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“Beckham was desperate for #7 shirt after Cantona”

Albert Morgan has reflected on the impact Eric Cantona had on the club, particularly the youngsters that were coming through the ranks, with the likes of Scholes, Beckham, Butt and the Nevilles sharing his dedication to hard work and improvement.

“He was a big influence on the other lads because he was the first one I met who’d be out practicing in the afternoon,” he said. “Scholes, Becks, the Nevilles and all their generation were in awe of him. He’d be in The Cliff banging a ball against a wall, perfecting his skills – I can always remember being away for the cup final against Liverpool. We were staying at a place called Oakley Court in Windsor, and all the staff were having the usual meal on the Friday night with the manager when I just saw this ground floor window opening in the hotel, and next thing I know there’s a leg coming out of it. Then another, and then this body slipped down the wall and it was Eric. I just said to the manager ‘What’s going on here?’ and of course the manager looked across and we both just started laughing as Eric was doing stretches and exercises against the wall – he had his leg up on the window sill and all. He did that for about ten minutes, climbed back up the wall, shut the window and was off to sleep.”

After Cantona left the club, it was Beckham that inherited the #7 shirt, having been greatly influenced by the Frenchman.

“Robbo was around when Eric came in but it was really Eric who kicked it all off,” he said. “I can remember David Beckham when Eric left – he was desperate for that number 7 shirt, absolutely desperate, and he did very well in it when he got it. Eric though was the one that clicked everything together, I don’t like to say he was the final piece in the jigsaw but he was a massive, massive piece in the jigsaw, that’s for sure.”

Albert Morgan was speaking at the launch of the no. 7-inspired Manchester United Collection which is available from

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Marq says:

    A surprising good read from daily fail, although only that tiny para of Sir Alex’s cheeky comment on Benitez has anything to do with us–stop-excuses-Why-Luis-Suarez-cheat–DES-KELLY.html

  2. Red4ever says:

    I think the 7 has allways been given to the best player in the team and person wearing the special no 7 shirt allways had character and strong confidence,,i dont thinl valencia has got that in him he is sobber for that ,,,,

    for example look at,, best,,robbo,,king eric,,becks,,ronnie,,they all had so much confidence that they carried on their back so many times ,,but respect for tony-v but he can’t do that

  3. DreadedRed says:

    Marq – that was a fun read; pertinent too. Plus another classic quote from Fergie!

  4. FletchTHEMAN says:

    While I do feel that Owen (world player of the year) and Valencia (our player of the year last year and scorer of the best goal of the season) are hardly pansies in the shirt.

    That said, one could argue that bad timing is more the problem, and that the game has changed as well. It is clear that we have had more competition for the 9 and 10 shirts, with a couple top candidates for each, so the argument that the game is changed. Sure that Kagawa 7 would sell more shirts than Valencia. But Kagawa really fancies himself a 9/10. But timing plays it’s part.

    Scholes would have been my choice. Paul really made a figure in the 18 and probably turned it down. No evidence but you have to think.
    Some thought Nani or Anderson should have gotten it, but neither of those lads have really ever seemed to grab the imagination of the manager for me.
    It might have been on the table for the supposed bid for Wes Sneijder (only God knows on that one)
    It would look silly for the club NOT to have a number 7. I imagine that Valencia, and possibly Owen before, are seen as able “holders” of the most famous kit in the land.
    Who knows, what the future might bring. But slagging Owen, or Valencia, does no credit at all to the club and just sounds petty.

    I have seen a lot of No 7s over the years. You lot are focused on the Bests, Robos, Cantonas and Ronaldo’s. Who can remember who wore the shirt in 1974? 1984? Right!
    Support the lads.

  5. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Sorry, meant to go on with that last thought.

    My point is, that the set kit number is a recent thing. Before the EPL, kit numbers were passed around to the player of the day. Best actually wore the #11 shirt more than he did the #7 and also wore several other numbers even as a senior player.

    It is true that alot has been made of the #7 since Cantona. But everything would sort itself so much easier if we just went back to the old way.

  6. parryheid says:

    What am I rattling on about now? As I stated before Wrong team right tactics up until dopey got himself sent off and got us ejected from the competition.A player who shouldn’t even have started the game.We left out Three in form players Evans who should have been alongside Evra,would have been on Modric pronto and bang in form Rooney a much better option than the out of form Van Persie.Kagawa bang in form yrt left out for the imposter that is Nani.And I will ask again do you think his action with his boot was legal? Because I dont and all you are arguing about is what the punishment should have been and who else to blame but Nani,forget his free pass was it a legal action?

  7. Proverb says:

    @parryheid the out of form imposter you are referring, created a goal that set us right up to almost a valuable victory vs the virus.

    I didn’t see anything wrong with nani’s attempt to bring the ball down other than arbeloa putting himself at risk, imo arbeloa is the one who should have been cautioned more so than nani for simulation
    It baffles when I hear people say otherwise

  8. mig78 says:

    parryheid, you won’t shut it till Nani got sold and SAF resigned would you?
    We all know your hatred towards Nani and love affair with Valencia.

    For the love of the club, get behind the team, whoever get picked, support them. It’s the team that matters not individual player.

    We have enough shit got thrown at us by the media, FA, UEFA and FIFA.
    The last thing we need, the same shit coming from so called Man.Utd fan.

  9. parryheid says:

    So Rafael had nothing to do with the making of the goal then?

  10. Proverb says:

    “Level headed Folks summing it up perfectly:

    (The decision was) harsh to say the least but in fairness the Real player did Nani no favours whatsoever. At worst Nani catches the underside of his arm, certainly not the ribs as the guy has gone down and shown.

    “I can’t reiterate enough that he (Nani) is watching the ball over his shoulder, there was no malice in him. At worst it was a yellow for dangerous play, but if I was refereeing that game I cannot see what stretch of the imagination where I would have sent him off for that”

  11. parryheid says:

    So are we turning into Liverpool type supporters always somebody else to blame,Yeah right how the heck can anybody say it was anything other than self inflicted?A diver greasy cheat rolling about like he had been fouled

  12. Proverb says:

    As much as red refa contributed but nani was the provider if it wasn’t for him the goal wouldn’t of happened, nani’s flexibility got the better off varane who should’ve sent the ball to the stands but instead.. He tried to bring the ball which was heading for corner into play and got caught up by nanis anticipation and he brought the ball back to the danger area where the daft cheat putted it into his own net

  13. Diego says:

    What point are you trying to make with the picture edited by a 4-year-old on MS paint? That managers, players and fans are biased? We’ll that is a groundbreaking discovery. How about this then: As the picture shows, we are talking about two quite similar challenges, right? Was the decision made by both referees the same? No. Then what do we want? Consistency.

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Parryheid, I agree with you that Nani put himself (through no fault of his own) in position for the ref to make a decision. I don’t agree we need to make anything more of it.

    People are rightly incensed by the call, but it serves noone to think on anything more than moving on. It seems Collina will back Cakir and thus the record of the Ref will appear in his UEFA record as stellar.

    More’s the pity. But maybe we can stop vilifying the players for random acts of dispute and recognize that this team is surpassing many peoples expectations. With all it’s perceived faults, correct or imagined.

    If we can’t stay on topic, maybe we could focus on beating the chaves?

  15. parryheid says:


    The only dispute I can see in the incident is the level of punishment harsh perhaps but world wide audience and ref is liable to do anything he thinks makes him look good,I dont believe Nani was unaware he was there.He should not be playing top level football if he didn’t.However not everyone is of the same opinion of me but that’s football and I hope not to be on here all day defending my opinion.Cheers.

  16. trev_7 says:

    Sorry to post again lads… Can anyone help?

    I have been offered tickets to the rentboy match, its an adult and child ticket. Me and a mate are intending to go. They have the Child Ticket upgraded to an adult ticket.

    Whilst i have the season ticket owners name, address, dob & membership number i wont be able to produce ID.

    I’ll just have to play the i left my ID at the hotel ploy.

    Anyone have any experience with this?…

    Are they strict on this?

    Push come to shove i can admit who i am and show them my united membership..

    Any advice appreciated!

  17. trev_7 says:

    see a few debating Rooney, I watched the Norwich game and his passing was poor. Gave the ball away time and time again.

    With how we performed with the tactics & formation against Real, it just proved Fergie was right.

    As much as i love Rooney i feel he has never hit the heights he should have or was destined for.

  18. Proverb says:

    Isn’t it hypocrite to think nani’s attempt to bring the ball down is a foul player and at the same time approve that arbeloas challenge on nani isn’t?
    nani got the touch on the ball first which once more shows his intention which in that case was to play the ball. Nani’s did not, nor was it “violent conduct.” He was airborne for the purpose of controlling the ball and only aware of Arbeloa’s challenge at the very last moment—if at all.

  19. Proverb says:

    Foul play*

  20. Costas says:


    Actually the 2 challenges are nothing alike. Eboue watches where Evra is at all time. Not to mention the fact that he lifts his foot high before the ball drops anywhere near that level:

    But that’s Antiscouser for you. Hangs out at Blue Moon and RAWK all the time, picks up every hilarious anti United arguement he can find and then comes here to troll the blog. King Eric summed up perfectly what he is yesterday.

  21. Marq says:

    Someone posted a picture of a comparison of Eboue’s challange to that of Nani? That is like comparing an apple to a pear, that is how different it is. Go look at the video of Eboue’s challange and tell me again you think they are the same. Eboue went in with a flying kick trying to head a ball. It is nothing even close to being comparable

  22. Proverb says:

    Ebue lifts his leg to blog the on coming evra, is that even worthy of a comparison to the incident involving nani and alvaro or you are just being a cynic/coward
    Also why don’t stay on to defend your logic

  23. Proverb says:

    Block* shit phone

  24. DreadedRed says:

    FletchTM – I enjoyed your humourous dig at Ladyman at 19:41. It would be so typical of the ABU gutter press to extrapolate sensational predictions from vaguely connected suppositions.

    Of course, humour aside, Morgan was exactly the person that Nike wanted. Kit supplier demands kit-man for insider tales from the changeroom. Also, Albert Morgan is a top bloke.

  25. Ash says:

    As we are knocked out from europe. Guys who do you want to win the trophy this time.

    I would want Bayern Munich to lift the cup. They deserve it.

  26. Marq says:

    I want Dortmund to win it. Proper footballing side that brings through their own players, or brilliant scouting for that matter

  27. Costas says:


    Not that I’ll pay too much close attention, but I’d like to see Dortmund win it. I admired their style of play in the group stages and I have a feeling that this is the last opportunity this particular group of players will have to go far in the Ch.League together.

  28. Costas says:

    Damn, I swear I hadn’t read Marq’s comment. :lol:

  29. Proverb says:

    I still have a soft spot about ronnie, actually think he deserves to win the ballon d or this term and by winning the CL could only increase his chances of beating the diminutive argentine
    Dortmund are playing some exciting stuff, challenging the likes…. Were drawn in a very tricky group managed to defeat the challenge even with a tight budget are still competing, sold us their best player and still competing
    They deserve to lift it more than anyone, and sure they can eliminate anyone who still at the competition, hence why I think they would be worthy winners, I’m certainly going to cheer for them. If ronaldo can pimp messi to a second ballon d or accolade even if they fail to win the CL then so be it
    I hate that side, only ronnie gets my vote.

    Barca are not to be written off just as yet
    At the camp nou they can score more than 2 goals, also you expect penalties to be signalled in favor of them at their ground…..

  30. Ash says:

    Dortmund play top class football but I feel Bayern are a touch stronger. Anything can happen. I don’t want Real Madrid Winning it. Its not because they knocked us out but because I don’t want Ronnie winning a champions league with them.

  31. Proverb says:

    @Costas says:

    “Damn, I swear I hadn’t read Marq’s comment.”

    Me neither! ;)

    I’m slow as fuck, I swear I was busy typing. Shows that dortmund by getting the majority of the votes on here, are well on their way

  32. Marq says:

    Haha, shows that we are on the same page. Who would not admire Dortmund? They were on the verge of bankrupcy until a certain Bayern loan them some money, and it set them on their way of managing their club properly. A fairytail ending would be proper for them. They are losing a star player every summer yet have been able to be competitive, kudos to them. And for me, Klopp and their entire scouting team should be considered for our succession, although its not soon! After Chelsea tainted the trophy last season, with bad financial play, horrible football and disgraceful league standing, I can only hope a good footballing side can bring the prestige back

  33. Singh7 says:

    Have to agree with Ash , I’d rather Bayern won it .. I mean they are the German equivalent of us and when Karl Heinze Rummeniege gave the speech about the Babes on the 50th anniversary ….well that swung it for me..

  34. Costas says:

    @Marq, Proverb

    Greats minds as they say. :D I think we all have a soft spot for them after the number they did on City. It would definitely be one of the modern day fairy tales if they went a long way. I’d hate to see a team like PSG (that was built in exactly the opposite way) go further than them. But after what we saw this week, I am beginning to worry about any club facing Platini’s favored teams.

  35. Proverb says:

    Roberto Mancini: “I can see why Ferguson was frustrated. This was a big mistake and for me, Nani did not even deserve a yellow card. Even in Italy it would be nothing because Nani tried to take the ball.”

    At last mancini getting his brain back to functioning properly :D

  36. Proverb says:

    Cheers mate

  37. Jay says:

    Dortmund have been impressive, wouldn’t mind Ronaldo winning it, anyone but Barcelona really. I can’t stand the constant wanking by football pundits whenever Barcelona play plus they need to be taken down a peg or two.

  38. gfunk says:

    Danny Wellbeck came of age for me last Tuesday……….. To negate Alonso so effectively, and still provide the attacking outlet that he did, took some doing!!! Tactics over both legs were spot-on. Going a man down against Madrid, on our (wide ) pitch, we were always gonna struggle. I thought we might nick one and take it to extra-time. I fully expected us to lose once Nani had his red but dont see how Fergie’s tactics were wrong!!

  39. ahjs says:

    @ Ash “I would want Bayern Munich to lift the cup. They deserve it.”

    Why do they deserve it? As far as I’m concerned it was their duty to beat Chelsea last year, for the good of the soul of the game, and to bury Chelsea in the mire for a few years after they finished 6th. But they truly bottled it and I hope they don’t get redemption for letting the likes of Terry & Abramovich getting their hands on the trophy.

    Dortmund would be more deserving for me (at the moment). There’s a lot to admire about them at the moment and they did really well to be so much better than Bayern in the previous two seasons. And Juventus aren’t a likeable club but they’re as strong as Bayern everywhere apart from up front. Buffon and Pirlo are better players than anyone Bayern have.

  40. parryheid says:

    And to think I got dogs abuse pre Madrid game for suggesting he played right side of midfield and would take care of Alonso.What was it I was told he’s an attacker shows you Sir Alex reads and pays attention to my posts.Hah.

  41. Marq says:


    If there was one thing PSG did right, it was to appoint a proven and no nonsense manager, unlike a certain London club which more like a circus. So PSG might actually be in with a shout, but I wouldn’t want them anywhere near the trophy.

    Dortmund 1st choice for me
    Milan 2nd
    Real 3rd

    Bayern no because of that play acting Ribery
    Barca no bcuz its getting boring
    Juve no bcuz of their cheating ways & Pogba


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