06/03/2007 15:08, Report by Ian McLeish
1 of 3 Next 

My United: John Simm

First started supporting the Reds: I don’t know really… it just kind of happened. Everyone was supporting Liverpool at the time because they were winning everything. I grew up in a place called Nelson and so a lot of the time I would watch Burnley – I couldn’t afford Old Trafford when I was 10, 11. I soon changed that, though.

First game: West Ham in the FA Cup third round in 1983. We won 2-0 and Stevie Coppell got one, Frank Stapleton got the other.

First United hero: Steve Coppell would be up there. I loved Gary Bailey as well. I got to meet him when I did a documentary on football called Football Magic in South Africa. Gary’s like the Lineker of South Africa. I was really excited about meeting him and I asked him what went wrong in that Cup final against Brighton – he was great.

All-time legend: For me it has to be Cantona. I loved him. He’s the obvious choice but you can’t escape the fact that he shaped that team. It was a travesty he wasn’t in the team that won the Treble – I know he was in the dressing room – but that would have been great. I’d love him to come back as manager one day, with Roy Keane as his assistant. When he kicked that Crystal Palace fan, I know it’s not very PC to say this, but I thought it was one of the greatest moments I’ve ever seen in sport. Finally, finally someone with a brain cell thought: “you know what, I’m not going to take this anymore. Some brain-dead moron shouting at me – why should I take it?” It was amazing.

How often do you get to see United play: I’m up there most of the time this season as I’ve got access to a season ticket.  I go up as much as I can – obviously filming dictates to when I can and can’t go – it’s more difficult now I’m in London. It’s a long trek but I’m used to it, I’ve done it a lot.

Unsung hero: Gaby Heinze, I love him. He has that fighting spirit and we really missed him last season. For me he’s the first real replacement for Denis Irwin, who was almost irreplaceable.

Best game you've ever attended: The Celtic game was good. The Celtic fans were amazing – I’ve never known away fans like that. FC Porto at home was good, Cantona took my breath away. Barça 3-3… but the best was Real 4-3 at home, when Ronaldo got a standing ovation. He was applauded off and we went out after that, but that was amazing.

Best game you've seen on TV: The 1999 European Cup final. I went to the

1 of 3 Next 


Premier League