The Manchester United Women’s Barmy Army are the most fanatical supporters’ group in the FA Women’s Super League.
Since their formation in 2018, the loud and loyal group of followers have backed Casey Stoney’s side home and away in their numbers, playing their own unique part in United’s FA Women’s Championship title win last season and their push up the FA Women’s Super League this term.
After a brief hiatus, the FA Women’s Super League Full-Time team are back to profile another member of the group. This week, we speak with Deborah Henry, a key member of the Manchester United Barmy Army.
Name: Deborah Henry
Nickname: BA2, or any abbreviation of my name that isn’t Debbie – never call me that (I mean it!) and BA Mum, because I’m old and boring.
Age: A geriatric 40
So Debbie (had to do this), what is your role within the Manchester United Women’s Barmy Army?
As BA2, I support Nat (Burrell) in meetings and do a lot of background stuff that won’t get the focus but needs doing. Nat and I work closely, bouncing ideas off each other and working to find the best ways to push forward the Barmy Army. I contribute to the social media aspect and organise merchandise.
I know that we’ve seen you on camera as well, interviewing and being interviewed, hanging up flags, being part of the team that purchases them – many hats. Balancing Nat is an art and a full-time job in its own right. What do you do when you’re not watching Manchester United?
I’m a counsellor and hypnotherapist. I split my week between private practise and working with primary school kids. Probably not the kind of answer people expect from me if they’ve seen me lose my head at matches.
Maybe not, but think everyone that knows you within the Barmy Army knows that there is a maternal side to you – at least until the referee gives a decision against United. What are your favourite United chants or songs?
I have always loved the United Calypso and the ‘12 Days of Cantona’ at the appropriate time of year. For the women, ‘Turner and Turner’ tends to get stuck in my head the most.
What about your general taste in music?
I’ve got a pretty wide range of music that I like but the most commonly played stuff tends to be REM, Rolling Stones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Echobelly, Elbow, Stone Roses and The Pixies.
Lovely choices, fit to grace any playlist. Who is your favourite player?
For the women it’s Millie Turner. For the men it’s Eric Cantona.
Also both excellent choices. Time for my favourite set of questions. What are your favourite things to eat?
Pizza. Love the stuff, and it’s easily enhanced by a cheesy garlic bread. Hungry now….
I happen to have a few boxes of Pizza Hut in the fridge right now. Just saying. What are your drinks of choice?
Vimto, a Manchester classic but if you’re buying, I’ll have a vodka and orange and if I feel really grown up, make it a glass of Malbec. Thank you!
Vimto is a favourite of mine too, classic for an away day. Speaking of which, what are you having to eat when you’re on an away trip with the Manchester United Women?
Despite appearances I’m not one for burgers and most fast food. I tend to grab a bag of crisps and a sandwich or something else that is boring.
Now, now, nothing wrong with crisps and a sandwich. I may have to run a separate article to see what the Barmy Army thinks of crisps in a sandwich though! What do you think the players and Casey Stoney think of the Barmy Army?
Maybe at the start they couldn’t work out what we were all about but I think they now get that this is how we show our love and support.
Completely agree. How and why did you join the Barmy Army?
I joined so I could be a part of a good atmosphere. To me, this is what football is about. I wanted to do my small bit to show support to the team and also to have a good time myself.