JIMMY LAWSON looked forward to Town’s first trip to Old Trafford in 39 years and told the team of 2011: “You’ll love playing there.”
The former Leeds Road favourite was a member of the last Town line-up to visit Manchester United’s world famous home in March 1972.
Lawson and Co lost 2-0 to goals by George Best and Ian Storey-Moore with 53,581 looking on, but the season before drew 1-1 with Bobby Hoy netting in front of 45,306 (Best scored for United).
Town also faced Stoke in an FA Cup fourth round second replay at the venue in 1970-71, going down 1-0 after a 3-3 draw at the Victoria Ground and a goalless stalemate at Leeds Road.
“Old Trafford was a fantastic place in our day, and from what I see on television, it’s got even better,” said Lawson, who at 63, still lives in Huddersfield and works as a salesman for a fork-lift truck company.
“Manchester United always had an aura about them and their ground does too, because it is one of those venues you dream of playing at.
“Along with Liverpool and Leeds, it was the game you looked out for when the fixtures were announced.
“When you run out at Old Trafford and see and hear the crowd, it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, and it will be the same for the players on Sunday.
“With it being such a short trip, we took thousands of fans with us back in the early seventies, and I can still remember the ‘Hudd-ers-field’ chant ringing out.
“It seemed like they were outsinging the Stretford End, which gave us a tremendous lift, and I know the supporters will do their bit at the play-off final.