrey put her head round the door and said how quiet it was. It was surreal

“It is almost a done deal that Liverpool will win the League.”

Victor has no strong feelings about whether crowd sounds should be introduced.

He was sorry that, within one week of each other Tony Dunne of Manchester United and Glyn Pardoe of City had died.

“I met Tony a couple of times. He was a very fast player.”

He was impressed with Marcus Rashford both on and off the pitch.

“He is a fast and direct player, said Victor.

Although he never had free school meals, himself, Victor is pleased that those in need will receive them.

“I just worry about how much it will cost the country,” he said.

Victor said: “I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the Manchester United matches but I’ll also see parts of other matches, too.”.