When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored that goal against Bayern Munich, you probably felt you loved him as much as you could love any other man without actually being gay. That was the best moment of my life and Solskjaer gave it to us.
However, since then he’s given us more reasons to love him: his strength and determination when coming back from what might have been a career-ending injury for another player, his connection with the fans which saw him become the only player to openly support MUST in our battle against the Glazers, and his willingness to continue on with the club developing stars for the future in the academy.
Following United’s 1-0 defeat to Motherwell, which was played to mark Sir Matt Busby’s 100th birthday, Ole gave an interview which might make you love him that little bit more.
“Not long after I came to the club from Norway, I had a long chat with Sir Bobby Charlton,” recalled Solskjaer. “Sir Matt had passed away by then but I always remember Sir Bobby telling me about a lesson that had been passed down from him. He basically used to remind his players before every game that the people coming to watch them worked hard for a living all week. When they came to the football on a Saturday they wanted to be entertained. That is a fantastic lesson for any young player to be taught because it is the basis on which all football should be played. They are the traditions every club should want to follow.”
Solskjaer was pleased with the match despite the result because he believed it was a good opportunity for our youngsters to learn more about the club’s history.
“It is great for us to be here and commemorate Sir Matt Busby’s birthday and help raise money for the scholarship,” he added. “It is a really good occasion for United’s young boys to learn more of the history. This is what something like this is about. It is very important for me working with these young lads and it is important for the club itself to have the heritage it has. For all of us connected with the reserves and the academy it is vital to have that rich history of the club bringing young lads through. We can say to these lads and show the facts that they will get a chance at United. And Sir Matt is where it all started back in the 50s. That is where the roots were put down.”
Solskjaer is also pleased because it meant his boys were given a real test in playing against men, rather than other Reserve teams.
“This has been a good experience for all the young boys,” he continued. “Football experience wise it is also very good. We’ve played young teams so far in the league but this was a chance to play against men. These lads have been ready to play against men. It is important to test them against a higher level. You go back to Sir Matt giving the Babes their chance against men in the old First Division and he found out how good they are.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.