Johnny Carey 1937-53
Captain of United and also Captain of Ireland, played in the 1948
Cup final which was Matt Busby's first trophy. Johnny could play in
any position and at times was asked to do so. A 'Gentlemanly Footballer',
who to my knowledge was never booked.
Roger Byrne 1951-58
Another Captain of United, who no doubt would have become Captain
of England, if, sadly, he had not been killed at Munich. I'll never
forget the day when he received the League Championship Cup with blood
streaming down the side of his face; a day to remember.
Duncan Edwards 1952-58
What more can I say about this man? A COLOSSUS, who dominated ever
game I saw him play. He could kick a ball with tremendous power and
accuracy with both feet, was as good a centre forward as he was a
mid-field player, also a great defender. In my opinion had he not
been killed, he would have lived to become Captain of United and Captain
of England. He was undoubtedly the best player I have ever seen.
Sir Bobby Charlton 1956-73
After Duncan, Bobby was my all time favourite player. A gentleman
on the field, who was treated with respect by other players and very
seldom tackled. Consequently he was seldom on the injury list. When
you consider that Bobby is England's top scorer and most of his goals
were scored from mid-field it is a tremendous achievement. I don't
know how many games he played for United but he must be top candidate
to have played the most. A truly great ambassador for sport.
Bryan Robson OBE 1981-94
Captain Marvel - a truly justified nickname. What a magnificent player.
When you consider how many injuries he sustained it is incredible
that he managed to be as good a player as he was. He was the driving
force in every side he played with. A truly great player.
George Best 1963-74
Any supporter who didn't have the pleasure of watching Duncan, Roger
or Johnny Carey, will choose George as their best player. As near
a genius on the field as you can get. His ball control, his cool head
and shooting ability, plus his tackling must make him an all-time
great player. What a pity that he never played in the World Cup.
Denis Law 1963-73
A quicksilver artist who defenders ignored at their peril. Given a
quarter of a chance he would score. When you saw a picture of him
as a very young man you would immediately say "He'll never make
a footballer"; how wrong you would have been. Denis was one of
Matt's best ever signings.
Eric Cantona 1992-1997
Now to more recent times. "Ooh, Ah, Cantona" - how that
name used to echo all round the stadium and still does occasionally.
We all know that Eric was one reason why we won so many Championships,
especially after going 26 years without doing so. A wonderful artist
on the field and an absolute bargain buy from Leeds. It was with great
sadness that we saw him leave.
Peter Schmeichel 1991-1999
United have had good goalkeepers in the past but never 'world class
keepers'. 'Good keepers', yes, but none as good as Peter. Another
player without whom we would never have won the Championships we did.
How many times have I shouted "Big Daft S--", every time
he kicked the ball to the opposition goalkeeper, but nevertheless
when he throws the ball to a player it more than makes up for it.
I cannot believe that he intends to leave at the end of the season.
We wish him good fortune for the future.
Jaap Stam 1998- ?
Last but by no means least I say that this man is another COLOSSUS.
An undoubted world class player. In my opinion he is by and far the
best central defender we have ever had, and only time will tell how
much better he will become. At the time of writing we are in a good
position for the TREBLE and with this player in the defence we have
a very good chance of succeeding. Who Knows!!!