Albert has reflected on one of our greatest ever players, Eric Cantona, and can sum up the great man in one word.
“Iconic,” he said. “There will never be another and I don’t want there to be because he is a top man. He helped others, and when he was banned he was absolutely fantastic with the young lads at The Cliff. I’d like to meet up with a few of those kids that he coached and talked to just to see what kind of impact he had on their lives.”
Albert clearly thinks a lot of Cantona and recalls a funny occasion when the Frenchman showed up for a fancy do wearing an out of the ordinary outfit.
“We see Eric, when he’s around he goes out of his way to come in and see everybody,” he added. “He’s very human, very humble and he doesn’t like any fuss – Eric’s just Eric. I have one abiding memory of Eric – I can always remember him walking into the dressing room one night and all the lads had their suits on. Eric comes walking in, he had a nice blue suit on with a lovely pair of tan shoes, and these were in the days when you’d only wear black shoes with a suit. With this he had a nice blue three quarter length Crombie overcoat and a pink beret. If I’d worn it they’d have sent me to the madhouse but Eric looked a million dollars and I’ll never forget Steve Bruce sat on the other side of the dressing room reading his programme – he just looked up and went “Ooh aah”. And that sums up Eric for me.”
One of Albert’s friends lived around the corner from Cantona and reported back on what he used to get up to at the local pub.
“Eric was a nice guy and loved a joke but he was a very private man,” he said. “I didn’t see it myself but a friend of mine used to live around the corner from him in Worsley and apparently Eric used to go into one of the local pubs, The Bridgewater, and it was one of these very loud pubs with a booth in the back. Eric was never out lapping up the attention – he used to go out the back and play dominos with the old lads and they loved him. He’d get himself a Coca-Cola and go sit in the back with the old guys. Apparently they worshipped the ground he walked on.”
Albert Morgan was speaking at the launch of the no. 7-inspired Manchester United Collection which is available from www.nike.com.
Made in Manchester is available for just £3. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.