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MUFC.SIMPLENET. COM: DAILY NEWS
Date: Sat Aug 29 03:40:56 GMT+00:00 1998
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:
Wed 9/9 Charlton (H) PL Wed 16/9 Barcelona (H) CL
Sat 12/9 Coventry (H) PL Sat 20/9 Arsenal (A) PL
1. Choked Billy's Trip To Old Trafford, Tuesday 18th August.
2. Becks (D.Mail)
3. UNITED: WE WILL DO IT THE HARD WAY
4. Great Dane, the King stopper of Europe
5. Sunny and Stam : I Got you Babe
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
United, though clearly confident they would progress, were given a couple of
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
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
'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
'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
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