'I moved to Salford from Singapore so I could watch more Manchester United games'

-Credit: (Image: Lee McLean / SWNS)
-Credit: (Image: Lee McLean / SWNS)

A United mad football fan has travelled thousands of miles across the world and moved to Salford to be nearer to his beloved Reds. Dilshan Sohi, 24, would wake up in the early hours of the morning in his native Singapore to watch Manchester United games, but he has now gone one better.

After his first visit to Old Trafford in 2016, he moved to the UK for his studies and after graduating has now lives in Salford so he can easily get to games. Dilshan has spent a small fortune on tickets to get into the ground, but says he loved every minute of it.

And he was at Wembley for United's FA Cup triumph over their city rivals. Dilshan said: "It [the FA Cup final] was absolutely unreal.

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"It was my first time in Wembley and I had to pay just under £500 for my ticket. I was thinking twice about it, but then I decided no, if I don’t go for the biggest game of our season and support the boys, then why did I move my whole life over here?

"When the final whistle blew, the whole season flashed before my eyes. I remember getting splashed by a passing car in the bleak midwinter when I was walking in the dark to the Chelsea game, and now seeing my team win in the Wembley sun - what journey it’s been."

Dilshan moved to Coventry for the final year of his international business management degree and to follow his boyhood club. After graduating in 2023, he moved to Salford to be nearer to Old Trafford and has attended 17 games this season - often paying over the odds for tickets to secure a spot in the crowd. Dilshan became obsessed with all things United from an early age after seeing his dad watching them on TV.

Dilshan Sohi and a friend at a game -Credit:Dilshan Sohi / SWNS
Dilshan Sohi and a friend at a game -Credit:Dilshan Sohi / SWNS

He said: "He left the telly on one day when he went to work and it was on MUTV. I must have been like five or six and then I kept supporting them.

"It was crazy times. My dad would let me wake up at like 4am for games but usually it was between 4am and 6am [when they were on].

"Because I'm from Singapore, I had to serve in the army as well, so I'd come home from the army and stay up to watch games. It was the worst when it was the middle of the night at like 1am.

"I think what got us hooked perhaps was the double in 2008 - I remember watching the game at 4am and by 7am the newspapers in Singapore had it printed on the back page." Dilshan saw United in the flesh for the first time in 2016 when Louis Van Gaal was manager, unfortunately watching a 0-0 draw.

And when he moved to the UK for his studies, Dilshan used the opportunity to watch more United games live. He said: "I did international business management in Coventry and did my last year there.

"I would travel up from Coventry to Manchester for games and I remember one time we couldn't make the last bus back to Coventry so we stayed overnight in the bus terminal and then got the first train back at five in the morning. This season I've been to 13 Premier League games out of the possible 19 home games and then one League Cup game, one FA Cup and two Champions League group games.

"The waitlist is so long for a season ticket so I usually try and get tickets through a second-hand reseller, which usually means overpaying for them."

But for Dilshan, it hasn't all been smooth-sailing, as apart the FA Cup final win, he almost debated heading back home due to United's poor form in the Premier League last season. He said: "I'm staying in Manchester for another year at least, just for the football.

"I was saying I'd see how we perform next season and then decide if I should move back or not. But that’s so typical of this football club, every time I think 'that’s enough, I've had enough, I’m done, I’m leaving' they do something like that and pull me right back into it. It's just life I suppose."