BUSHMILLS man Karl Smith scored a night to remember last week when he netted an evening with his Manchester United heroes.
Karl - along with partner Cathy McColgan and eight pals from Coleraine - were guests at the Red Devil’s end of season awards bash at Old Trafford.
The United-loving gang enjoyed a slap-up meal ahead of the presentations before rubbing shoulders with stars such as Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Northern Ireland ace Jonny Evans.
They also spent time with legends or yesteryear including Sir Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson.
“It was Cathy’s brother Daren’s idea,” Karl, who has followed United all his life, told the Times.
“Daren is a season ticket holder and at the start of the season we agreed to put our names down for a table at the end of season awards.
“A couple of months ago we got a call from the club to say the table was ours which was fantastic.
“It was a superb evening, a real night to remember.
“We were sat just yards from all the players during the night and got talking to most of them.
“Sir Bobby and Bryan Robson were a class apart though. Both were real gentlemen.
“As die-hard United fans it was the experience of a lifetime for all of us.”
As well as the cream of football talent, a number of celebrities were also at the dinner including DJ Scott Mills and stars of Coronation Street.
Karl said despite the awards taking place the night after United’s noisy neighbours sealed the league title - only the third in their history compared to the Reds’ 19 - the atmosphere was upbeat throughout the evening.
“As Fergie said on the night what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” said Karl.
“We will be back bigger and better next season.”
Karl is held in high esteem in local football circles with a goal tally which Rooney himself would be proud of.
And despite hitting the big 40 on his last birthday, Karl is showing no signs of slowing down.
The pint-sized forward signed off this season with 20 goals as he fired his current team to the top of the league.
Whether or not he revealed the name of his club to any of the United players is still a mystery - Liverpool Supporters Club.