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

The Dennis Viollet Fund

www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Mon May 24 08:29:01 EDT 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
1. Manchester United's route to the European Cup final
2. Manchester United win F.A. Cup, Barcelona, Milan win league titles
4. Bruce named as new Huddersfield boss ««
5. Sheri could still quit Old Trafford
6. Bayern want Beckham!
7. Cheer up Alan Shearer - Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS


*           MANCHESTER UNITED ARE            *
*          TRIPLE DOUBLE CHAMPIONS           *
*                                            *
*       1999 PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS        *
*                     &                      *
*         1999 F.A. CUP CHAMPIONS            *
*                                            *

          TWO Trophies - 1 to go!

************ ALL 1999 FA CUP PICS ***************



 www.red11.org CHAMPIONSHIP Sound Archive x 5  ENJOY!!!!

SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL  Mp3  "REDS Going to Barcelona"  3megs hifi-sound
Download here: http://www.red11.org/mufc/sound/mp3/99/Barcelona.mp3
+ Players thoughts before the cup final: 134k   2mins

MUFC New Single:
For those in the UK, The 1999 Manchester United Football
Squad has released a new single.
It's called Lift It High (Its all about belief).

Daily RED Trivia  MONDAY May 24 1999

 United's Tommy Taylor scores on his England debut as they beat
 Chile 2-1 in Santiago.

 Eric Cantona born in Paris. The gifted Frenchman joined United
 in December 1992 for £1.2 million from Leeds United having won
 a League Championship medal with them in 1992. After making his
 debut against Manchester City he guided the Reds to Premiership
 titles in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997. He scored in both  FA Cup
 Final triumphs triumphs in 1994 and 1996. 182 appearances and
 80 goals before his sudden  retirement in 1997.

 Uniteds Brian Kidd scores for England as they beat Ecuador 2-0
 in Quito.

 On their North American tour United draw 0-0 with Vancouver
 Whitecaps watched  by 16,216.


Bill's Daily Comment:

Barry has made it to Barcelona!

I fly out tonight for Manchester after sending tomorrows Daily
News.  I leave the Daily News in the capable hands of our very
own MUTV MasterFan Quiz Champion Paul Hinson.  I'll meet up with
Barry on Wednesday in Barcelona.




How to be recognised by list members in a crowd THE SIGN IS A HANDKERCHIEF
tied with 4 knots on your head! If you feel like it call out  "GUMBI!" [NOT a joke]
 MUSCS SA Secretary Ethel Sleith called from SA today
 SHE WILL BE IN BARCE! She flies in on Monday afternoon IBERIA IB650 17.15pm
 and will be joining us all!!!!


*** Barry OFF THE NET until SAT 29th ****


Latest sound interviews in Real Audio here: 

Everyone who wants the 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)
  --> http://www.iol.ie/~redcafe/real/giggs-goal.ra
  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: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:
If you would like ALL the final fixtures for
UNITED/Arse/Chelsea then go to http://www.red11.org/mufc/fix9899.htm

Final Games:
22 FAC Final Wembley Newcastle  (N) Live on Sky Sports UK
26 European Cup Final Bayern Munich  Nou Camp 

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) 



********************** Subject: Manchester United's route to the European Cup final MANCHESTER, May 24 - Manchester United took the following route to Wednesday's European Cup final against Bayern Munich in Barcelona: First Qualifying Round - bye - - - Second Qualifying Round v LKS Lodz (Poland) 1st Leg Manchester United 2 - Ryan Giggs 16, Andy Cole 81 LKS Lodz 0 - - - 2nd Leg LKS Lodz 0 Manchester United 0 Manchester United qualified 2-0 on aggregate - - - Group D matches Manchester United 3 - Ryan Giggs 17, Paul Scholes 24, David Beckham 64 Barcelona 3 - Andersson 47, Giovanni 60pen, Luis Enrique 71pen Red card: Nicky Butt (Manchester United) 70 - - - Bayern Munich 2 - Elber 11, 90 Manchester United 2 - Dwight Yorke 30, Paul Scholes 49 - - - Brondby 2 - Kim Daugaard 35, Ebbe Sand 90 Manchester United 6 - Ryan Giggs 2, 21, Andy Cole 28, Roy Keane 55, Dwight Yorke 60, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 62 - - - Manchester United 5 - David Beckham 7, Andy Cole 13, Phil Neville 16, Dwight Yorke 28 Paul Scholes 62 Brondby 0 - - - Barcelona 3 - Andersson 1, Rivaldo 57, 73 Manchester United 3 - Dwight Yorke 25, 68, Andy Cole 53 - - - Manchester United 1 - Roy Keane 43 Bayern Munich 1 - Hasan Salihamidzic 56 Group D Final table P W D L F A Pts Bayern Munich 6 3 2 1 9 6 11 Manchester United 6 2 4 0 20 11 10 Barcelona 6 2 2 2 11 9 8 Brondby 6 1 0 5 4 18 3 - - - Quarter-finals v Inter Milan 1st Leg Manchester United 2 - Dwight Yorke 7, 45 Inter Milan 0 2nd Leg Inter Milan 1 - Nicola Ventola 63 Manchester United 1 - Paul Scholes 88 Manchester United qualify 3-1 on aggregate - - - Semifinals v Juventus 1st Leg Manchester United 1 - Ryan Giggs 90 Juventus 1 - Antonio Conte 25 2nd Leg Juventus 2 - Filippo Inzaghi 6, 11 Manchester United 3 - Roy Keane 24, Dwight Yorke 34, Andy Cole 84 Manchester United qualify 4-3 on aggregate - - - Collated record of all matches played: P W D L F A 12 5 7 0 29 15 - - - Scorers: Dwight Yorke 8, Ryan Giggs 5, Andy Cole 5, Paul Scholes 4, Roy Keane 3, David Beckham 2, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 1, Phil Neville 1 (29)

********************** Subject: Manchester United win F.A. Cup, Barcelona, Milan win league titles LONDON, May 23 - European Cup finalists Manchester United won the English F.A. Cup to complete a domestic double, Barcelona retained the Spanish league title and Milan won the Italian championship on the final day from longtime leaders Lazio. The race for the title in France between leaders Girondins Bordeaux and Olympique Marseille will go to the final round. German champions Bayern Munich prepared for Wednesday's European Cup final with an easy win to stay on course for the treble, just like opponents Manchester United. England Manchester United's 2-0 win against Newcastle United in the F.A. Cup final marked a record third domestic double. Substitute Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes scored the goals against a Newcastle team that disappointed for the second Cup final in succession. Germany European Cup finalists Bayern Munich paraded the Bundesliga trophy in front of their home fans before sending Vfl Bochum into division two with a 4-2 win. Looking ahead to Wednesday's showdown with Manchester United in Barcelona, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld took influential midfielder Stefan Effenberg off at halftime. Bayer Leverkusen are guaranteed a runners-up spot despite losing 1-0 at Vfl Wolfsburg.

********************** Subject: WE'RE STRONG FOR THE TREBLE - KEANE By David Anderson, PA Sport Click here for our special Champions' Cup Final site Roy Keane believes Manchester United are strong enough to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions' Cup Final without him. The United skipper has been ruled out of Wednesday's showpiece in Barcelona because of suspension, as has Paul Scholes. Keane's loss is a particularly hefty blow for Alex Ferguson because the midfielder has been outstanding this season on his return from his cruciate knee ligament injury. However the Republic of Ireland international has no doubts that United's squad is big enough to cope and complete a unique Treble of Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup final success. United managed without him when he hobbled off after 25 minutes of a vital league game at Middlesbrough two weeks ago. And they did so again on Saturday in the FA Cup Final when Keane went off in the eighth minute with an injured left ankle. Teddy Sheringham replaced him and promptly scored within 96 seconds in their 2-0 victory over Newcastle. Keane knew United would beat Newcastle after he was substituted and he is confident they can defeat Bayern on Wednesday. "When I was on the bench I was confident, but not over confident that we would win," he said. "I just had this inner belief that we would go on and win it, just like we did at Middlesbrough. "Of course Teddy came on and scored and in the end I thought we won the game quite comfortably without playing that well. "David Beckham came in and did a great job in the middle and I know it will be different in Barcelona, but this is where the squad system comes in. "There are other players who can come in and do a job and we have top internationals sitting on the bench. "I know the squad rotation system has been criticised at times, but we said from day one that we are in this together. "I've missed out in the FA Cup Final, but everyone's belief in the dressing room is that this is a squad game." Nicky Butt sat out the Cup Final and he is expected to replace Keane on Wednesday with Ronny Johnsen stepping up from defence to fill the other central midfield slot. Although Keane, along with Scholes, cannot play in the Nou Camp because of suspension, he intends to do everything he can to help his team-mates win. His season may be over, but he is not about to put his feet up and take a well-earned rest. "We're all involved in this - me and Scholesy - and we will be backing each other up to win the European Cup Final," he said. "I suppose there's not that much we can do, but we'll be in there for them, encouraging people and giving them advice or whatever other help we can offer." Keane was disappointed to last just eight minutes of the Cup Final and to be missing the Champions' League Final, which is the club's biggest game in 31 years. However he is still delighted with his season. "If someone had said to me before the game you'll end up with another FA Cup winner's medal no matter how you get it, I would have taken it," he said. "It's been a funny old week for me, but if someone had said to me you'll end up with two medals and possibly a third come Wednesday, I'd have taken it." Meanwhile Italian official Pierluigi Collina will referee the match. Collina, renowned as much for his bald pate as much as his strict decisions, will be assisted by compatriots Gennaro Mazzei and Claudio Puglisi along with fourth official Fiorenzo Treossi.

********************** Subject: Bruce named as new Huddersfield boss «« Former Manchester United Captain Steve Bruce has been unveiled as the new Huddersfield Town manager having signed a three year contract at the McAlpine Stadium. Bruce held talks with Terriers chairman Ian Ayre last week, and he finally agreed to take over in the McAlpine Stadium hot seat after thinking through Town's offer over the weekend. Bruce has been promised a substantial transfer kitty, rumoured to be somewhere in the region of £8 million, and he could return to his former club Sheffield United to snap up promising young star Curtis Woodhouse. Bruce is expected to keep current assistant boss Terry Yorath at the club as his number two.

********************** Subject: Sheri could still quit Old Trafford Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham has revealed that he could still quit Old Trafford this summer, despite his man of the match performance in the F.A Cup final on Saturday. Sheringham had been expected to reconsider his future in the summer given his lack of first team opportunities this season, but after starring for United in recent weeks, it looked as though he might be prepared to pledge his future to United. But Sheringham revealed: 'At the end of the day I want to play football regularly and that remains at the back of my mind. "But what has happened this week has changed my view of events right at this minute."

********************** Subject: Bayern want Beckham! Bayern Munich have revealed that they want Manchester United's David Beckham - just days before they come up against him in the European Cup final. In a blatant attempt to sabotage the Reds' plans for the showdown in Barcelona, Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has claimed that the England star tops a shortlist of players he would most like to buy. Hitzfeld said: "I would like to buy Beckham. He would be a revelation here. He's a football technician and a great crosser of the ball. Everything you could wish from a player in his position. "I think it would also do the player good to move abroad. When a player goes to another country he learns new techniques and different types of playing and training. "Beckham is still very young and full of energy. He is an elegant player." Bayern President Franz Beckenbauer also revealed how he wants to restructure the whole club in order to land the player. Beckenbauer said: "We have to find ways to compete in the transfer market with the other big clubs in Europe. If we have to float the club on the stock market then so be it. After all, we have 80,000 members. "We cannot survive at the top end the way we are now. We must be in the running for the best players."

********************** Subject: Cheer up Alan Shearer - Personal Report by OUR SALFORD LASS I've still not come down to earth, and I don't think I'm going to until the end of next week at the earliest! (The sense of unreality is not helped by the fact I am playing Barry's United mix on the "Reds are going to Barcelona" CD he sent me - it's like Barry, absolutely barmy - in the nicest possible way, of course!) I have never had a week like this in my life and somehow I don't think I'll have another again. Indeed, I have never known a season like this either - from the depths to the heights and back again, and then back up to the heights again (and that was only in the Arsenal game!). It's a good job really, that we're spending a week getting to Spain and back because I think the chances of me thinking about anything but Manchester United for the next few days are slim to say the least. After the amazing day we had last Sunday, all has been on hold for the past week. I've been to work and I've done all the things I've had to do, but my heart and thoughts have been elsewhere. On Wembley and Barcelona, on Stam and Becks and all the other lads. I've watched all the old videos (from Captains Log onwards) and I've spent hours dreaming about the magic moments we've been lucky enough to be part of in the 90's. So it was with some relief that I could leave work on Friday knowing that I could concentrate on United for a whole 10 days - I'm not back at work until a week on Tuesday. 5.30am yesterday morning found me dragging myself out of bed as I had to be at OT to get the coach at 8am. It all went well getting into Manchester - the bus arrived at 6.30am as it was supposed to, and I was soon on a train from Stockport to Piccadilly Station. As I made my way from platform 13 down to the main station, I bumped into Ned Kelly and a number of his cronies. This was a bit confusing, until I noticed a train sitting in the station, full of United staff. As I walked down the platform wishing I could join them on what looked like a much more comfortable journey than I was going to have, I noticed a young man in a Pravda (?) suit coming towards me. It was none other than Michael Clegg who had to suffer me staring at him until he could escape onto the train! Once on the main station, I headed off for the metro, whilst trying to avoid all the MEN flags that were being handed out in their thousands. Down in the metro station, my day started to go downhill as the solitary Metrolink employee told me there had been a burst pipe outside the station and there were therefore no trams! So I headed off on foot for Piccadilly bus station, but there wasn't a bus until after 8am! Agh!! So it was an emergency call to the son-and-heir (how did we manage before he got his mobile phone and car?) and we were soon on our way. As always in these circumstances, the journey down to London went quickly (why does the journey there always seem half as long as the journey back?). We stopped at the services on the way and rubbed shoulders with hundreds of pensioners on their way to Eastbourne - I don't know who was more put out, us or them!! Arriving in London, close enough to Wembley to see the twin towers, we came to a halt and then sat in a traffic jam for the next hour, arriving at Wembley just after 2pm. After ages spent driving around and around the car park, we eventually left the coach in the warm May sunshine and headed off for our entrance which was on the opposite side of the stadium. On the way we had to pass through thousands of bar codes heading in the opposite direction. At a distance, the black and white stripes do your eyes no good - being surrounded by them sends you dizzy and can have you breaking out into a Geordie accent if you don't close your eyes quickly! Walking openly through the middle of all the Geordies, it was all very good-natured, indeed at one point it became such a love-in that we began to feel uncomfortable! Seriously though, it was nice to be able to sing and chant and give some stick to the opposition without being afraid of getting your head kicked in! We sang "Andy Cole" and "Thank you for Coley" and "Champions" and they sang ............. lots of songs I didn't understand!! There were thousands of Reds and Geordies all mixing together and the only trouble I saw was one very drunken Geordie offering to take everyone on at once. Most United fans were laughing at him, but one threw a can of beer which went all over me and the son-and-heir. So we pushed our way through the turnstyles smelling like we'd been in the pub all morning when we hadn't even had a drink! We had the dubious pleasure of being in the second row behind the goal. I like it down at the front - its the best place to be for the celebration lap of honour, and the atmosphere is the best anywhere, but when you've got a row of massive, drunken fellas in front of you, you don't get to see a lot!! Mind you, in Wembley you don't get to see a lot wherever you sit!! Arriving at our seats we found a flag, some blow up hats (honest!), some transfers and a white card to hold up. I grabbed the flag for my grandaughter (she's gone off to her City-loving Grandad's this afternoon singing "Glory, glory Man United" and refusing to put it down!), stuffed a couple of hats and transfers in my pocket and refused to hold up my card! We were soon joined by Mick and Paul, innocently proclaiming that they did indeed have tickets for this section. Luckily, no-one seemed much bothered and they were able to stay there for the whole game and get a photo of yours truly waving a flag and singing for Teddy. Everyone was in a good mood - even Tony was confidently predicting a victory (!) - and the atmosphere was like a party (helped by the cigarettes which were being passed around which had the strangest odour). By the time the teams came out for the start of the game, we were ready and a massive cheer went up from both ends of the stadium as fireworks went off in front of the Geordies and the lads had to run through a cloud of smoke to get onto the pitch. "We shall not be moved" with its changed line ("Just like a team that's going to win the f**kin lot") rang out from the United fans as we waved our flags and some of us held up our cards (red and white at our end and grey and white down the other - I think theirs were supposed to be black and white but they had faded in the wash - perhaps they were recycled from last year?). We sang Abide with Me (I had a problem with the second verse until the son-and-heir pointed out the words were on the scoreboard) and big Mick proved he can't sing for toffee!! Then it was the National Anthem. Some of us prefer (for our own reasons) not to join in, but most of the fans at both ends joined in lustily and it was nice not to have most fans entering into the spirit of the thing. I've always loved Abide with Me and I hate it when the fans chant through it. Then it was on with the game. I have to say that this was the first time in months I have simply relaxed and enjoyed a game, without feeling sick with nerves. I never felt for a moment that we weren't going to win it, even when Newcastle were having one of their rare good spots and even when our defenders seemed intent on making Peter's last game for us on British soil an interesting one! We were just getting into the game when disaster seemed to strike. Keano was limping and obviously in pain. As he limped off the field and we sang "Keano, there's only one Keano", the Geordies were celebrating - sensing their moment had come. Much to our surprise (we thought Butt was on the bench, which of course he wasn't), Teddy came on. Fergie changed things around, putting Becks in the middle and Ole out on the right. Now this might have been a forced change but had it been done under different circumstance, this would have been seen as an inspired move, because Teddy simply took the game by the scruff of the net and spent the next 80 minutes directing the proceedings, much in the way that Eric used to (not quite as well, of course - lets not get carried away!). Within two minutes of coming on the pitch, as I was saying to the son-and-heir that United were putting together some wonderful passing moves, he passed to Andy, Andy passed it back and then it went to Scholes. We expected Scholes to have a shot but he didn't, he placed a lovely weighted ball right in Teddy's path and we were one up. "Oh Teddy, Teddy. Came to Man United and you won the lot!" For the rest of the first half we had a party, singing all the old songs and also singing for Dwight and Jaap as they warmed up on the touchline. "Who put the ball in the scouser's net?", "You are my Solskjaer", "Ferguson's red and white army". The Geordies down the other end were urging their team on and the Newcastle players did look dangerous on occasion, but you always had the feeling that if they scored a goal, we would just go down the other end and score another. For me, only two of their players looked dangerous - Ketsbayia (sorry about the spelling) and Hamman (and Gullitt took him off at half-time!). The rest of them were getting increasingly peevish and frustrated, especially Mary Poppins. Half-time came and we sat down for a rest. Just before the second half started, a very merry Pat Jennings turned up to celebrate with us and stayed for the second half. And what a second half it turned out to be. They brought on Drunken Ferguson to orgasmic celebrations from the barcodes, but within ten minutes we were 2 up as Teddy returned the favour and laid off the ball for Scholesy to put it in the net with his left foot, right in front of us. This was the cue for delirious celebrations both on and off the pitch as we all knew that we had won the double - again! There was no way Newcastle were going to score two goals and we just got on with the party. "We shall not be moved", "Oh Teddy Teddy", "David May, Superstar" and "Ooh Aah Cantona" rang out but the most enthusiastically sung songs were "Cheer up Alan Shearer" and "There's only one greedy bastard". And Mary Poppins did not like it - he glared and whined through the rest of the game. Once the second goal had gone in, the Newcastle players simply gave up. We stroked the ball around from player to player (with the United fans cheering every kick) whilst they made very little effort to get it back. Shearer was completely anonymous, complaining at the Newcastle players for not giving him enough service but making little effort to go and get the ball himself (a sharp contrast with our players who were running and harrying and chasing the ball like it was the first game of the season). Our only complaint was that it should have been at least four and Teddy should have had a hat-trick (especially with the one that grazed the bar after he lobbed the ball over the keeper). By the time the game was reaching its end, we were singing "Always look on the bright side of life" and "We're all off to sunny Spain". For the last 10 minutes or so, Jaap came on and took control of the defence and we sang "Yip Yap Stam" and cheered every time he touched the ball. Despite the relaxed party atmosphere, the celebrations of the players on the final whistle showed what it meant to them to win this game. The players on the pitch, joined by the subs who had charged on from the bench, clasped each other in a circle and bounced up and down singing along with the Fane-type music blasting out over the tannoy. They then (as if it had been choreographed) broke the circle and carried on bouncing in a line whilst the Cup was readied for its presentation. The Newcastle players went up first to get their losers' medals, led by a very sombre looking Shearer and then it was time for Roy Keane to hobble up the steps with a big grin on his face - I don't think I've ever seen Keano smile as much as he has in these last few days! He lifted the cup and in scenes reminiscent of the 96 triumph, Peter raised his arms and screamed to the heavens. Then it was the turn of each player to kiss the cup and hold it high, to the cheers of the crowd. And of course there was a very special cheer at the end for Alex. Now I know that there are some on this list who don't approve of praising the opposition fans, but I have to say that I was impressed by the Geordies at this point. Unlike the scousers, they stayed in the ground and applauded the United players as they went up for the cup. Many of them also stayed to applaud the players on their lap of honour afterwards. I know we take the piss out of them most of the time, but sometimes you have to applaud the sportsmanship of the opposition and personally I think this is one of those times. Anyway, back to the important stuff!! Once back down on the pitch, the lads were having their pictures taken with the cup. David May was dancing around with it on his head, Gary Neville kept returning to the fans - beating the air with his fist, Dwight and Andy were having their usual love-in, Stam was striding around looking masterful with a big daft grin on his face, Peter looked like all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once! As the team were having their team picture taken in front of the Axa logo, I watched the celebrations and I particularly noted those who had not had a big part to play this season - May, Berg, Raimond etc. They were celebrating as if they had kicked every ball and scored every goal. That's the secret of our success - its not simply about buying the right players or raising a good youth team, its about a team of players where there are no stars, where every player plays for the team first and himself second. That is the talent that Fergie has that no other manager has - he is able to build that team spirit, despite having a squad full of super stars. Then it was our turn. I pushed my way to the front as the team began its circuit of the pitch. The stewards had put a rope across on level with the goal line which meant that the team would have walked across the pitch, miles away from us. But Gary Neville was having none of this - he evaded the security men, ducked under the rope and headed for a spot as close to the fans as possible. So they walked around (or in the case of Dwight and Maysie, danced around) the whole stadium. Taking turns to hold the cup, waving to the fans and celebrating. The guy next to me threw his flag towards Teddy, Teddy picked it up, waved it and threw it back. This guy - 6 feet tall and as big as Stam - was like a teenage girl with a crush. Stroking the flag, his eyes shining, he said to me "Did you see that? Teddy held my flag, this flag!!" The Fane-like music continued over the tannoy, which was a bit of a disappointment, but nothing could spoil the day as we sang and waved our flags and hugged each other. The players were reluctant to leave the pitch but eventually, even Dwight had to be dragged away (he had again been dancing down the touchline long after everyone else had gone down the tunnel) and we began to make our way back to the buses, trains and cars. As we left the stadium, Paul expressed exactly what I felt when he said "It doesn't get any better than this". Well it might get just a little bit better still on Wednesday night, but even if it doesn't it has been some ride this season and one that we will remember for always. We walked back to the coach singing. There were still a lot of Geordies about but they were wishing us good luck for Wednesday and we didn't have the heart to subject them to too much abuse! Driving home on the bus we listened to the Geordies complaining about Alan Shearer and the team in general. Then the coach driver put on his sixties hits tape and the journey turned into something surreal! Used to the rather rude chanting from the lads on the back seat, we were with a rather different set of fans yesterday. They sang sixties hits all the way home (complete with actions - hand jiving and train impressions to the Locomotion!) and we began to worry that we had somehow, in the confusion, got on the wrong coach - this wasn't on its way to Eastbourne was it? I got a fit of the giggles and spent the whole journey home trying (unsuccessfully) to control them. My man of the match? It has to be Teddy Sheringham. I've taken some stick over having to admit that - in particular, from Mick who insisted on taking a photo of me singing Teddy songs and waving my flag. But this is one occasion on which I'll happily take the grief. Players come to United and they are all different. Some (like Ole, Dwight and Jaap) seem to instinctively know how to be a Red. Some (like Charlie) never learn. Others take some time but get there in the end. Well, this season, Teddy has learned what it means to be a United player and no-one is more delighted than me. So welcome to the Red family Teddy. At this stage of the season though, we shouldn't really be singling out any one player. This season, every single United player who has pulled on the red shirt has played an important part in the victories we are now enjoying. For some that has been in almost every game, for others it has been in only a handful of games. But they have all given their all in the cause. So thank you all, every last one of you. Enjoy your time in the sun, we certainly will. I'm off to Barcelona tomorrow morning, so this will be the last you will hear from me for a week. I'll be taking my pad with me and will be reporting back as soon as I return. In the meantime, good wishes to all Reds all over the world. Many of you won't be there in person on Wednesday night, but you will be there in spirit as the Red family comes together for the greatest game in 31 years. OUR SALFORD LASS Copyright © 1999 by OUR SALFORD LASS. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission of the author

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