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The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sat Jun 12 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Denis Law
3. Some thoughts on last season by OUR SALFORD LASS
4. Delirious Sydney Reds  by "Paul O'Farrell" 
6. The Death of Duncan Edwards  by Arthur Hopcraft
7. Megastore in Hong Kong  
8. That Fergie Knighthood in full
9. Book Reviews Some book reviews from http://www.footaball.com/


  THE TRIPLE  -  www.red11.org CHAMPIONSHIP Sound Archive x 5 

SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL  Mp3  "REDS Going to Barcelona"  3megs hifi-sound
Download here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/mp3/99/Barcelona.mp3

Daily RED Trivia  Saturday 12th June 1999:

 Dick Holden born in Middleton, Lancashire. A Full-back unlucky with injury,
 Holden made his debut against Blackpool in April 1905, and won a League 
 Championship medal in 1908. He made 117 appearances between 1905-12.

 Uniteds Stuart Pearson scores for England as they draw 1-1 with
 Argentina in Buenos Aires.

 Uniteds Ray Wilkins scores for England in their 1-1 draw with Belgium
 in Turin in the European Championship Finals.


Barry Daily Comment:
Latest Cup Final Squad song is now available in stereo at www.red11.org


Stereo Sound:
 REAL AUDIO:  607k 4mins "stereo"
 MP3  4.6meg  4mins "stereo"

RED sky at night BARCE' delight
 More fun here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/barcedance.htm

Latest sound interviews in Real Audio here: 

If you want the Giggsy FA CUP goal in Real Time Video 300k now thanks to RED CAFE!

FA Cup Semi Final Replay
14 April 1999
Manchester United 2:1 Arsenal
 Villa Park
  Download Ryan Giggs Goal! (Real Video: 300K)
Thanks to the Theatre of Dreams


Previous News:
 BSKYB Takeover news/pics at http://www.red11.org/mufc/bskyb.htm
  Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
 Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games:  ****Pre season tour 1999 ***

Melbourne  Sydney  Gold Coast
Sat 17/7 Sydney NEW SOUTH WALES Olympic Stadium
Mon 19/7 Melbourne

   + Far East

Wed 21/7 Shangai first time ever!!!
Sat 24/7 Hong Kong  Repeat of the 1997 game

"ALL matches will be shown "the same day" om MUTV.

UNITED Stats v All teams:


Pos Team                  P  W  D  L   F   A   W  D  L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    38 14  4  1  45  18   8  9  2  35  19   43   79
 2  Arsenal              38 14  5  0  34   5   8  7  4  25  12   42   78
 3  Chelsea              38 12  6  1  29  13   8  9  2  28  17   27   75
 4  Leeds United         38 12  5  2  32   9   6  8  5  30  25   28   67
 5  West Ham United      38 11  3  5  32  26   5  6  8  14  27   -7   57
 6  Aston Villa          38 10  3  6  33  28   5  7  7  18  18    5   55
 7  Liverpool            38 10  5  4  44  24   5  4 10  24  25   19   54
 8  Derby County         38  8  7  4  22  19   5  6  8  18  26   -5   52
 9  Middlesbrough        38  7  9  3  25  18   5  6  8  23  36   -6   51
10  Leicester City       38  7  6  6  25  25   5  7  7  15  21   -6   49
11  Tottenham Hotspur    38  7  7  5  28  26   4  7  8  19  24   -3   47
12  Sheffield Wednesday  38  7  5  7  20  15   6  2 11  21  27   -1   46
13  Newcastle United     38  7  6  6  26  25   4  7  8  22  29   -6   46
14  Everton              38  6  8  5  22  12   5  2 12  20  35   -5   43
15  Coventry City        38  8  6  5  26  21   3  3 13  13  30  -12   42
16  Wimbledon            38  7  7  5  22  21   3  5 11  18  42  -23   42
17  Southampton          38  9  4  6  29  26   2  4 13   8  38  -27   41
18  Charlton Athletic    38  4  7  8  20  20   4  5 10  21  36  -15   36
19  Blackburn Rovers     38  6  5  8  21  24   1  9  9  17  28  -14   35
20  Nottingham Forest    38  3  7  9  18  31   4  2 13  17  38  -34   30


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
13/03/99    Newcastle United         Away     W  2-1     1    36,500
21/03/99    Everton                  Home     W  3-1     1    55,182
03/04/99    Wimbledon                Away     D  1-1     1    26,121
17/04/99    Sheffield Wednesday      Home     W  3-0     1    55,270
25/04/99    Leeds United             Away     D  1-1     2    40,255
01/05/99    Aston Villa              Home     W  2-1     1    55,189
05/05/99    Liverpool                Away     D  2-2     2    44,702
09/05/99    Middlesbrough            Away     W  1-0     1    34,665
12/05/99    Blackburn                Away     D  0-0     1    30,436
16/05/99    Tottenham Hotspur        Home     W  2-1     1    55,189


HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052)
BEST WIN:                06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:         20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)
BEST HOME WIN:           17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1)
HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT:    19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3)
BEST AWAY WIN:           06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:    20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)*****
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

**DYNAMO KIEV      2 v 0  REAL MADRID         (Agg:3-1)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Finals 
Manchester United v Juventus  4-3agg 3-2 [1-1]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev  4-3agg 1-0 [3-3]

Venue Camp Nou (Estadi FC Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain 
Date Wednesday 26 May 1999 Kick-Off 20.45 CET (19.45 GMT) 



To hear latest SQUAD Song click on pic!"

Subject: Denis Law From: "Tony Smith" Derek mentioned Denis Law's new book and the moving description of the night after he scored 'that goal'. Derek added: >>Denis "The King" Law............Top man. This is spot on. I recently had the honour of meeting Denis Law, and spent an hour with him discussing the book and many aspects of his career and football in general. The result will appear as an interview and book review in Red News at the start of next season - Barney will tell you more in due course. The point I want to make here is that Denis Law is my all-time number one hero in life (edging out Beethoven, Eric Cantona and Graham Greene, as it happens), and it was with some trepidation that I arrived to meet him - there must be nothing worse than meeting an idol only to be disappointed. But Denis Law was everything I'd hoped and expected he would be - I've seldom met a more genuine, friendly and decent bloke. And there are others on this list who know Denis Law well enough to back me up. Although the new book contains little that isn't in his last autobiography, it is worth reading if only for his account of that goal. And if you are a bit too young to have seen Law play or if you don't know his story, then you should get hold of the new book. Because the phenomenon that is Denis Law is so central the the post-war story of United, and you should be aware of him. If Denis Law were playing today you'd never have heard of Ronaldo. Tony (c) 1999
To hear latest SQUAD Song click on pic!"

Subject: FOOTBALL: SPANISH TARGET PETER SPANISH giants Real Mallorca have joined the chase to sign Peter Schmeichel after their wacky keeper Carlos Roa last night confirmed he will retire this summer. Argentina World Cup star Roa, 29, will quit because his strange religious beliefs have convinced him that the world will end next year. Mallorca now want to replace him with another top-class keeper and have joined the bidding with fellow Spanish club Malaga. French clubs Paris Saint Germain, Bordeaux and Monaco along with Roma and Sporting Lisbon have also declared their interest in Manchester United's Treble hero. Schmeichel confessed last night the heartbreak he felt on his final day with United. The giant goalkeeper played what is likely to be his last game on English soil when he helped Denmark to a 2-0 win over Wales at Anfield. But even though Schmeichel returned to Manchester straight after the game to begin the process of packing, he insisted he has already said his tearful farewells. "I have still got a month left on my contract with Manchester United, but really, I left the club straight after the European Cup final," he said. "That was my farewell to English football, that was the moment for me. And it was a sad, sad day and one I'll never forget." Schmeichel admitted that playing against Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs brought home just how much he will miss his time in the Premiership. "Of course I'm going to miss United and English football, because for me the Premiership is the place to play football in the world," he said. "It has everything. It's got the pace, the physical side, the skill and sheer excitement, and it's got the players now. "There is also not too much tactical thinking that makes the game really boring.It is perfect, the perfect place to play. "For me, it was such a hard decision. But now I've got new start." Soccernet Schmeichel chewing over a Sporting life Sporting Lisbon last night emerged as favourites to land Peter Schmeichel. The Portuguese club have made an offer, believed to be 30,000 a week over two years, to the Manchester United goalkeeper, who has become a free agent under the Bosman ruling. Schmeichel left Old Trafford on a high last month after their Champions League victory completed an unprecedented Treble. His agent Paul Stretford was in Lisbon this week and is believed to have had talks with Sporting president JoseRoquette.
To hear latest SQUAD Song click on pic!"

Subject: Some thoughts on last season by OUR SALFORD LASS For the last two weeks I have been waiting to "come down", for real life to kick back in again and bring me down to earth. But it just isn't happening. Of course real life has kicked in to some extent - it has had to. I can now go about my daily life with some decorum - without having a daft grin on my face for 24 hours a day (not a good idea when discussing important issues with my boss!). But the grin is still there, hiding behind the calm exterior and constantly threatening to break through. You see, the calm is only on the outside, on the inside I am still floating high above Barcelona on a balmy May evening. And I don't think I ever will come down. For the rest of my life, there will be some part of me forever floating above the Nou Camp, with a big daft grin on my face, my eyes shining and my heart full to bursting. And the reason I am up there? Not simply because of the trophies we won but because of the way we won them, the fact that I was part of a true fairy tale. A fairy tale which had the happy ending to end all happy endings. A fairy tale which took us all on an emotional rollercoaster ride to a conclusion that was (I believe) our destiny. The cynics amongst us will say that last season was simply the result of good planning, good football and a bit of luck - that there is no such thing as destiny. I would agree with the first part of that statement - I would take nothing away from Alex Ferguson or from the players in achieving what they did, but I believe there was also something else going on, something far more profound, even spiritual. I believe that we were destined to be in Barcelona on that night in May, with this particular group of players, on the 90th birthday of Sir Matt Busby. And that once there, there was only one ending to the story - the happy ending. Perhaps I am just a silly old woman, with an over-active imagination, but I don't care. Because I was part of something that touched me and changed me and that will stay with me for the rest of my life. And for that I will be ever grateful to those who made it possible for me to be there. Thank you. OUR SALFORD LASS
To hear latest SQUAD Song click on pic!"

Subject: Delirious Sydney Reds by "Paul O'Farrell" Greetings Fellow Reds, Here's another angle on the European Cup from the perspective of a Sydney (Oz) Red. Dreaming about nodding in the winning goal from my pillow seemed all so wonderful until my alarm clock screamed at 3am on May 27th (Sydney time remember, we're 9hrs ahead of the UK). Realising why I was dreaming had me out of bed in a flash. The match kick off wasn't for another two hours, but having spent most of the evening prior getting everything sorted out so as not to disturb my wife and daughter, it was a quick dash to get dressed and be off to the club to watch the match. Being slightly superstitous had me making sure the right undies were on. Luckily the red ones were there. It's not easy getting dressed in the dark, but I really should have checked them before getting onto the motorway.... Arriving at the club at 4:15am had me on edge. Not being one to regularly have beer for breakfast, I settled on a coke (the liquid kind) and my feet directed me to the same pre-match seat in the bar that I'd been at for so many early morning (Oz time) games this season past. Would it be lucky to sit in the same seat again after that epic FA Cup SF replay? Could that seat be an omen? Can United still play well enough after having endured such a long season? Oh God I wish Keano and Scholesie could be there. And it's being played on Sit Matt's birthday. Argh !! Too many nerves. Get another drink. 40 mins to go. Wide awake. Deep breathing will help calm the nerves. Another coke. Get upstairs to the auditorium now. Not a soul around. "Yeah, I'm early " I thought. Sit down and wait. And wait. 30 mins to go. Where the hell is everyone? My worries stopped when I got up and opened the auditorium door. Hundreds of Reds sitting in the sound-proof cinema sized room we'd sat in to watch the Cup Final on the previous Saturday night. Met up with Mark and his Dad who had "my" seat reserved. Good one guys. Time for a nervous smoke. The screen flickered into life and there they were. The team we adore. The Nou Camp Reds singing away louder than I'd ever heard. 500 Reds all wishing we were there. Kick-off. "This is it matey" I thought to myself. "This is the ultimate early morning. This is what it's all about." The game itself was a blur of nerves as far I can remember. "Why didn't Schmikes react quicker when the Germans had their free kick? 1-0 down after 5 mins. Oh God, no" I said to myself while my head was in my hands. Plenty of time yet. We started asking why Becks and Giggs were playing on the opposite wings. I could only wonder. Half time after what seemed like 10 mins. Another drink or three, more fags, a quick leak and back to the room. Should I change seats? Second half underway. The air of desperation was getting thicker by the minute as time wore on towards the end of the match. We were out of our seats whenever Dwight got the ball. "There's no way he can move, he's been marked out of the game" we all agreed in unison. 3 mins to go. Sweaty palms. Quick look at the clock. Knuckles white. "Come on!!" we screamed. Then it happened. Teddy turned and banged it in. The whole room went completely bananas. We jumped around and shouted like never before. The noise was deafening and people I'd never met were hugging and kissing me like a long-lost brother. Fists were flying upwards towards the screen in an act of worship. "They've got to hold on for extra time" I shouted to Mark's Dad, but he was too busy bouncing me in a bear-hug to hear me. "Where's my seat gone? I need to sit down" I thought to myself. Then all hell broke lose. All I can remember is seeing the ball fly into the top of the net. I didn't see how it happened, it just did. My world seemed to freeze for a milli-second, my ears went numb, then complete and utter bedlam. I remember falling to my knees and the first vision in my mind was Sir Bobby. Why I don't know. I can't explain why. But after getting to my feet, it was such an absolutely brilliant sight. I couldn't beleive my eyes. There were hundreds of ecstatic Reds jumping and screaming all around me. The hugs and everything else from the first goal seemed light-years ago. This was something else so brilliant it was almost frightening. "What am I doing just standing here?" I grabbed the first Red within reach and held the poor bugger in a hug so tight and jumped up and down for what seemed like an eternity. The knocks and bruises didn't matter, nothing else mattered. The world could have ended there and then and I couldn't have cared less. United had done it. They HAD done it. After a jubilant phone-call to my wife at 7.30am we sung ourselves hoarse in the sportsman's bar for the next three hours. Every song I know and some I don't were belted out at full voice. The club staff were amused to see what all the fuss was about, but they let us carry on. The bar was awash with hundreds of jumping, dancing, unspeakably ecstatic Reds that had witnessed the holy-grail being snatched from the jaws of defeat. On the way home, what I had seen from this season hit me. How United managed to keep up the momentum of playing two games for nearly every week since January was beyond me. To know that United might walk away with one trophy from this season would have been good enough, but to witness the treble (including the European Cup) being won by such a magnificent team is almost beyond words. July 18th feels like another holy grail (for me at least) as United will be here in Sydney. That might not sound like much to most of you who are reading this, but for me it's been 15 years since I last saw United. I have my ticket, and I'm savouring the thought of seeing the CHAMPIONS of Europe play before my eyes. I feel like a little boy who's christmasses have all come at once. It's the most unreal feeling to know I WILL BE THERE. They ARE the greatest football team, and I love them to death. I can't put it any other way. Cheers All. Paul (N.R.T.F) Sydney Oz.
To hear latest SQUAD Song click on pic!"

Subject: TOP OF THE BOX The greatest night in Manchester United's history swept ITV to the top of the viewing charts. The channel's coverage of the Champions League Final was watched in the UK by 15.6 million people, making it the most popular programme of the week ending 2 June. Even the traditional soap opera giants, Eastenders and Coronation Street, trailed in its wake as the nation tuned in to witness Alex Ferguson's finest hour. A spokesman for Manchester City said "Nobody in Manchester must have been watching it, we are all City supporters here. We are a much bigger club potentially, a very big club. We are showing our ambition by bidding for Lee Sharpe." The Blues are currently cock-a-hoop after gaining promotion back to Division One, where Stockport County, Crewe Alexandra and mighty Fulham await them. A spokesman for BSkyB estimated that almost 200 viewers tuned into their Play-Off success against Atletico Gillingham at Wembley. Another big European event - the Eurovision Song Contest - attracted only 8.91 million viewers for BBC1. United's entry, 'Lift It High' failed to complete the 'Quadruple,' a feat still not achieved by an British club. In the 1970's Dutch Masters Ajax Amsterdam won the European Cup, domestic League and Cup with their sexy football, and finally Eurovision with their catchy tune 'Ding-Ding-A-Dong. Paul Hinson (email p.l.hinson@ais.salford.ac.uk) MUTV Masterfan Quiz Champion 1999 Ask the STATMAN at: http://www.red11.org/mufc/statman.htm The best STATS on the 1999 English and European Champions on the Web http://www.red11.org/mufc/stats.htm STATISTICS http://www.red11.org/mufc/pontin.htm RESERVES And JUNIORS Try the MUFC Quiz http://www.red11.org/miva/quiz/quiz.mv
To hear latest SQUAD Song click on pic!"

Subject: The Death of Duncan Edwards by Arthur Hopcraft Anyone who was in Manchester in February 1958, particularly if he lived there, as I did, will remember for ever the stunning impact on the city of the air crash at Munich airport which killed eight of Manchester United's players. The shock was followed, just as it is in particularly closely tied families after a death, by a lingering communal desolation. No other tragedy in sport has been as brutal or as affecting as this one. It was not simply that very popular athletes had been killed and a brilliantly promising team destroyed. There was a general youthfulness about this particular Manchester United team which was new to the game. Manchester relished this fact. The old, often gloomy city had a shining exuberance to acclaim. These young players were going to take the country, and probably Europe too, by storm. To identify with this precociousness, to watch people in other towns marvelling and conceding defeat, gave a surge to the spirit. Suddeniy most of the team was dead. The players killed were Roger Byrne, Geoff Bent, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, David Pegg, Mark Jones, Tommy Taylor, Bill Whelan. Four of them were England international players, Byrne and Edwards and Taylor all firmly established with appearances in the England side well into double figures. Pegg had been capped once. It was the death of Duncan Edwards which gave the deepest, most lasting pain to the community. This was not because he was liked personally any more than the others,but because there was a special appeal to people's ideals about him. Walter Winterbottom, the England team manager at the time, called him 'the spirit of British football'. He meant the football that exists in children's day-dreams and good men's hopes:honest, brilliant irresistibly strong. There was an extra poignancy in Edwards's death in that he lived for fifteen days after the crash. How bitterly that hurt. One of the key components in Duncan Edwards's appeal was his size. Big men in sport are always specially compelling, whether they lumber comically or endear by their dogged willingness. Edwards at twenty-one was a six-footer, weighing I3~2 stone, but with the immense presence he brought to his game he had nimbleness as well as strength, flair as well as calm. A youth so equipped was bound to prompt affectionate epithets from sportswriters and fans, and people cudgelled their brains to find new ones. He was Kid Dynamite, the Baby Giant, the Gentle Giant, Big Dunk, the Boy with the Heart of a Man. As the daily reports came in from the hospital in Munich, Manchester raised hope for his survival. In the second week after the crash people began to talk in their ready sentimental cliche's about the Lion-heart fighting his way through again. There was much banality in the words, but the longing was sincere. Then he died. Edwards was born in October 1936, in Dudley, Worcestershire. As a schoolboy of the forties and a teenager of the fifties he was part of the generation which linked the hard, sombre days of the war and rationing with the more dashing, mobile times which followed in such animated reaction. He would be in his early thirties now and, if still playing football, which is likely, assuredly an old-fashioned-looking figure among the imitating contem- poraries of George Best. He had dignity on the field always, even in his teens: that senior officer kind of authority which comes to few players and then late in career, as with Danny Blanchfiower, Jimmy Armfield, George Cohen. I looked through an album of photographs in Edwards's parents' home, which showed him right through his life. The face was grave, the gaze he gave at the world open and tranquil. Winter- bottom's description was not fanciful, in spite of being one which any thoughtful man would hesitate to use in connection with any player. Edwards represented the kind of self-respecting modesty which is not nurtured in the ferocity of the modern game. It has not been deliberately forced out of football; it is just not natural to the age. The album had pictures of Edwards in his street clothes, as well as in football strips, and in them the period was caught, fixed by his personality. He was bulky in those ill-fluing jackets and wide trousers with broad turn-ups. Clothes did not interest young footballers then; there was neither enough money nor a teenage~identity industry to exploit such an interest. He could have been a young miner freshly scrubbed for a night at a Labour Club dance. He did not look important, in the celebrated sense; he looked as if he mattered, and belonged, to his family and his friends. The anonymity of style was true to his generation and his kind. The situation was very different when he put his football boots on. I went to see Mr Geoff Groves, the headmaster of a secondary school in Dudley, who was one of Edwards's teachers when the boy was at primary school. Mr Groves remembered this eleven- year-old playing for the school against a neighbouring school the day after Edwards had got home from a spell of hop-picking. He said 'He dominated the whole match. He told all the other twenty-one players what to do, and the referee and both the linesmen. When I got home that evening I wrote to a friend and said I'd just seen a boy of eleven who would play for England one day.' A year later, Mr Groves said, the boy was playing 'in the style of a man, with wonderful balance and colossal power in his shot'. Already he was showing the intelligence in his game which be- came central to all he did. 'He already understood all about distribution of the ball,' said Mr Groves. 'And he was such a dominating player that the ball seemed to come to him wherever he was.' It is one of the distinguishing marks of the most talented players that they always seem to have the ball exactly when they want it. Edwards was a heroic figure in Dudley long before he became a professional player. He became captain of the England schoolboys' side, having joined it when he was thirteen, and many of the leading clubs were clamouring for his signature. Matt Busby called at his home at 2 a.m. on the morning after his sixteenth birthday and acquired him for United. He was sixteen- and-a-half when he played his first match for Urnted, 6 feet tall and weighing I 2 stone 6 lb. At eighteen-and~a~half he became the youngest player ever to be picked for the full England inter- national team. It was the one which beat Scotland 7-2 at Wembley in April i955, and this was the company he was in: Williams (Wolves); Meadows (Manchester City); Byrne (Man- chester United); Phillips (Portsmouth); Wright (Wolves, captain); Edwards; Matthews (Blackpool), Revie (Manchester City), Lofthouse (Bolton Wanderers), Wilshaw (Wolves), Blunstone (Chelsea). Sir Stanley Matthews who was forty when he played in that match, told me that he thought Edwards could truly be called unique. To Matthews, who learned his football in the days when, as he put it, 'they all said you had to be strong, with big, thick thighs,' Edwards's build was no surprise. 'But,' he said, 'he was so quick, and that was what made the difference. I can't remember any other player that size who was quick like that.' The point was emphasised eighteen months later, when Edwards, normally a left-half, was placed at inside-left in the England team against Denmark, when the forward line was Matthews, Brooks (Tottenham Hotspur), Taylor, Edwards, Finney (Preston North End), Edwards scored twice and Taylor three times in England's win, which gives an indication of the scoring power Manchester United had at their command. The fondness Manchester United's supporters felt for this player was expressed in the coinmon adulation by boys but also in the quiet admiration of the kind which fathers show for successful sons when they speak about them to neighbours, and out of the boys' hearing. In this regard for Edwards there was often a sad sympathy for opposing players who were being crushed coldly out of the game by him. I remember watching one of United's home matches when beside me was a spectator in his fifties, who shouted little but nodded his head nearly all the time in deep satisfaction,letting out occasionally an equally deep sigh which was eloquent in its pleasure. By the middle of the first half one of the opposition's inside-forwards - I forget, I am ashamed to say, the team involved, but perhaps this is also kindness - was reacting furiously to the frustration of being treated like a small child by Edwards, firmly but without viciousness or even very much concern. The player threw himself several times at Edwards, either missing the moving body entirely or bouncing off it, and on each occasion the man beside me sucked in his breath, shook his head and said softly: 'Nay, lad, not with 'im, not with 'im.' It was the decent, absorbed football fan like this one for whom Winterbottom was speaking when he called Edwards the spirit of British football. Edwards's funeral took place at St Francis's Church, Dudley, not far from his home. There were at least S,ooo people outside the church. The vicar made it a footballer's service. He said: 'He goes to join the memorable company of Steve Bloomer and Alex James.' Had he lived long enough Edwards would surely have joined the company of England team captains. Instead he left a memory of brilliance and courage and a sense of vast promise he was not allowed to fulfil. His grave in Dudley cemetery is elaborate. The headstone has an ingrained picture of him in football kit holding a ball above his head for a throw-in. An inscription reads: 'A Day of Memory, sad to recall. Without Farewell, He Left Us All.' There are three flower stands, and one of them is in the shape of a football. It suits the nature of his class and his neighbourhood, and it is attended with great care by his father, a gardener at the cemetery. His father, Mr Gladstone Edwards, felt he had to explain why he was working at the cemetery. He said: 'People think I came to this job because he's there. But that wasn't the reason. I had to change my work, and I've always liked flowers and gardening. I felt I wanted to be out of doors.' Duncan was his only child. Neither he nor his wife could hide the depth of their loss. Nor was there any reason why they should try. When I went to see them Duncan Edwards had been dead for nine years, and Mr Edwards, at least, could talk about his son straightforwardly, although all the time with a quiet deliberation. He said that even then there was still a steady trickle of visitors to Duncan's grave. There were days when twenty people would arrive to look at it, like pilgrims. They seldom knew that the gardener they stopped to talk to was the player's father. They nearly always said the same thing: that there would never be another Duncan. Mr Edwards added that Friday often brought the most visitors, and they were often lorry-drivers with Manchester accents. They had stopped on their long run home from somewhere south. The next day, of course, they would be at Old Trafford to watch the match. In Mr and Mrs Edwards's small semi-detached house the front room is kept shaded and spotless. It was in here that Mr Edwards showed me Duncan's photograph album, and also let me open a glass-fronted display cabinet and examine the mementoes of Duncan's life. It contained eighteen of his caps at full international, youth and schoolboy level, to represent the eighteen times that he played in his country's senior team. Each was kept brushed and was ifiled with tissue paper. On top of the cabinet were three framed photographs of Duncan: one taken in uniform when he was in the Army, doing his National Service, another with his fiancee and a third in which he wears a Man- chester United shirt. Beside them was a framed five pound note, which was the last present he gave his mother. The tiny room was dominated by a portrait of Edwards in his England shirt, the frame two feet wide by two-and-a-half feet long. The room was a shrine. That showcase also had a copy of the order of service which was used on the day that two stained-glass windows were dedicated to Edwards at St Francis's Church. They are close to the font, beside a picture of a gentle Jesus which was given to the church by a mother, in memory of a baby girl. One of the windows has Edwards down on one knee and there is a scroll running across his chest which says: 'God is with us for our Captain.' All the survivors of the Munich crash were in the church when the windows were dedicated by the Bishop of Worcester in August 1961. Busby said at the service: 'These windows should keep the name of Duncan Edwards alive for ever, and shine as a monument and example to the youth of Dudley and England.' Edwards name is also kept in front of the people of Dudley in the title of the Duncan Edwards Social Club, which is attached to the town football club, and in two trophies for local schools football. These memorials commemorate not only Duncan Edwards's football but also the simple decency of the man. He represented thousands in their wish for courage, acclaim and rare talent, and he had all three without swagger. The hero is the creature other people would like to be. Edwards was such a man, and he enabled people to respect themselves more. From 'The Football Man' 1968
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Subject: Megastore in Hong Kong It's reported in Hong Kong that two Megastores together with the Reds Cafe will open here by the end of December this year. All United games will be shown live in the Cafe. Utd also plans to open a school of excellence here and send those outstanding trainees to England for further training. The Megastores are regarded as a stepping stone to the Asian market. Cherith Lai E-Mail Address : a042700@mailserv.csc.cuhk.edu.hk
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Subject: That Fergie Knighthood in full The truth is that Alex Ferguson was secretly knighted before he jetted off on his summer holidays. We have managed to obtain a transcript of the great occasion at Buckingham Palace..... Fergie approaches the Main Entrance....... Doorman: Hello my good man. Her Majesty is awaiting you. I suggest that you leave your Whisky bottle here until you are leaving. AF: Aye, it's ma 'Manager Of The Millenium' bottle. Thought a'd offer the Duchess a wee dram afore the presentation. Fergie is ushered into the State Room to receive his gong..... Queen: Goodbye Mr Owen. You are such a sweet boy. Have a safe journey back to Liverpool. Who is next? Footman: Mr Alexander Ahmfromgovan Ferguson. Queen: Hello Mr Ferguson. You've done an awfully good job at Arsenal, winning all those trophies. AF: Ahm nae Arsene Wenger! (His mobile phone rings.) Hello Martin, nae, she disnae want to buy the club. Have ye got Bosnich to sign? A canny deal for nae quid. What about Zidane? Och, we canna move the coast any nearer, even wi the Stadium expanding! Heard fra Alan Shearer? Only kidding ya big Jessie! Bye! Queen: Can we get on with the ceremony now you Celtic nonentity? I have Corgis to exercise. AF: Aye, see that servant? He's nae marking tight on that door - shift yerself ya lazy buggar or I'll replace ye with someone who will! Queen: I now pronounce you Knight Of The Realm, Defender of the Faith, Keeper of all things honourable, and god bless those who swill from your whisky bottle. AF: Defender o' what? Ah bought Jaap to do that. And that daft Dane said goodbye to the physio wi a Glasgow Kiss. Nae wonder he went tae Blackburn. Queen: Ah, you are the Manchester United manager. One remembers now. How is young Georgie Best? My daughter loved him. We had Bobby Charlton here for tea one afternoon for his knighthood. Why don't you pick him in your team anymore? Anyway, have you enjoyed your visit? AF: Aye, ah normally do well at the Palace, apart from the Eric business. This is a nice wee baubie. Hey, you in the wig! You don't have the drive and hunger tae pour tea - can ye slip a drop of Glenfiddich in that? Queen: Mr Blair comes here a lot in his Barcode shirt, he was most sad after the Cup Final. And the German Ambassador called recently in a very stroppy mood. You must stop upsetting these important people Mr Ferguson. You aren't related to Sarah Ferguson by any chance? AF: Nae way! Dae yez watch the fitba on the telly? Queen: One has a servant who watches for me. I do attend the odd Cup Final, when Charlie or Philip cannot be bothered. Frightfully tedious when those 'Gonners' or whatever they are called are involved. AF: Ah've got tae go now Lizzy - according tae ma stopwatch we should have finished three minutes ago. Thanks for the baubie, ahm off fra 'Ruby Murray' and a few bevvies... Queen: One has been most honoured to meet you. Doorman, don't let any more ruffians in wearing a String-Vest, it lowers the tone.......... Paul Hinson (email p.l.hinson@ais.salford.ac.uk) MUTV Masterfan Quiz Champion 1999
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Subject: Book Reviews Some book reviews from http://www.footaball.com/ Teddy Sherringham, My Autobiography Amazon.co.uk Review In an adulatory introduction to this book Terry Venables says that, "I thought about the nice things I could say about my friend Teddy Sheringham, and the more I thought about it the more I realised that nice things were the only thing I had to say about him". Glowing indeed, but in fact not that surprising. Teddy Sheringham has long been regarded as an "intelligent footballer", which usually means you don't run about very much, but in his case it indicates a rare willingness to work for the team even when that entails less glory for Teddy Sheringham. This is a priceless asset in football and this book reinforces his grown up reputation as Sheringham displays a shrewd awareness of life at the top of the football tree both on and of the field. We get the memories of working under Brian Clough, tactical disagreements with Alex Ferguson and Glenn Hoddle and his contractual disagreements with Alan Sugar. The incident in a Portuguese bar when he was photographed drinking and smoking in a night-club at 6.30am when supposedly in pre-world cup purdah is explained away--he was "in a different time frame" apparently--and the disappointment of being replaced by Michael Owen half way through the World Cup is honestly presented. But most of all we get an unpretentious, professional job. Typical Sheringham really. -------------------------------- Bestie: Portrait of a Ledgend Amazon.co.uk Review George Best remains the greatest icon in British footballing history. Yet the truth of his story of success twinned with excess has always seemed as elusive as the man himself once proved to defenders the world over. From humble origins in Belfast, Best rose to become the pre-eminent talent in European football in the late 1960s, helping Manchester United to European Cup success in 1968 at the age of 22. Yet like so many touched by genius, Best was made with a self-destruct button. The outline of the story is well-known, but Lovejoy helps fill in the blanks, from the drinking and womanising back in Best's halcyon days, into the abyss of alcoholism and bankruptcy, through the three-month prison sentence to a current life of personal appearances interspersed by drunken binges. Never seeking to glorify the horrors of true alcoholism, this biography manages to perfectly capture Best's unique talent and maverick spirit and leaves one with a feeling of sadness that his unique talent went partially unfulfilled. Even then, it is clear that Best may have been the greatest footballer ever seen. So where did it all go wrong (as Best was once ironically asked by a porter who famously came across George in a hotel room with a beautiful blonde, bottles of champagne and a bed strewn with banknotes won at the local casino)? Best himself has offered no end of clues, including his frustration as an Irishman set never to play on football's world stage and the death of his mother through alcoholism. One suspects, however, he well knows that the answer lies within. -- Trevor Crowe ------------------------------------------- The Official Manchester United Illustrated Encyclopaedia Fitting the complete history of one of the world's greatest football clubs, plus profiles of every player to appear in its famous shirt, along with all the results from every match in which it has been involved would seem impossible in just 160 pages. The feat, though, has been done and this encyclopaedia attempts to encompass everything a fan or researcher would ever need to know about Manchester United. Facts are presented in a way which makes it easy to use the book as a quick reference at the same time as allowing the reader to go into more detail if required. Each page is packed with information, so much so they can occasionally become hard on the eye. Memorable games from United's past are singled out and relived, organised competition by competition, and the reviews will invoke feelings ranging from joy to despair for the avid supporter. The history of the world-famous stadium of Old Trafford is deemed important enough to be allotted its own section and it makes very interesting reading. Of course, the exploits of various United managers down the years are treated with the respect they deserve and there are special places reserved for late legendary boss and Munich survivor Sir Matt Busby, along with the most famous Old Trafford chief of modern times, Alex Ferguson. ---------------------------------- Speak of the Devils : The Book of Manchester United Quotations Eugene Weber - a fanatical Man United fan from Dublin - has drawn together a list of quotes which evoke memories of a club so rich in history it's a wonder any player has the nerve to think he is good enough to play for them. Much of the material is pulled from the Matt Busby era of Best, Law and Charlton, which is nowadays recalled with as much ease by a 15-year-old fan as the pensioners who watched the great ones play. Love him, hate him or pity him, it doesn't matter--George Best encapsulates United and its attraction with his entry: "I can't walk along the street without somebody wanting to know what it's all about at Old Trafford. Still, it's nice to meet mates, even if most of them are being met for the very first time." The book also leaves time for reflection on the Munich air disaster of 1958 and shows how it affected not just a club but also a nation. Ferguson's reign as United manager is also given space, illustrating how the club's greatness is continuing. At first glance, this is one for the fanatical United supporter, but such is the depth of history covered, any football follower could find a fascination in reading what has been said about the club. -- Amazon.co.uk --------------------------------------------------- Team That Wouldn't Die: Story of the Busby Babes First published in 1975, John Roberts' book has been reissued to mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Air disaster. Its not the only book to have been published on the subject, but it is perhaps the best at bringing to life the stars and underlining the potential that was lost in the tragedy. It is an important work for anyone who wants to remember or learn about the original Busby Babes. A highly recommended book. -------------------------------- Manchester United Book of Lists Published this year, the "Book of lists" is the Manchester United book to end all Manchester United books. Test your knowledge of the reds with every aspect of the club from club history to players, managers and more. If you run a pub quiz, there is material here for questions well into the next century: how many Irishmen have won a FA Cup Winners medal during their time at Old Trafford? What was Tommy Docherty's first team? How many goals did George Best score for United? 160 pages of facts and figures, fully illustrated with colour photographs, this is an great book for any Manchester United fan.
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