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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 15:28 GMT
It's all gone prong
A chip shop owner in Leeds has been forced to change the colour of his forks, because they remind local fans of Manchester United.

Mick Bailey, who runs a shop near Leeds' Elland Road ground noticed business was tailing off, but had no idea why.

Then he realised many of the customers he still had were choosing to use their hands rather than the red forks provided.

Mick, from Sheffield, realised the Manchester connection was putting people off and he has now switched to wooden forks at the United Fisheries shop.

"I kept putting out these boxes of plastic forks and on match days the white and yellow ones would go really quickly but the red ones were always left over," he explained.

I won't even eat tomato ketchup on match-days
Leeds fan Gareth Hemingway

"Basically they won't touch them because red is associated with Manchester United and they would rather eat with their fingers than pick one up.

"It's got to the point where I've had to throw all the red forks out and start using wooden chip forks because at least then they're a neutral colour. It's unbelievable."

Not according to Leeds fan Gareth Hemingway, who takes his dread of red even further.

Gareth, of Rawdon, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I won't even eat tomato ketchup on match-days so a red fork is out of the question."

Pity the poor person that asks him to post a letter for them on a Saturday.

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