• Lifelong United fan to show off Claret Jug at Old Trafford
• Opening home fixture with Swansea the likely date
Manchester United will invite Rory McIlroy to parade the Claret Jug at Old Trafford after his victory at the Open on Sunday.
The lifelong United supporter will most likely show off the trophy at the club’s opening home game of the season, the visit of Swansea City on 16 August.
After claiming his third major – to follow the US Open and USPGA – at Hoylake, which is on the Wirral on Merseyside, McIlroy joked: “Even being a Manchester United fan I got great support this week and I want to thank everyone for that.”
The quip drew good natured boos from fans at the course. McIlroy can expect a raucous reception at Old Trafford.
On Tuesday McIlroy turned up to meet Northern Ireland’s political leaders minus the jug which he said needed cleaning after a night out celebrating. On Monday night the jug had taken pride of place on the table of a Belfast nightclub as McIlroy, 25, partied with friends.
It was nowhere to be seen as he stopped by for an informal chat with Northern Ireland’s first minister Peter Robinson and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.
“I am sorry I don’t have the Claret Jug, it’s not going everywhere with me,” he said. “It actually needs a bit of a clean after last night.
“It’s an amazing trophy and something that I am obviously very proud of and hopefully there are many more to come.”