Saturday 24 February 2018

Stormzy 'shut up' by trip to meet Manchester United stars

Stormzy is a big Manchester United fan
Stormzy is a big Manchester United fan

Stormzy may be one of the biggest artists in the UK right now, but the star-struck Manchester United fan 'Shut Up' when meeting his idols.

Hundreds of fans queued around the block to meet the grime star at Old Trafford on Thursday evening - a role reversal having spent the rest of the day walking around open-mouthed.

Stormzy, a self-professed 'Cockney Red', met the players before training in the morning, chatting with the likes of United captain Wayne Rooney and talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"I was trying to play it so cool," he told Press Association Sport. "I am just saying 'what's going on lads?'

"I didn't want to disturb their peace because I know they're going to train so didn't want to hit them with loads of questions.

"It was mad. I met the whole first-team - speaking to Wayne I was like 'oh my days!'"

Not even meeting the players calmed Stormzy down, admitting he was a "still a little bit star-struck" when making an impromptu stop during the launch of Michael Carrick's testimonial.

"I didn't even know what to say!" he said. "He is a top man.

"He invited me down, he knows I've got the album out, so he wanted to show his support.

"I am grateful for that. I am very thankful for that because he didn't have to do that.

"That is his time. He was announcing his testimonial, so, yeah, he didn't have to share this time with me."

Plenty want to spend their time with Stormzy right now, though.

Fresh from releasing his first album last week, Gang Signs and Prayer, the grime artist is riding the crest of a wave - and basking in the afterglow of United's EFL Cup triumph against Southampton last Sunday.

"Not a bad week!" he said. "It sounds a bit like a dream come true, innit?

"It has been a busy week for me, but I have been having a lot of fun. All positive things.

"I made time - I made the time! - to watch the final.

"I think the squad is finally gelling together. I think it is Jose (Mourinho) as well. I feel like when people were writing them off, I was thinking he is a world-class manager.

"I think confidence is a key thing. There is a confidence of 'we are United'. We're back, man."

Paul Pogba's high-profile summer arrival has certainly helped United's upturn - a world-record signing Stormzy played a key part in announcing.

Having done that and been so warmly welcomed by the club, what about one day playing at Old Trafford?

"No, you don't want to see me play," he said. "I am the worst"

Put to Stormzy he could perform here, instead he said with a smile: "Okay, okay, that's a lot different! That would be mad. That would be mad - sell-out Old Trafford one day."

There appears little chance of him getting too big for his boots any time soon...

Press Association

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