Biggest Fan: Stacey Copeland, Manchester United

Emily Blasdell

The “Biggest Fan” series showcases some of St. Edward’s University’s biggest sports fans and the teams they support.

Stacey Copeland, a senior sociology major, left her home in Manchester, England, to come to St. Edward’s University when she was recruited for the women’s soccer team. She not only brought with her a great talent in soccer, but her passion for her hometown team, the Manchester United Red Devils.

Ever since Copeland could remember, she has been playing soccer, but it wasn’t until she was six years old, when her dad took her to her first Manchester United game that she realized her love for the Red Devils.

In her upbringing, Copeland said she was “raised the red way.” Just as soccer is such a big part of the European culture, Manchester United is a big part of her family. Copeland said she could remember being at her grandfather’s house watching fans fill the streets before games, waiting for the day when she would be old enough to go.

According to Copeland, Manchester United has a rich history. Copeland said they have had top players and legends on their team for over 100 years. They have won many great trophies and competitions, including the 1998-1999 European Cup. With only two minutes left in the game against Bayern Munich, Manchester United went from being down 1-0 to winning against 2-1, which is a rare outcome.

Last year, Copeland was able to go home during the European Cup when Manchester United won 6-5 on penalty kicks. She watched the game with the whole town on a big screen in the Manchester Arena.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere,” Copeland said. “Waiting for the last penalty kick was just awful though. You could feel everybody urging the ball to go into the back of the net.”

After the game, Copeland said everyone dances and sings in the streets chanting Manchester United cheers. Copeland said she loves how soccer brings everyone together.

“It was a little bit like New Years Eve, where you just run up to people you don’t even know and celebrate with them,” Copeland said. Here at St. Edward’s, Copeland keeps up with the Red Devils by watching them on ESPN, the Fox Soccer Channel and online.

Copeland says she was never one to wear the team jersey around, but she does sport her Manchester United T-shirt on game days. Copeland said she brings some Manchester United items from England that are not easy to get in the United States, like game day programs, for friends who are soccer and Manchester United fans.