Welcome back to another edition of ‘Local Musicians vent about/get nostalgic about football’. (Ok, we may need to work on that title, it’s as shocking as the average Mario Balotelli slide-tackle). This week, I caught up with Decky McKay; Young Aviator, Manchester United fan and Irishman, to find out the craic…
Hello Decky! Please introduce yourself to everybody.
Hello Everyone! My name is Decky McKay, and I am the frontman and guitarist of ‘Young Aviators’. We are an Irish three-piece garage pop band now based in Glasgow, we have our debut single ‘The Question Is’ set for release with Electric Honey in May, and we are available to play weddings and bar mitzvahs in your area.
You follow Manchester United, Alex Ferguson’s famous Red Devils: How long have you been a fan? Who talked you into it?
I’ve been a Man Utd fan since I was born (which coincidentally was two months after Alex Ferguson was appointed manager in 1986). My dad played for the ‘Man Utd Groundstaff’ team when he lived in Manchester in the 70s/80s, so I had no choice. He loved the club for what they stood for: Youth, history, and attacking football…as soon as I was old enough to wear the jersey I had it on in the park, running around thinking I was David Beckham.
If we were playing a spot of football (jumpers for goalposts – home before teatime) at Kelvingrove, and I picked you for my team, what could I expect?
Some fairly awful tackling, some pseudo-silky skills, the odd decent Scholes-esque pass…but mainly, filthy tackling.
Who is your favourite United player, past and present? And who is your least favourite player to have performed in the Theatre of Dreams?
Without a shadow of a doubt. The man. The legend. Roy Keane. As my friends all know, I am a massive Keano fan and he can do no wrong in my eyes (excluding the old Alfie Haaland leg snapping thing – but we don’t talk about that). I loved the fact the captain of my team was Irish, the fact he took no grief from anyone, his tackling, his feud with Vieira and the fact he seemed to say exactly what most Man Utd fans were thinking rather than the usual tiresome post match rhetoric most footballers spew.
Least favourite player? Mmmh, theres been so many. Mark Bosnich was pretty awful. I’m not a big fan of Rooney to be honest, he’s kind of like Ronaldo when he was at Man Utd, I liked him because he scored lots of goals for us… but was clearly an awful human being. Rooney just seems really stupid, and the fact he shags Grannies and cheats on his pregnant wife and gets paid more in a week than I will ever earn makes him even more despicable.
A damn fine player he is though. Antonio Valencia has returned to full fitness and is having a pretty damn positive impact on the pitch. How important a player is he?
He’s a massive player for us. He’s a proper old style winger! Fast, strong and no diving. Have you noticed he never smiles? It’s quite scary. A very stoic man.
And what about Paul Scholes – a masterstroke by Fergie bringing him back it would appear, but who would you want to see filling his role in the future? He can’t last forever… or can he?
A Fergie masterstroke and no mistake! Central midfield is the most important position on the pitch, and when he left we just didn’t have anyone with enough balls or skill to command that area. Carrick is an ok bit-player, but he’s not going to run the show like Scholes. I like Tom Cleverley, he struck up a good role with Anderson at the start of the season, but has been plagued with injury, hopefully it hasn’t stuttered his progress too much.
Wayne Rooney does not need a quarter of a million a week, he’d be happy with a tyre on a rope.
What was your favourite moment as a Man United fan?
Well the treble of 1999 is the obvious choice really. The Champions League Final in particular was a massive moment. After watching the ‘Fergie Fledglings’ get turned over in Europe every year during the 90′s, usually in the quarters or semi-finals, it was such a feeling of joy to finally win it! It was like something out of a film, to get two goals in the dying minutes, (classic Man U as we all know) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham from Beckham corners! The pub I was in erupted into hysteria! Clive Tyldesley’s words still ring in my mind “can Manchester United Score? They always score!”.
That was some year for United. I remember (as well as the Nou Camp triumph) the semi with Juventus – a blinding match, with the man himself Keano starting the comeback with a rare goal. Cole and Yorke were a formidable partnership as well. Not even Pippo Inzaghi with his goal-poaching omnipresence could stop United in 99.
Juan Sebastian Veron – discuss.
Wow, what a massive waste of money!! He just didn’t adapt to the pace and aggression of the Premier League I think. He is a great player, but couldn’t seem to deal with not having a lot of time on the ball. He did alright for us in Europe before he got injured though. I remember Fergie’s outburst at the media’s constant questioning of his arrival to Old Trafford more than anything Veron did on the pitch, which kind of says it all.
At least you had Chelsea willing to buy him off you! Ok, describe the following in one word:
You play in Young Aviators, do you think musicians have a special relationship with their football teams? Is there any special relationship?
I’ve often thought being in a band is like being in a football team. There area lot of comparisons, team work, togetherness, practice, performance. You win together and loose together etc etc. I’m not sure that would qualify it to be a ‘special relationship’, which to me sounds a bit creepy almost.
Now that you mention it, that was a creepy way of phrasing it. Do you make it down south to watch many games?
Not as much as I’d like. The last game I went to was against Chelsea last season, the game that won us the league, we won 2-1. We were late into the stadium by a few seconds and almost missed Hernandez’s goal! I think football games are way too expensive also, you think of the cross section of society who go to football games, and they ain’t going to have a lot of cash, so the £50 to watch a game of footie is scandalous….as are footballers’ wages…. Wayne Rooney does not need a quarter of a million a week, he’d be happy with a tyre on a rope.
Scottish Football is in a bit of a messy state, with teams teetering on the financial brink, the national team nowhere near qualifying for a major tournament, and our clubs no longer a force in Europe at all – getting knocked out by a diddy Slovakian teams and a dodgy Swiss team this year. What would your recommendations be to the SFA – how do we sort this fucking mess?!
I disagree. I think – bar England – Scotland has the most promising Team in the UK, they were very unlucky not to win the Carling Home Nations cup in Dublin, and also unlucky not to get to the Euro’s in Poland. There’s also a lot of young talent emerging (as the under 21 team has shown), and the senior team have a lot of good players Naismith, Brown, McGregor, Forrest etc. So it’s not all doom and gloom.
As for the future, they desperately need to invest in decent youth academies, and maybe there needs to be an attitude change. As we’re seeing in England, everyone’s trying to copy the Spanish national youth system, Scotland would do better trying to follow some of the German youth systems approaches to player development at a grass roots level, as there are more climatic similarities and a similar physicality in the domestic league.
You’re heading to Poland to follow the Republic on their quest for European glory this summer. Are you excited? How do you see your chances?
If we win our first game against Croatia then we have a small chance, and I stress the word ‘small’. I’m very excited; Ireland’s full of Polish people so I’m sure they’ll give us a warm welcome.
Finally, what are Young Aviators plans for the summer and beyond?
We have our debut single coming out in May as I said, apart from that we have a couple of festivals in England (Godney Gathering, and Y-Not) and extensive touring of Scotland hopefully.