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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Tue Mar 09 07:25:29 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Dennis Viollet - A small and personal tribute
2. My Hero, My friend
3. Dennis Viollet "Busby Babe" Legend
6. Ferguson blast on the cards
7. Neville joins referee rumpus
8. Survey #39 Results + New Survey #40


Daily RED Trivia  Tuesday 9th March 1999:

9/3/1966: United, inspired by a magical George Best, win 5-1 against Benfica in the
  Stadium of Light in Lisbon to win through to the Semi-Finals of the European Cup
  on a 8-3 aggregate. Best 2, Bobby Charlton, John Connelly and Pat Crerand
  were the scorers. Team was: Gregg, Brennan, Dunne, Crerand, Foulkes, Stiles,
  Best, Law, Charlton, Herd, Connelly. Attendance was 75,000.   

1977: Jimmy Bullock died in Stockport. Bullock was a well-built Centre-forward
 who was bought for £1,250 from Chesterfield and made his United debut at Sheffield 
 Wednesday in September 1930. It was a disastrous season ending in relegation and he 
 made just 10 appearances, scoring 3 goals before drifting into Irish League football.


Barry Daily Comment:

Very moving Dennis Viollet personal articles are featured today.
I recommend that you read them to appreciate the greatness of our past Busby Babe.

Sky TV have announced that Wednesday's FA Cup replay between Manchester
United and Chelsea will be screened live. The match will now kick off at 8pm
United will play their semi-final against Arsenal at Villa Park, if they
overcome Chelsea in Wednesday's Cup quarter-final.
That would be on Sunday, April 11 with a 12.30pm kick-off.

Previous News:
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:

10  Chelsea     (A) 20.00 FAC6 Replay UK Sky Sports Live! 
pp Liverpool    (A) PL (moved due to FAC)
13 Newcastle    (A) 15.00 PL
17 Inter Milan  (A) ECL "Quarter Final" 2nd leg 19.45
21 Everton      (H) 15.00 PL

UNITED Stats v All teams:

*** LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 06/03/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    28  16   9   3  63  29   34   57
 2  Chelsea              27  14  11   2  41  22   19   53
 3  Arsenal              27  13  11   3  35  13   22   50
 4  Leeds United         27  12   9   6  41  26   15   45
 5  Aston Villa          27  12   8   7  38  31    7   44
 6  Wimbledon            28  10  10   8  32  38   -6   40
 7  West Ham United      28  11   7  10  31  39   -8   40
 8  Liverpool            27  11   6  10  50  34   16   39
 9  Derby County         27   9  11   7  26  25    1   38
10  Tottenham Hotspur    27   8  12   7  33  32    1   36
11  Sheffield Wednesday  27  10   5  12  35  27    8   35
12  Newcastle United     27   9   8  10  35  36   -1   35
13  Middlesbrough        27   7  12   8  34  39   -5   33
14  Leicester City       27   8   9  10  27  36   -9   33
15  Coventry City        28   8   6  14  30  39   -9   30
16  Everton              27   6  10  11  20  29   -9   28
17  Charlton Athletic    28   6   9  13  32  39   -7   27
18  Blackburn Rovers     27   6   8  13  27  38  -11   26
19  Southampton          28   7   5  16  27  53  -26   26
20  Nottingham Forest    27   3   8  16  22  54  -32   17


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171
20/02/99    Coventry City            Away     W  1-0     1    22,596
27/02/99    Southampton              Home     W  2-1     1    55,316

Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd  2 v 0  Inter Milan
 Real Madrid     1 v 1  Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus        2 v 1  Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich   2 v 0  Kaiserslautern

return Ties to be played on March 17


Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: Dennis Viollet - A small and personal tribute Written from the heart by Peter Hargreaves It could well be because, as a young man, he lived near to where I lived. Or it could be because my mum had known him as a young boy (he lived next door to her auntie in Clinton Avenue, Fallowfield) and therefore she talked about him, rather than the other wonderful young boys, delighting everybody with their marvellous skills at Old Trafford. Or perhaps it was because he always had time for us, the pestering, mithering nuisances, down at the training ground asking him for his autograph - for the hundredth time, that day! Or maybe it was because he was such a wonderful footballer, who ran with such beautiful poise and elegance, with knees-pumping style and, always, with great footballing purpose. Perhaps it was any, or all of those reasons. Whatever the reason, I loved him. Although, until more recent times and due to his terrible incapacity, those of us based in and around Manchester had not heard of Dennis for a while, we still thought about him often. When me and my dad were together in the pub, discussing the Manchester United greats, as you do, the name of Dennis Viollet ALWAYS came up. There have been so many players in my forty-five years of watching Manchester United, some great, some not so great. Memories of some fade quite quickly, some linger for a time and then fade away, but with some the memory is as fresh today as it was, oh so many years ago. Dennis Viollet fell into the latter category, for he was a player with 'presence'. You NEVER forget the players with 'presence'. Make no mistake, those of you who were never lucky enough to see him play, Dennis Viollet could play the game. His movement was not unlike that of another Denis, Denis Law. He was quick, not just fleet of foot, but in his mind; in his mind over that vital first two, three yards. He was a goalscorer you see. He could 'see' situations that no one else could. He could read the game. That footballing gift cannot be taught, you either have it or you don't, and if you don't you never get it. Dennis had it and had it in abundance. He was mercurial. Another facet of his game was bravery. Like all great goalscorers he would dash in amongst the flailing feet without regard to his own safety. Although he was quite a small man he had the heart of a lion. He has demonstrated his tremendous strength more recently and I have, once again, so admired his bravery. Over the long years since the crash I have spent hours, hours which would add up to weeks and months, thinking about what would have become of Manchester United had the terrible thing not happened. I have also spent a lot of time thinking about how great a player Dennis Viollet would have become. He would have become something very special; my word on that. So many boys lost their careers as a result of that crash, but I have always believed that Dennis lost something too. He lost the potential for true greatness that was and would have been his. You see he played on in those dark days that were the post-Munich days. He had lost all his mates and the team he was playing in were just not up to his standard. I know that is an awful thing to say, and I'm sure that a man like Dennis would never have said it, but it was true. To have seen Manchester United pre-February 1958, and then during 1959, '60 and '61 was to see two teams poles apart. That to me was also a tragedy. Like a great number of people I was both shocked and saddened to hear that Dennis had decided to leave Old Trafford. I never knew why and it is a mark of the man that, to this day, I have never discovered what caused a man with United-red in his veins to leave. Perhaps the arrival of David Herd and the imminent arrival of Law were factors (though as an outsider I knew nothing of the Law transfer), probably we shall never know. The last time I can remember seeing Dennis play was for Stoke City in the F.A. Cup at Old Trafford in 1967. That day another Manchester United old boy, Maurice Setters, gave Denis Law a torrid time, but Denis had the last laugh, scoring a goal - in fact beating Dennis Viollet to a cross and scoring with a header. It is now a long time ago but it seems, to this old man, like yesterday. The memories and memory of Dennis Viollet will always be there. His exploits were legion. He was one of us. He now joins the other Babes and will be immediately selected to partner the wonderful Tommy Taylor up front as the heavenly Manchester United sweep all before them. God bless him, Keep the Faith, Pete Copyright © 1999 Peter Hargreaves. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: My Hero, My friend Moving memories written by: DA The tragic news of Dennis Viollett passing away shook me to the ground, although I realised that my friend was very ill, you can never really be prepared for situations like this. Denis was a hero to me, I was also lucky enough to call him a friend. As a tribute to Dennis I would like to tell a couple of stories about the great man, so we can celebrate his wonderful life. I met Dennis in Florida about 15 years ago, at that time I was coaching a boys youth team and we were playing in a tournament in Orlando. I had a friend (Andy Warner) who had played some league football and usually came to our matches, when we played near his home, he would give me tips and generally help out with the team when he could. This particular match I was stood on the sidelines and noticed that my friend was stood behind me with a group of spectators, he was deep in conversation with a man that looked vaguely familiar, I gave him a wave and got on with the match. About 10 mins later I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see that the 'familiar face' was stood behind me, he asked if I had a fag (cigarette) I could spare, I did smoke and reached down into my pocket, and gave him about 5 ciggies. He stood next to me for about 10 mins, making some observations about my teams play. Although I still didn't recognise who it was, it was obvious the man was very knowledgable about the game. At the end of the match, he asked if I minded him having a few words with my two strikers, seeing that he was obviously very informed about the game, of course I told him to go ahead.He shouted to the two boys in question to grab a ball and follow him to the goalmouth. At this time there were two other teams waiting to take the field, but the referee crew had ordered the two teams to wait on the sidelines, such strange respect I thought? Andy Warner walked up to me, and I asked him how this stranger got so much respect, and that I was amazed that the ref's hadn't ordered him off the field, Andy turned to me and said "you silly bugger, don't you recognise Dennis Viollett"? He could stay there all day if he wished, no one would ever move him. Dennis went through a couple of exercises with the boys (from what I remember, he was teaching them how to shield the ball) and then when he came off the field I walked to him and shook his hand and poured out my 'little boy' admiration for him, to which he replied "shut up, you make me feel old, lets go and have a pint" Of course I accepted and my friendship with the great man had begun. Another story, only this time more recent: About 6 months ago I called Helen Viollet to see how Dennis was, she told me that a friend of his (an ex team mate from Stoke, whose name I don't recall) had visited with them, and that Dennis was in high spirits. She then told me that the previous day Dennis and his friend had been sitting reminiscing, and Dennis was enjoying it so much that she decided to leave them for a few hours and go to do some shopping (this was rare, since Helen had been at Dennis's side constantly during his sickness). She was gone around 2 hours and upon returning she saw that Dennis and his friend were gone, and Dennis's wheelchair was also missing, thinking that they had gone for a walk around she dismissed it and went about putting her groceries up. after two hours they had not returned and Helen began to worry, she got in her car and started to drive around the neighborhood searching for the wayward pair. After about 45 mins and no sight of them she really started to panic, where could they be? She saw a group of youngsters playing football in a nearby street, she knew that every child in the neighborhood knew, and loved Dennis, so she asked if they had seen Dennis anywhere. Yes!...he went into that bar over there..she was told. By this time her worry was changing to anger, she barged into the bar and looked around until she spotted Dennis's friend, but no Dennis! There was a group of young Ladies around this friend of Dennis's and Helen screamed over the bar towards them that Dennis was missing. That's when Dennis popped his head up over the bar, pint pot in his hand. He had been sitting in his wheelchair, and he could not have been seen from the other side of the bar, he told Helen that he would be home soon, and that he was just talking to the young ladies.. We have all lost a friend, but I know that he is know taking up his rightful place in the Babes team, wonder who they are playing tonight? DA
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: Dennis Viollet "Busby Babe" Legend Written by: Barry Leeming Dennis Viollet Inside left Born: Manchester, September 20 1933 United Debut: Newcastle United (A), 11 April 1953 Dennis Viollet, with his electric pace and sublime dribbling skills, is in many ways the ideal attacking foil for the aerial power of Tommy Taylor. While his best position is up-front, as his scoring record clearly shows, he also has the intelligence, perception and passing ability to occupy a deeper role behind the main forwards. Given Viollet's obvious rapport with his team-mates, it remains a mystery as to how he manages to continually avoid the England selectors' attention, especially since Taylor is being picked regularly. .....taken from UNITED Front Barry Leeming thoughts...... My tribute to Dennis consists mainly of facts which happened a year or two before I became an OT regular Dennis Viollet actually left our REDS when I was 12 years old so my re-collections of him are vague whilst standing on a milk crate inside OT with 55-56000 tightly packed fans. Most of Dennis's great goal prformances were in the 1950's: like in 1956/7 - 39 goals! Saturday 6th March 1999 was a great loss to the Kingdom of OT Manchester. Me? I remember the time when Dennis Viollet left the club after 259 apps. My father who took me to games, always reminded me of the pre-munich side he saw win 5-4 at Highbury Viollet scoring the fourth in 64th min after Arsenal had come back from 0-3 to 3-3 in 4 mins! Here are some comms from this match: "But after ten minutes, United were first on the score sheet, as Dennis Viollet dribbled through the Arsenal defence before finding Kenny Morgans, whose cut-back found Duncan Edwards to open the scoring. 1-0" "A lesser team than United might have crumbled completely at this point, but the Reds simply went up the other end and scored themselves. Scanlon went very wide on the left, and linked up with Charlton; Viollet was on hand to head home Charlton’s cross. 4-3!" Final score was 5-4 after Tommy Taylor scored the winner in the 71st [Arsenal scored another in 76th] All that happened in front of a crowd of 63,578 only 5 days before the Munich Air Disaster. It must be remembered that Dennis Viollet also played an immportant part of the European Cup Quarter Final, 2nd Leg Red Star Belgrade 3 Manchester United 3 (agg: 4-5) More comms: " United took a 2-1 lead into the second leg, and made a perfect start on a hard pitch that still bore traces of melting snow in the warm Yugoslavian sunshine. In just the second minute, Dennis Viollet, taking advantage of a lucky rebound, fired past Beara in the Red Star goal. My personal greats watching UNITED early sixties were Viollet, Charlton, Law, Best, Herd, Foulkes & Nobby Stiles! My recollections of Dennis Viollet leaving in 62 was of surprise although he was soon to be followed by the arrival of Dennis Law and a new era was to be born at OT, that of "Law-Herd-Charlton" soon to be joined by Georgie Best 1963. To sum-up, Dennis Viollet influenced the Busby Babes so much the figures speak for themselves, Dennis Viollet rates in the Top 3/4 Goalscorers ever at Old Trafford: Dennis Viollet Appearances: FL 259 - 159 g FAC 18 - 5 g FLC 2 - 1 g EUR 12 - 13 g Total: 291 apps 178 goals [4th highest scorer of all-time!] Dennis's 0.61 goal ratio of 0.61 the 3rd best ever: Only beaten by Tommy Taylor and Tommy Reid: Games Goals 0.677 Tommy Taylor 189 128 (1952-58) 0.663 Tommy Reid 101 67 (1928-33) ** 0.611 Dennis Viollet 291 178 (1952-61) ** 0.591 Denis Law 399 236 (1962-73) I appreciate reading the fantastic personal tributes on the list from supporters such as Pete, DA, Paul and Linda to name just a few. If you feel like making a contribution, this and all other tributes can be read on the Web for the ext 999 days. Message Board started on Sat: to read or send your own tribute go to http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb28592 RED sky at night UNITED delight Written with "respect of a legend in heaven" Barry Leeming barrylee@post3.tele.dk
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: Ronaldo Fit: RONALDO COUNTS HIS BLESSINGS FOR EUROPE RONALDO will return to threaten Alex Ferguson's Champions League dream next week - after receiving a blessing from the Pope. The Brazilian superstar will definitely start the second leg of Inter Milan's quarter final against Manchester United at the San Siro next week, thanks to some divine intervention from the Vatican. The Inter striker and his girlfriend Susana Werner were blessed by Pope John Paul II in a special mass in Rome on Sunday and Ronaldo immediately returned to training with the rest of his team mates yesterday. There was little sign of the knee injury that forced him to miss last Wednesday's game at Old Trafford and he will be on the substitutes bench for tonight's Coppa Italia game against Parma.
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: UNITED ARE WORRYING IN TRIPLICATE MIDFIELDERS Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt will miss crucial matches as Manchester United bid for a triple crown. Butt is the biggest worry after breaking down in training on Saturday with a hip injury which will keep him out for over a month. And manager Alex Ferguson's hopes of silverware have been dealt another blow by the loss of Keane and Scholes to suspension. Butt is desperately hoping to be back by the end of the month as United chase the Champions' League, the Premiership and the FA Cup. But medics believe a more realistic target for the tenacious midfielder will be five weeks. Under that diagnosis, Butt will be sidelined for Premiership games against Newcastle, Everton and Wimbledon, as well as tomorrow's FA Cup replay at Chelsea and the second leg of the quarter-final against Inter Milan in Italy next week. If United pull off their Italian mission, Butt would face a race against time to be fit for the Euro semi-finals on April 7. And he would be a major doubt for the April 11 date for an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, or a League trip to Blackburn. Skipper Keane is paying the penalty for picking up his eighth booking of the season against Chelsea on Sunday. He will miss the Everton match at Old Trafford on March 21 after being cautioned for dissent. Scholes has collected a one-match ban after his controversial sending-off and he will also miss the visit of Everton, a match which could be crucial in the destiny of the Premiership. Ferguson is unlikely to appeal against the decision by referee Paul Durkin, who also sent off Chelsea's Roberto Di Matteo in dishing out seven yellow cards. But defender Gary Neville has urged the World Cup official to swallow some common- sense tablets before taking charge of the Stamford Bridge replay. He said: "It's a shame two players were sent off in a game which was never dirty. There was no malice at all. If you are asking players not to make tackles when it's Manchester United versus Chelsea in an FA Cup quarter-final, it's just not going to happen. "It's not as if the referee had to get a grip of the game because it was never out of control. "Basically, you want the referee to keep as low a profile as possible. "Now we have lost Paul Scholes for two mistimed tackles. But does that mean you get booked for every mistimed tackle?" Neville is urging Durkin to dig out a video of United's recent home clash with Arsenal. He said: "The performance of Gary Willard that day was an example to all referees. "Tensions were high, the tackles were flying in and there were probably far worse situations than Sunday. "Willard booked some players but we came off at the end saying 'Well done, ref'. He could have sent two or three off but he didn't. He applied some common sense." Better news for Fergie is that defender Jaap Stam will be available to face Chelsea after a one-match suspension. And Ryan Giggs will be back only a week after breaking his nose against Inter.
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: Ferguson blast on the cards Ferguson blast on the cards - Sendings-off mar Cup quarter-final Alex Ferguson claims referee Paul Durkin has placed himself under the microscope for Wednesday's FA Cup replay at Chelsea following his display at Old Trafford. The Manchester United manager was dismayed by the FIFA official's decisions to send off Paul Scholes and Roberto Di Matteo in yesterday's goalless draw. Both were dismissed for two bookable offences - Di Matteo just before half time and Scholes near the end - although none of the fouls was particularly bad. Ferguson felt Durkin had boxed himself into a corner because he had taken too strict a line from the start and he hopes he will act more sensibly at Stamford Bridge when the sides replay the quarter-final tie. "It will be a different game at Chelsea on Wednesday and it will need to be handled well," said Ferguson. "The referee is probably the best referee in the country and I would have thought he would have used his experience more. "His test will come on Wednesday." Chelsea boss Gianluca Vialli also disagreed with the red cards, although he was not as forthright as Ferguson in his comments about Durkin. "Sometimes it's difficult to understand if you don't do anything nasty or dirty you get yellow-carded," he said. "However, these are the new rules and you have to accept them." Durkin will be under even more scrutiny on Wednesday because he will be returning to Stamford Bridge 10 days after the by now infamous tussle between Graeme Le Saux and Robbie Fowler. The Dorset referee missed Le Saux's alleged elbow on the Liverpool striker, although he claimed he would have sent him off if he had seen it. Ferguson felt his side should have beaten Chelsea's 10 men to avoid the hassle of a replay, which he claims makes Arsenal favourites in the title race. "You have to take your chances in big matches like that," he said. "We were unfortunate with one or two, but we also missed one or two golden opportunities as well. "We had some terrific chances and Scholesy could easily have had four." But although Gary Neville hit the post with a glancing header, Chelsea held firm against an unfamiliar United line-up, which saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deployed as a lone striker and Phil Neville handed the task of man marking Gianfranco Zola. Both sides will be strengthened for the fight to the finish at Chelsea and the right to face Cup holders Arsenal in the semi-finals. Celestine Babayaro, Frank Leboeuf and Dennis Wise return from suspension for the Blues, while Vialli claims Michael Duberry will also be fit. For United, Jaap Stam is available after suspension and Ryan Giggs should be back after the operation to re-align his broken nose. United, though, will still be without the injured Ronny Johnsen and Nicky Butt, who injured a hip in training. Vialli does not feel the return of his four players gives Chelsea the advantage. "It's nice to have them all available, but I don't think it will make much difference," he said. "We will have to be up for it on Wednesday to make sure we don't waste the effort we showed in the second half at Old Trafford."
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: Neville joins referee rumpus By Ken Lawrence Tuesday, March 9, 1999 Furious Manchester United defender Gary Neville risked FA censure after rounding on under-fire referee Paul Durkin last night. The Dorset official faces trial by television in tomorrow night's FA Cup sixth round replay at Stamford Bridge after the controversy of Sunday's first game which ended in a 0-0 stalemate. Old Trafford manager Alex Ferguson accused Durkin of 'redressing the balance' by sending off Paul Scholes for two yellow cards, having already dispatched Chelsea's Roberto Di Matteo. Neville, a friend of Scholes, took the highly unusual step for a United player of publicly questioning an official, insisting Durkin should use the recent performance of referee Gary Willard during Arsenal's emotive visit to Old Trafford as a guideline on how to handle games of passion. 'Referees have obviously got to keep players within the rules but I feel they could all follow the example of Gary Willard in the Arsenal match,' said the England international. 'The tackles were flying in, far more than in the Chelsea game. He did book five players but as we came off we were all thinking: Well done, ref. He could have sent off two or three players but instead used his commonsense and let the game flow. 'I don't think anyone at the FA or in FIFA would have said he refereed it in the wrong way and in that game he was an example to all refs. 'It was a wet night, while Sunday's game also had a wet pitch; the tension was high, just as it was against Chelsea. 'There were plenty of tackles because of all the pressure but Willard kept as low a profile as possible. 'On Sunday it was a shame that two players were sent off when it was never really dirty. There were no malicious tackles. Fair enough, both players may have made mistakes but the way things are going no-one is going to be able to put in tackles.' Durkin, England's only referee at last summer's World Cup Finals in France, last night defended his judgment. 'I have looked at television re-runs of all the bookings and they were consistent and accurate,' said Durkin, who 10 days ago was involved in the Graeme Le Saux-Robbie Fowler affair at Stamford Bridge. 'I really don't want to get into a slanging match over Sunday's game but players already on yellow cards should know they are treading on thin ice.' United are going to face major problems in midfield with Roy Keane, another of those cautioned by Durkin, suspended, along with Scholes, for the away match with Wimbledon on Easter Saturday. Keane has been booked eight times this season. Nicky Butt has been ruled out for more than two weeks with a hip injury. Manager Alex Ferguson is unconcerned that fate has given United virtually the most difficult route possible to the Twin Towers. 'We've had Liverpool and Middlesbrough, and if we get through against Chelsea then we've got Arsenal,' he said. 'You can't ask for a harder game than that. 'We've had tough games, that's true, but it's always difficult getting to Wembley.' Jaap Stam returns from suspension for United and Ferguson will also be able to call on Ryan Giggs, who was sidelined on Sunday as he recovered from his broken nose and black eye. 'Ryan trained this morning,' said Ferguson. 'His face is all swollen but he will be okay for Wednesday.' However, Ferguson believes any advantage gained from the availability of Stam and Giggs will be cancelled out by the return of Celestine Babayaro, Frank Leboeuf, Dennis Wise and Michael Duberry for Chelsea. Babayaro, Wise and Leboeuf are back from suspension, while Duberry should be fit following an injury. 'I think those things balance each other out and it will be a totally different game on Wednesday,' Ferguson said. 'It promises to be a cracking tie, although an extra game is not ideal for both clubs.'
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Subject: Survey #39 Results + New Survey #40 Survey #39 Results: Who is UNITED's biggest threat to winning the Premiership? Arsenal 72 55.0% Chelsea 58 44.3% Liverpool 1 0.8% Aston Villa 0 0.0% Leeds 0 0.0% Total: 131 Barry Comment: Seems like Arsenal are voted as the current threat although they are seven points gehind and a game in hand. Chelsea are not far behind. Villa and Sheep received a resounding ZERO! New Survey #40: Do you agree with Alex Ferguson's resting of key players for 'less important' matches? Vote now: http://www.red11.org/miva/survey.mv Bill McArthur "There's only ONE United - Manchester United!"
Send your own tribute to Dennis Viollet [click on pic]

Pic Link today is http://www.insidetheweb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb28592

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Singalong Calypso available here: mp3

          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

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