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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
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The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

The Dennis Viollet Fund

Date: Sat Aug 29 03:40:56 GMT+00:00 1998
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

Daily RED Trivia  SATURDAY 29th August:

1908: United win the first ever Charity Shield, beating Queens Park Rangers 4-0
at Stamford Bridge in a replay watched by 6,000. Jack Turnbull 3 and George
Wall scored the goals. Team was: Moger, Stacey, Burgess, Duckworth, Roberts,
Bell, Meredith, Bannister, J.Turnbull, Picken, Wall.

1956: Viv Anderson was born in Nottingham. Anderson made his debut for United
against Southampton in August 1987, and made 68 appearances (3 goals) between
1987-91. Earlier in his career he won League Championship, European Cup and 2
League Cup winners medals with Nottingham Forest.  The combative Full-back won
30 caps for England. 

Next 4 games: 
Index: http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899z.htm
Wed  9/9 Charlton  (H) PL   Wed 16/9 Barcelona (H) CL  
Sat 12/9 Coventry  (H) PL   Sat 20/9 Arsenal   (A) PL

This Issue:
1. Choked  Billy's Trip To Old Trafford, Tuesday 18th August.
2. Becks (D.Mail)
4. Great Dane, the King stopper of Europe
5. Sunny and Stam : I Got you Babe


Editor Barry.

From: Billy Read Subject: Choked Billy's Trip To Old Trafford, Tuesday 18th August. Billy's Trip To Old Trafford, Tuesday 18th August. Looking back, it was a trip of a lifetime. I've been to not a great deal of United matches, but of the few I have seen, this was the greatest occasion - possibly not the greatest match but undoubtedly the greatest occasion. It all started back at the turn of the year when I applied and received a pair of tickets for the Munich Testimonial match versus Eric Cantona's European XI. It turned out the original February date was postponed which was a blessing for me as it turned out I would have missed it. So August 18th beckoned and I combined it with a trip to see my Dad who lives on the other side of the country from Manchester, but as I was coming 500 miles down from northern Scotland it was merely a diversion. Tuesday morning arrived and off to Manchester we went. The journey for me flew by, with my mind elsewhere - the return of King Eric wasn't a match to take lightly combined with the tribute to the Babes. I was born 10 years after Munich so all I know about it was what I've read about and heard from others but I think any United fan with a genuine loyalty to our club would find it hard not to hurt from the Munich crash. But as much as I feel sadness for Munich it is equalled with the pride I feel for Eric. Sure I was sad when he left and I still am, but for what he did for our club and for the success which came with him I have nothing but happy memories. He was without doubt the best player I've ever seen and for me the epitomy of Manchester United - larger than life, gifted, adored by the fans, hated by our opponents (but admired in a back handed complimentary sort of way), influential, the best of his kind, with a presence unequalled in the 25 years I've been watching football. So after being dropped off on Sir Matt Busby Way at 2pm - my Dad had to visit one of his work's sites nearby - I proceeded to mull around the ground and soak in the atmosphere and sunrays of that glorious afternoon. After mosying round the Megastore and Superstore I bought some food from the vans assembled round the ground and scoffed an ice cream. The forecourt was busy all afternoon and by the time the players arrived around 4pm it was getting pretty crowded. One by one they arrived and some would take the time to sign autographs to the screams of fans but others would just jump out their cars and walk into the stadium, to the boos of the fans - Andy Cole, Denis Irwin and Roy Keane were the culprits whilst Jordi, Rai, Teddy, Superstar, Giggsy and The Ginger Prince took time to sign some shirts and programmes etc. The real stars of the show were St. Alex of Govan himself and Becks. The two of them took about half an hour going round everyone signing anything that was stuck under their noses. A couple of the wee kids were caught up in the crush against the barriers so they were lifted inside the cordoned off area by security and Becks' then went over to sign their possessions and have a chat with them, which I thought was a cracking thing to do. I'll remember that old crush routine next time I'm at OT.......... It was gone 5 O'clock by now so I made my way towards the Throstles Nest in the off chance there may be some listers hanging around - I wasn't to be disappointed. Upon my arrival I spotted Alan Dobson (who else?) hanging round the bar with his girl and after ordering a pint I made my introductions. With him was someone who's face I'd seen on the listpics but I thought surely it couldn't have been - but it was, Webmaster Barry Leeming himself. Paul 'statsman' Hinson and Neil Sharp (hi guys, good to have met you) were there also and the following hour was spent in pleasant company chatting about all things United. It seemed to fly by but I was glad I'd taken the chance. Pete Hargreaves showed up with his Dad, Hal, and I spent some time 'getting the crack' with Pete. I'm glad I saw Pete as he said some wise words about Eric and his contribution to Manchester United which I was pleased to hear. I'd considered him to have been the greatest player I'd seen play for our club but to hear similar sentiment from someone who'd been through the sixties and I guess before (sorry Pete!) it was re-assuring that my views aren't as extreme as I suspect they sometimes are, especially about my hero. So the hour passed all too quickly but a greater prize awaited and it was back to OT to meet my Dad, appropriately underneath the Munich clock. We stopped and had a look at the memorial and I quipped to him that without that, we all wouldn't be here tonight. Ironic but true I thought, that a desperately sad occasion was also going to be an incredibly happy one. The contrasts of football - perhaps that is why we're all addicted to it, who knows. So we're in the North Stand lower section not far from the scoreboard end, which was to be more than convenient during the match as I lost count not long into the second half, and I've my programme (signed) and fanzines in hand. Or rather they're in my Dad's hands as I've too much nervous emotion to hold onto them. Out come the teams...... 1, 2, 3 .....10 red shirts. No Eric. 1, 2,3,....9 black and white shirts. 9 black and white shirts, there's only 10 of the European team I quickly say to him. It was more or less the last words I said to him for most of the game as I then saw the figure emerge from the tunnel. The cheers just kept on coming and I couldn't believe it. There he was playing one last time at OT and I was there to see it. Brilliant. He strode out with his son and after formalities the game began. I've never supported a team against United but for 45 minutes I couldn't help myself. It was surreal. Cheering every United goal and move but cheering the other side on also in the hope that Big Eric will bang one in while I sat there (as we're encouraged to do) and just choked on my emotion. I couldn't look my Dad in the eye but I'm sure he could see but he didn't say anything - it's a father/son thing I guess. Half time came and the real fun began. You've all read about the match so I'll not go into it in too much detail, but suffice to say I was more choked in the second half than I was in the first. Eric scored but it was disallowed and then he got what I'd come for - Number 7 scored number 7 and it made my night. There's been rumours and hints that it was, shall we say created, but frankly I don't give a monkey's - he'd scored and that was good enough for me. Over the course of the game there were many highlights..... giving Sparky a hero's reception..... likewise Robbo who I'd never seen play so this was another special reason highlight for me..... the mad goalkeeping mate of Eric's...... he nearly scored...... he was running up and down the wing and for corners....... Robbo tackling Giggsy in front of us, getting a huge cheer and then proceeding to sit on the ball before playing it upfield - class act........... Gazza admitting he eat all the pies ....... Jean Pierre Papin...... Laurent Blanc....... I could go on and on. All too soon the game was over, but I was still choked. A presentation was made and Eric took to the mike. I was waiting, waiting, waiting for him to say he'd started training again and that a comeback was to be made, but unfortunately this never came. The nearest he got was saying he might see us all again soon. Well it was never going to happen was it? But I can live in hope, he certainly has still got it and I don't think there would have been too many complaints if my dream had come true. But perhaps it's best to remember him in his prime, and if you've lost your passion for something then what's the point? I can vouch for those sentiments. A very moving moment came just before Eric's speech, and that was when the East Stand started singing really loudly "We'll Never Die, We'll Never Die, We'll Never Die, We'll Never Die, We'll Keep The Red Flag Flying High, Cos Man United Will Never Die!". Everyone quickly joined in and it was incredible and so, so fitting. What a moving tribute that was. I think it shows we'll never forget. Never. So it was over, all too quickly, and Eric was on a lap of honour and then away up the tunnel. I'd paid my respects to the Babes and I'd said farewell to my hero and I still was all choked and if the truth be told I'm choked just typing this out, but that's no bad thing 'cos that's how much I care about our club. Anyway, we walked to the car which was parked at possibly the most distant point from OT my Dad could find and then he drove us the 100 miles or so home as I was emotionally drained from the incredible feeling of the day and slept all the way back to Lincolnshire. In hindsight it was without doubt the best footballing occasion I've been to. There was a time before I drove down from Scotland that I thought was it all worth it for what was little more than a friendly, but something within me kept me encouraged and am I glad I made the time and effort. A thousand miles round trip and I'd do it again tomorrow if I could. My Dad had a great time also and it was nice to spend some time with him as we see little of each other most of the year - he's not a football fan in any shape or form, he just admits to following United simply because I do but he can appreciate a special occasion when he sees one and I don't think he'll see many like that in his life, and neither will I. Cheers, Billy Balti Devil Billy.Read@Halliburton.com
Editor Barry.

Subject: Becks (D.Mail) Beckham mars a perfect night Thursday, August 27, 1998 David Beckham's questionable temperament tainted a near-perfect game of patience by Manchester United as they marked time in Lodz last night. Alex Ferguson's side utilised their burgeoning European experience amidst the ramshackle surroundings of the Polish champions' stadium as they completed the second leg of the qualification tie before this afternoon's draw for the Champions League proper. United, already 2-0 ahead from the first leg a fortnight earlier, knew they merely had to go through the motions to ensure they would join Arsenal and the rest of the continent's elite when the groups are drawn in Monaco. That millionaires' playground was a whole world away from the LKS Stadion which was partially closed because of safety and segregation concerns. Only around 7,000 people, paying 10 per ticket, were allowed in and legions of grey-clad riot police with batons, armour vests and shields stood around in bored unemployment with only a few hundred English supporters at the game, none of whom appeared the slightest bit interested in confrontation. The lack of atmosphere within the stadium was of use only to United. Had there been the normal 30,000 capacity generating the kind of intimidating wall of noise which England's national team have come to expect in places like Katowice, then Ferguson's players might have suffered from the odd butterfly. But the longer the first half went on and the more efficient United's performance became, the more their opponents began to realise they were wasting their time. Yet Beckham, infamously shown a red card during his country's World Cup defeat in St Etienne against Argentina, once again found himself clashing with authority. The blond-haired midfielder embarked on a pointlessly fierce challenge on Tomasz Kos near United's penalty area and was immediately cautioned by Italian referee Graziano Cesari. The challenge never put Beckham in danger of another early bath but it does mean that the midfielder is already under pressure when the real competition kicks off next month. Ferguson already has a wealth of riches at his disposal in terms of forward players. Jesper Blomqvist, the 4.4million arrival from Parma, has yet to make his debut. Dwight Yorke could not play in Poland because he was cup-tied and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also intent on forcing himself back into the side after rejecting a move to Tottenham. One more booking for Beckham means he will lose a coveted place in the side all of his colleagues want to be a part of - the one which takes part in the Champions League. United, though clearly confident they would progress, were given a couple of anxious moments. In the first minute Rafal Niznik delivered a shot which worried Peter Schmeichel but the shot bent its way to safety and Jaap Stam fortuitously stuck out a leg to divert a close-range effort from Zbigniew Wyciszkiewicz but that was at a time when Lodz still believed in miracles. As United began to exert authority on the game with their superior passing movements, they might have scored three times before the interval. Nicky Butt forced the goalkeeper into a scrambling save, Teddy Sheringham headed down and wide when he should have scored and Beckham almost made up for his moment of impetuosity with a clever chip which goalkeeper Boguslav Wyparlo only just managed to touch over the crossbar. Beckham, despite his lapse in concentration, tried to ensure that United would finish this qualification in style. He delivered a searching low ball into the box but Sheringham again spurned the opportunity. He slid in to make a good contact but watched in dismay as his attempt skewed wide of the right post. United were in complete control but a lackadaisical clearance from Schmeichel induced needless pressure. He looped his kick only just beyond the penalty box and Stam, making an impressive return to the side after injury, was forced to bring down Niznik. >From Kos's free kick the ball spun high into the rain-filled air and looked like it might drop into the corner of the Danish goalkeeper's net. As it went wide of the goal, his agitation was as obvious as his relief. In the 65th minute Solskjaer was given the opportunity to prove that he meant what he said about being determined to stay and fight for his place rather than accept a transfer to White Hart Lane. The Norwegian marksman replaced Ryan Giggs and almost immediately he troubled the Lodz defence with a darting run which can have done his confidence no harm at all.
Editor Barry.

Subject: UNITED: WE WILL DO IT THE HARD WAY By David Anderson, PA Sport Click here for full Champions' League draw. Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards took one look at their nightmare Champions' League draw and said: "If we're going to win, we're going to have to do it the hard way." United have been drawn in by far the toughest group with Spanish champions Barcelona, Bundesliga runners-up Bayern Munich and Peter Schmeichel's former club Brondby, who won a Danish league and cup double last season. With only the six group winners and the two best runners-up going through to the quarter-finals, United face a stiff test to make the knock-out stages. Edwards said: "It's going to be very tough and really to be certain of going through we have got to win the group." United open their Group D account against Barcelona, who are one of the favourites for the competition, at Old Trafford on September 16. Alex Ferguson's side will be anxious to atone for their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona in 1994 in what was one of the lowest points of their Champions' League history. United defender Phil Neville admits it is a daunting prospect trying to qualify from such a formidable group, but he remains upbeat about their chances. United topped their Champions' League group last season and he believes they can do it again. "I've been involved in the Champions' League for the past two years and certainly I think it's going to be the most difficult campaign I've faced," he said. "But we're all determined to do well in the Champions' League like we have done in the last two years and bring them on, I say." One consolation for Ferguson is that United have not drawn either holders Real Madrid or last season's beaten finalists Juventus, whom he feels are the favourites to win the Champions' League. "Real Madrid winning it last year must be favourites along with Juventus," he said. "There are very many good teams and I think that with the quality of teams like Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and teams like that it is going to be a very good competition." PA Sporting Lif
Editor Barry.

Subject: Great Dane, the King stopper of Europe UNITED KEEPER SCOOPS GOALIE GONG Peter Schmeichel grabbed the British-based glory tonight by scooping a high-profile UEFA award in recognition of the part he played for Manchester United in the European Champions' League last season. Six awards for the outstanding performers in the 1997/98 European campaigns were announced by UEFA at a gala dinner, after coaches of each of the 24 teams that reached the quarter-finals of UEFA club competitions cast their votes. United's Schmeichel was judged the best goalkeeper, superior to the likes of Gianluca Pagliuca and Angelo Peruzzi who were also nominated. Champions' League winners Real Madrid's Fernando Hierro was named best defender, Zinedine Zidane of Juventus best midfielder and Inter Milan's Ronaldo best forward and most valuable player. Marcello Lippi, in charge of Champions' League runners-up Juventus, was named best coach
Editor Barry.

Subject: Sunny and Stam : I Got you Babe Stam: I'm only human, not a machine that never makes any mistakes Friday, August 28, 1998 The drab, rundown bowels of the dilapidated LKS Lodz stadium hardly seemed the proper location for such a moment of triumph, but Jaap Stam did not care. Stam knew that Manchester United's qualification for the Champions League in the depths of the Polish countryside had just become a watershed event for him. The world's most expensive defender has been a target for the snipers since his 10.75million close-season move from Ajax, but he believes his performance against Lodz on Wednesday has given him the self-belief to shrug off the burden of his transfer fee. Stam answered the critics who have questioned his ability by saying: 'Remember, Manchester United did not buy a machine that does not make mistakes. They bought a human being and we all make mistakes. 'I thought that part of it would be accepted, instead the fee is always being mentioned and it has not been enjoyable.' Stam's qualities have been the subject of fierce debate since manager Alex Ferguson tied up the huge deal to bring him to Old Trafford. His World Cup displays for Holland in France were average at best and from the moment he played in the Charity Shield defeat by Arsenal questions have been asked about how cost effective he was going to prove. The criticisms not only hurt but surprised 26-year-old Stam to the extent that he began to doubt his ability to cope with the pressure. He said: 'I knew there would be a lot of talk about the fee, and I was convinced in my own mind that I would be able to handle it. But I have been amazed by how it has gone on and on. Every time I do something wrong I hear or read about how much I cost, that I am not worth the money. But who is? Because of all of that, I have had to try a new mind-set. 'Instead of just letting the criticism flow away, it made me think and I have had to work a lot harder than I expected to live with the situation. 'But I believe that against Lodz I came through the other side and proved to myself that, hopefully, the worst is over now.' United's goalless draw gave them a 2-0 aggregate win and ensured their ticket to the lucrative group stages of the tournament. Stam said: 'I was quietly pleased with my performance, although I know the opposition was not too dangerous and in the Champions League there will be far greater tests. 'I needed a solid performance for myself. I felt good and comfortable and I think my partnership with Ronny Johnsen is improving. 'What is more, despite the fact that people have been questioning me, I have kept the first part of my bargain with United because here we are in the Champions League proper. 'By comparison with what lies ahead it may be only a small triumph but it is still important to me. 'Now I know I am learning to cope with being an expensive Manchester United player. For the first time I can feel really pleased with myself. I'm making progress and it feels good.' Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, is adamant that he will see out all six years of his contract despite the fact that United were prepared to accept a 5.4m offer for him from Tottenham Hotspur. Ferguson's 12.6m purchase of striker Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa and his insistence that Andy Cole remains to partner him appeared to pave the way for the Norwegian's departure, although the manager indicated to him that he was quite happy for him to stay and fight for his place at Old Trafford. That is exactly what I intend to do,' said Solskjaer. 'I love being at United and I do not want to leave. 'I know I face a difficult task but I spoke to the manager twice last week - never to Tottenham - and each time he told me he was prepared to let me stay. That was fine by me. 'Of course it is flattering when a club like Tottenham want to pay so much money for you but Alex Ferguson has not closed the door on my chances here. 'I had a good first year but a lot of injuries last season, so my form suffered. But I am determined that I will be a success and the manager is prepared to allow me that opportunity. I don't want to go anywhere.'
Editor Barry.

To receive this Daily News by email each day Mail barry@www.red11.org using subject line "DAILY NEWS SUBSCRIBE" Don't miss these features at the THEATRE OF DREAMS - http://www.red11.org/mufc/news/digest.htm Daily News - http://www.red11.org/mufc/matdlate.htm Latest Match - http://www.red11.org/mufc/match.htm Fixtures/Results - http://www.red11.org/mufc/listpics Mail-List Members Pics - http://www.red11.org/mufc/summlind.htm Season 97/98 by Our Salford Lass - http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate Editorial by Alex Paylor - http://www.red11.org/mufc/stam.htm Jaap Stam - http://www.red11.org/mufc/pics.htm Pic-zip files!  E-mail: barry@www.red11.org Webmasters: Barry Leeming Bill McArthur " If ever they are playing in your town You must get to that football ground Take a lesson come to see Football taught by Matt Busby Manchester, Manchester United A bunch of bouncing Busby Babes They deserve to be knighted " Keep The Faith -- Red Til We're Dead -- "RED sky at night UNITED delight" --- Manchester United for life not just for Christmas --- To receive this Daily News by email each day Mail us using subject line "DAILY NEWS SUBSCRIBE" e-mail: barry@www.red11.org Calypso available here: mp3 "RED HOT" News-wire NOW!

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