06/03/2007 15:08, Report by Ian McLeish
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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.

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