Born, bred and educated in Manchester, Gerald qualified as a solicitor in 1976 having decided that life as an Automobile Association repairman was not really for him. Gerald founded Steel & Shamash solicitors in 1981, and has acted as solicitor to the Labour Party since 1990.
Gerald is recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the country in his areas of expertise which are:
He is recognised in the Legal 500, and by Chambers and Partners as amongst the Best of the UK (Band 1) within the category of Parliamentary & Public Affairs: Electoral Law.
He is the Labour Party's election lawyer. He acts for both the National Executive Committee and National Constitutional committee on disciplinary matters, and in giving general advice. He advises both national and local politicians on Standards in Parliament and local government. He has represented the Labour Party on parliamentary and local government boundary reviews, and at ministerial meetings and conferences.
His position as solicitor to the Labour Party, and the Society of Labour Lawyers, has closely involved Gerald with legislative reform of electoral law. In this capacity he meets regularly with Ministers and has contributed to a number of consultations, most recently in the development of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
He has also advised and represented members and officers of the Labour Party throughout the recent police investigation into 'Cash for Honours' and election funding.
Crucially, from a United point of view he has been a fan since he was 8 - how time flies! And if he hadn't become a lawyer he says he wouldn't have minded playing up front for United. His most used article of clothing is his United scarf.
Gerald was elected to serve as Chair of M.U.S.T. at the AGM in July 2012 and served through October 2021.
Everyone at MUST is heartbroken at the news that Ian Stirling, our much loved friend and colleague, has passed away.
Ian was a truly great man. Warm, compassionate, generous and funny. As his closest friends and family will confirm, no-one enjoyed a joke more than Ian, and there are few in our fanbase who have inspired such widespread affection and respect.
For many years he has been at the heart of championing fans' interests. He served as our Independent Supporter Liaison Officer directly helping countless fans in their dealings with the Club and other football authorities but his reach went far beyond that. He also served as our representative on the Fans Forum, making the supporters' case firmly and consistently. His stature with the club was such that in latter years he was asked to join the Fans Advisory Board where he spoke truth to power representing the interests of fans and our football club at the highest levels. It really is impossible to think of another United supporter who has done so much for his fellow fans.
Away from football Ian was a devoted husband and father and we send our love to his wife, Lynn, and his daughter, Lucy and his many friends in Salford and Manchester and all around the world.