One Manchester United fan is charging tourists £20 to take them to the pub with him before a game at Old Trafford and “show you where we go after” on a website that lets visitors “book unique football experiences” with local supporters.
— Stephen Howson (@MrStephenHowson) October 8, 2015
Superfan Stephen Howson promises on the Partner Fan website:
If you want the authentic matchday experience I can provide that. We’ll go to the pub pre-game and sing songs and also show you where we go after a match, too.
Howson himself indeed appears to also form part of the attraction, as one five-star reviewer on the apparently yet to launch website exclaims:
I’ve always dreamed of meeting him in person.
Claiming there were a “lot of misconceptions about Partner Fan”, Howson released a statement on Saturday entitled “Alright?”, in which he insists:
No one is forced to take on what’s being offered so no one is being taken advantage of.
Among the supporter’s other offerings are a £20 trip to the National Football Museum, for which admission is free; and the “chance to meet a Manchester United legend”, “such as Norman Whiteside or Bryan Robson”, that was listed for £1000 but has since been removed.
@Juan_8_ I know him, just nothing about what he's offering. As you know, it costs no more than £50 to have lunch with us on a boat! 😂
— Norman Whiteside (@NormanWhiteside) October 18, 2015