To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM today, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Laurie Hanna, the News Editor of The New Day, has spoken about one of his favourite memories.
When Henrik Larsson signed for Manchester United on loan in January 2007, a fair few eyebrows were raised. What could a 35-year-old striker with ageing legs possibly add to a title-chasing team for three short months?
The answer was a touch of class from a true legend of the game.
For me, hearing that Larsson had signed was definitely a high point of the last 10 years. He was one of those players I always thought would fit perfectly into United’s playing style. He had guile, vision and sublime technique, so I was delighted to be able to watch him play in a red shirt before he retired.
Larsson had an immediate impact, scoring on his debut in a 2-1 FA Cup win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
Goals followed against Watford in the Premier League and Lille in the Champions League as he featured in 13 games in total, but he had an important impact off the pitch as well.
Much like Eric Cantona, he seemed to get what United was about. He carried himself with a touch of elegance, a sense of dignity that fitted with the club’s ethos. And when he returned to his home town club of Helsingborg, it spoke volumes that United were desperate to keep him at the club a little longer.
“He’s been fantastic for us, his professionalism, his attitude, everything he’s done has been excellent,” said Sir Alex Ferguson as Larsson prepared to leave.
“We would love him to stay but, obviously, he has made his promise to his family and Helsingborg and I think we should respect that – but I would have done anything to keep him.”
High praise indeed for a true legend of the game.