The Manchester United Supporters Club in Malta is the oldest official United supporters club in the world.
Founded on 4th February 1959 – almost one year after the Munich air disaster – the club’s story is written into folklore, so launching our “Proper United Legends” series by sharing one of their greatest tales is an honour to say the least.
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Pick up the 3 Treble trophies at 5pm from the United museum; fly them from Manchester to Malta on a private jet for an event, then have them back at the United museum by 11am the next morning.
Joe Tedesco, current president of MUSC Malta (at the time a Committee member), was given the opportunity to travel on the jet with the sacred trio of trophies. It was a challenge he had to accept, despite being petrified of flying.
“A few weeks after we won the treble in ‘99, we started making arrangements with the club to bring the 3 trophies over to Malta,” says Joe, who celebrates 25 years as a Committee member on 1st January 2022.
“The first hurdle we had to overcome was that the trophies weren’t allowed to be outside of the United museum during opening hours – as so many fans wanted to see them in Manchester.”
“So once the museum closed, the plan was to transport them to a private jet at Manchester Airport, fly them to Malta, parade them at our event – and then fly them straight back to Manchester in time for the museum opening the next day.”
“It was a pipe dream, which we somehow got approved!”
The first major problem Joe and the team encountered was to do with the private jet they hired (a good start!)
“We thought the jet would be a fuel-only plane,” says Joe.
“Which would typically take around 4 hours to get to Malta and 4 hours to go back. But it turned out to be half-fuel, half-propellor, which ended up taking us 6 hours there and 6 hours back.”
“We had about 900 people waiting for us to arrive at one of the best venues in Malta, including David Beckham and Gary Neville, and of course we were late!”
But they pulled it off, and hundreds of reds queued at the Supporters Club in Malta until the early hours of the morning to get a photo with the 3 sacred trophies.
“It was one of the most amazing moments in my life,” says Joe. “One that will remain in our memories forever.”
“The photo of me (below) was taken at 4 in the morning, right before the trophies were put in the box ready to be flown back to the museum on a chartered flight.”
“I am on the left at the back and am the only person without a suit on with my shirt unbuttoned – after all the effort and work!”
There are more photos from Joe’s personal collection below, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the story, so leave us a comment and don’t forget to share this article with as many reds as possible.
We’d like to thank Joe Tedesco for sharing this incredible story with us, and ask you to give the Malta Supporters Club a follow on social media using the links below too.