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By your Nuges be known…

Submitted by on April 26, 2010 – 4:06 pmNo Comment

No city tattoo

Saturday was the end of our football season. That’s ok, there’s another one in a few months and frankly that last one was shit. Sadly for us though there will not be another Rob Nugent, who played his final game of FC United of Manchester at the weekend.

Robert Barnabus Nugent (Nuge) is a lifelong Manchester United fan, anti-Glazer protester and all round nice human being. He can play football too, which is probably why he turned out for FC United 170 times; a number only bettered by Simon Carden who is a 60 Benson a day freak of nature.

Nuge has been involved with FC United right from the start, which for most players means the Armitage Centre, Leigh or Leek. In Rob’s case ‘the start’ means being chased around M16 the night that our local constabulary joined forces with the Glazers to smash our final fruitless attempts to stop the takeover. He was there as one football club was given its last rites and again as another one arrived kicking and screaming into the world in 2005.

Amongst the couple of hundred that have worn our shirt, he is unique. His involvement in the protest and his Red heritage were always going to put him in good standing with us but it is his behaviour, his commitment to our on- and off-field cause and his utterly pleasant personality which mean that he should be regarded as an FC United hero. He’s not the only one but he is the stand-out one.

Last year Rob was one of the players presented with a commemorative cap for playing over 100 times for the Club. At Chorlton Irish Club that night he showed exactly why he is held in such high regard; whilst the rest of the team congregated by the bar drinking alco-pops, modelling sequin t-shirts and generally ignoring us fans, Nuge was sat amongst us with his mum, his dad Steve and his sister, happily signing autographs and talking to supporters. He wasn’t doing that because he is unpopular with his team-mates, far from it. He did it because he gets it; he understands what the club means because if he wasn’t talented enough to have played for us he would have been watching FC United from the stands, willing bad things to happen to Malcolm Glazer and planning weekends in ex-mining towns with his mates.

Nuge could be seen at most Club events doing exactly the same, taking his personal time to support FC United and mix with fans. On the pitch he had some bad games but on the whole he was an excellent player for us. In the run-up to his retirement he had some particularly awful games which meant you wouldn’t hear the word ‘Nugent’ without ‘fuckinghell’ before it. Recognising that, he showed his qualities by deciding to call it a day before he let his team and more importantly us down. From beginning to end he has been a truly class act.

FC United would be unspeakably poorer for not having Rob Nugent, which is why we should celebrate the fact that Rob intends to stay involved with the Club. Whatever it is that Nuge decides to do next he should know that he will be forever welcomed by those of us who saw him play or have been lucky enough to be in his company. Robert Nugent, thank you.

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