Carol Looker was a shining exemplar of this happy breed. Since seeing her first United match in 1970, she gave so much of her life to the black and amber cause that it’s a wonder she had time for anything else.
Every football club has a Carol, but few work so willingly, so patiently or so quietly – and for no more recompense than the occasional word of thanks.
Asked by husband Peter to attend the historic first Football League game against Lincoln in August 1970, she was bitten by the U’s bug. When she died in August last year, the only League grounds she hadn’t visited were those of Liverpool and Southampton – and that was purely because United hadn’t played there.
It was when sons Nick and Nigel were old enough that she was able to turn her attention to away games, and she soon became known as a driving force behind the away travel club.
Organising, raising vital money, volunteering in the club shop, selling tickets on the coach or inside the ground, serving on the CFU Trust Board, shaking collection buckets – the ways in which Carol gave are innumerable.
Her reward? Seeing the players and managers she supported – she numbered Ron Atkinson, Josh Coulson, Harry Darling, Dion Dublin, Harrison Dunk, Liam Hughes and two Taylors, Greg and John, as favourites – play and win.