Simply Eric                                      


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(c) 1997 Copyright (c) 1997 Agence France-Presse

BORDEAUX, France (May 18, 1997 - 15:02 EST) - Rolland Courbis, incoming coach at former European champions Olympique Marseille, said he believed Eric Cantona's decision to quit football Sunday was the correct one.

"The decision is typical of the man," Courbis told French television, admitting the news had not entirely surprised him.

"Unlike certain players, he is not waiting until he is past his peak to quit.

"He will not stick around for that one season too long, he is quitting at the top," said Courbis, currently with Bordeaux, but named Saturday as Marseille's new coach.

Cantona had a controversial one-year spell with Marseille in the late 1980s but was suspended indefinitely after kicking the ball into the crowd and throwing his shirt at a referee after being substituted.

Guy Roux, coach of Auxerre where Cantona started his professional career 1981, said he was "not sure" Cantona will quit.

"Big stars like to bring the curtain down several times. I am sure he will have a few encores, and I'm well used to surprises with Cantona, Roux said.

FForward 1992 - 97
      6ft 2"   13st 11 lbs
      b.Paris, France, 24 May 1966
      Debut v Norwich City (h) 12/12/92
     Auxerre / Bordeaux / Marseille / Montpelier
     Nimes (Sheff Wed trial)  (Leeds United loan Feb 92)
     Leeds       July 92
UNITED  Nov 92- May 97

Memories of Eric "I Wanna be Adored" ----------------------------------------------

Debut v City, gorgeous cross for Hughes after just five minutes.

Christmas fixture v Coventry, the only time I've gone to Old Trafford and not got in. Eric orchestrated a 5-0 massacre.

Spurs game a few weeks later, the most amazing flick for Denis Irwin to run onto and score.

Derby at Maine Road a few weeks later, rounded off a great move with a headed equaliser.

Norwich away, 3-1, one of the finest attacking performances I've ever seen, scored one and made one.

Palace, the game where we knew we'd won the league, he created both goals.

This is the one -----------------------

Southampton, glorious chip from outside the box.

Arsenal at home, free kick harder than anything Beckham could do.

Galatasary at home, saved the then unbeaten home record with 81 minute equaliser.

QPR at home, gets the bal in the centre circle, scores from just outside the area.

Galatasary away, has fight with ref, accuses him of cheating and gets sent off. Ref, Mr Rothlisberger of Switzerland, later found to have taken bribes in the past. Eric sees.

Erics best game? Half time at Maine Road, 2-0 down and Eric not had a sniff against City's three centre halves. Drops deep for the second half, inspires magnificent comeback with two goals, Keano scores late winner.

First game after Sir Matt's death against Everton, man of the match in cracking tribute.

Wimbledon 3-0 cup game.Volley from outside box to get the ball rolling in huge piss-take game.

Two goals in 5-0 demolition of Wednesday.

Two red cards, five game ban. Return from ban with two goals against City, the first being the best finish I've ever seen a player one on one on the goalie do.

Cup Final v Chelsea. Cool pair of penalties to get double.

Bye bye Badman ---------------------------

2-0 win against Newcastle, who at the time had a 100% record. Superb turn and pass to put in Irwin to miss sitter.

5-0 game against City. Ruled the Manc roost as ever, scored first and made 3.

Galatasaray at home. First sign of Eric as teacher, guides kids to 4-0 win, Beckham's first goal.

Sheff Utd in Cup, sublime chipped goal.

Blackburn, late winning header to open up championship, last goal before...

Crystal Palace. Kicked the Cockney shite.

United conned by the FA.


I am the resurrection --------------------------------

First minute assist and equalising penalty, followed by climbing post behind goal. Eric's back.

Chelsea away, first game with 4-3-3. Ran the show from new deeper position in 4-1 win.

Sheff Wednesday at home, first goals from open play since comeback and first indication of what was to come.

Newcastle 2-0 win, great team performance, the fightback begins here.

West Ham away, unbelievable finish form about five degree angle. Start of amazing sequence.

City Cup game, scored penalty as Alan Wilkie paid us back for that night at Selhurst.

Newcastle at St James'. The moment of belief.

QPR away, late late equaliser.

Arsenal amd Spurs at home, two games, two amazing winners.

City away, another derby, another goal. Total of 8 goals in 7 derbies, they'll be gald to see the back of him. Or at least they will if they ever get to play us again.

Coventry, tap in winner for 12th goal in 15 games.

Liverpool at Wembley, Eric in the D.

Don't Stop. -----------------

Late fourth and parade in front of Scum kop after first missed penalty in The Red Shirt.

Seals victory at Fenerbahce with tap in from Cruyff assist(!)

Next goal seals victory in Vienna.

Answers critics against Sunderalnd with goal of the season, Beats three men, plays one two with Choccy and chips Perez into top corner.

At Forest, outrageous juggling and lob hits bar, simple Ole header following in.

Winning penalty against Leeds.

Late winner against Saints.

First hint that Eric may no longer be be all and end all, victory at Arsenal as Andy and Ole hit it off from the start.

4-0 v Porto. Eric at the heart of the great European performance we'd waited for.

Derby, great goal to give hope in eventual 3-2 defeat.

Blackburn away, missed 2nd penalty but scored great winner in 3-2 win for last competitive goal.

Middlesborough 3-3 draw, creates first goal for big Eric fan Gary Neville.

West Ham home, farewell with lifting trophy.

These are obviously just a few and can't include all the moments of pleasure Eric gave us, from the flicks to the looks of death at officials.

Eric stats:
           Games Goals        League       Cup
92/93      23        10            22/9            1/0
93/94      48        25            34/18        14/7
94/95      24        13            21/12          3/1
95/96      38        19            30/14          8/5
96/97      49        14            36/11        13/3
Total   182   80      143/64     39/16

"Thanks for everything Eric. See you around?"

A tribute from the mailing list by Tim Emanuel <temanuel@PW001.PROWEB.CO.UK>


From: Paul Busby
Subject: My brief tribute to Eric      
My personal tribute.
On Thursday, 27 November 1992, Cantona signed for United. That night, I gave the news to my father who was clinging to life in a Manchester hospital. I told him that with Eric, we would finally win the league after our 26 year wait. Those were the last words I ever spoke to my father. Later that night, he died.
Eric kept my promise, not once but four times.
Thank you Eric.
Paul Busby Manchester, England paulb@pitman.u-net,com

Just like in the early part of 1963, Manchester United in November 1992
were a very good side waiting to become a great one.
In 1963 a player called Pat Crerand arrived to complete the jigsaw,
in 1992 it was one Eric Cantona.

Prior to Cantona s arrival Manchester United were nothing more than a collection of very good players who had not combined together as a complete unit. They were like an orchestra of gifted musicians, each playing a different piece of music, in some cases music of their own composition. It was Cantona s vision, Cantona as the conductor who made all the players play the same tune.

As a player Eric Cantona was gifted by the Gods. He had all of the attributes with one exception, he could not tackle. Indeed I have noticed that, since his problems with the Authorities of a couple of years ago, Eric has stopped tackling altogether. But this apparent deficiency is but nothing when compared to the qualities the man possessed. He could control a ball, at speed and with any part of his body. He could score with both his head and his feet. Indeed his shooting is the equal of anything I have seen at Old Trafford and when you consider that I have seen both Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton at their best then you realise that Cantona was truly great


Above all his talents, though, was vision . He had the, almost surreal, ability to know where every player was on the field, without looking. He would suddenly turn and pass, over, say, forty yards, to a colleague that one would swear it was impossible for him to have seen. Yet he did it.

Another side of Eric Cantona which is often missed is the thoughtfulness and compassion of the man. He has been the captain of Manchester United for the last couple of years and during that time I have watched him repeatedly encouraging his team mates, be they seasoned professionals going through a temporary bad patch, or young boys new to the first team and eager to impress. I believe that it is altogether possible that his commitment to his role as the captain has had a small detrimental effect on his own playing contribution; I do not, though, offer that as a criticism in any way.

The premature retirement of Eric Cantona is a sad blow to everybody connected with Manchester United, be they an official, a player or a mere supporter like myself. Not since the days of Denis Law has any single player been the subject of such hero worship and idolatry. Like Law he was his own man; he did things his way or not at all. Like Law he was a tempestuous, occasionally violent, person. And like Law he was a genius and I loved him.

I have been watching Manchester United for over forty years and in that time I have been fortunate enough to see some of the greatest players of all time play in the beloved Red shirt; I number Eric Cantona amongst the best. As a mere supporter I can offer Cantona very little, other that is, than my thanks for what he has done for Manchester United and what he has given to me by way of his contribution as a player. I maintain my own best-ever Manchester United team, it includes players from five decades. Eric Cantona is in that team and that is the highest praise that I can give to the man.

May he go on from strength to strength, he is a truly great man.

Peter Hargreaves Manchester, England May 1997
(United Kingdom)

Subject: Eric Cantona - A small tribute
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 21:11:26 +0200

Do you remember where you were on that November afternoon in 1992? When you heard? I do. I was having a kip after dinner, lazy s*d that I am, and on waking up my Dad told me: United have signed that Frenchman from Leeds. I yelped 'Eric Cantona???' and promptly fell from the sofa onto the floor. 'How much?' 1.2 million pounds was the answer. 'Er, Dad? Are you sure it was *one* not *five*???

Even if at that moment, I knew that something special had happened, but even in my *wildest* dreams, I couldn't have foreseen the next four and a half years.

Today is Whitsun, on which day Christians celebrate the rising of Jesus from Earth to the heavens. Not being religious myself, for me, from now on, Whitsun will always be the day that Eric left us. When, at 15:04 GMT, watching Juventus - Parma, the commentator read the news from Reuters, and the world changed.

Eric being who he is, may change his mind, but I do applaud him for having the courage of his convictions (not that he has *ever* lacked that) and retire at the top of his game.

We may get a replacement, may even win the European Cup, but for those of us who suffered the barren years, and then witnessed the coming of Le Dieu, Eric Cantona will always be our Saviour.

What a friend we have in Jesus, he's a saviour from afar. What a friend we have in Jesus, and his name is *Cantona*

Thanks for the memories, thanks for the triumphs, thanks for the brilliance, thanks for the fighting spirit, thanks for being *UNITED* through and through..

Have a good life, we will never forget.
Bjorn Bjvrn Fripgeir Bjvrnsson


He runs, he jumps, he shoots, he scores,
controversial, yet brilliant he defies the laws
of this great game called football played over the earth.
He's the greatest player ever to set foot on the turf.

Number seven on his back he's really the best,
he plays for United, now that's quite a test.
Other players are scared and really quite dread
marking "King Eric", he leaves them for dead.

Now early '95, he caused so much trouble,
he was sent from the field and then burst his bubble.
Abuse was shouted from an opposing fan,
so Eric Cantona, he kicked that man.

He flung himself over the fence,
his feet went first, his body was tense.
Connection was good, ever so sweet,
the journalists now were in for a treat.

His size ten boot hit the man very hard,
he was facing more now than just the red card.
To the judiciary he went, the outcome he knew,
guilty for sure, maybe banned for a few.

"Ban him for life," was shouted by some,
"No" was replied, "Just fine him a sum."
Surely Eric was starting to fret,
What he did, I'm sure he regrets.

Ousted from the game for half of a year,
many supporters shed many a tear.
The game would miss him ever so much
That shot, that feint, that brilliant first touch.

Back again for the season's campaign,
Playing with United, number seven again.
He plays to win and win at all cost,
In the big games there will be no love lost.

A genius at work is a great thing to see,
So make sure your watching the game on TV.
When "King Eric" is playing there's no better sight,
The greatest player ever. You know I'm right.

Nick Coppack

Eric's Career Page  

"What A Friend We Have In Jesus"
What a friend we have in Jesus............he`s a saviour from afar
What a friend we have in Jesus.........and his name is Cantona....
Ooh Aah Cantona,Ooh Aah Cantona
Ooh Aah, Ooh Aah, Ooh Aah Cantona....
Ooh Aah Cantona.......

"Eric The King"
We`ll drink and drink and drink
To Eric the King the King the King
He`s the leader of our football team
He`s the greatest French Footballer that the world has ever seen....