The goal that probably stands out in most memories is the equaliser he scored against Juve in the European Cup semi-finals, after we had gone 2-0 in ten minutes in Turin. That goal meant we were through to the European Cup final but to add insult to injury he could have made it three when he was brought down in the box with five minutes to go, but the ball fell nicely to Andy Cole who scored anyway, but it was all in Yorke’s making.
Other memorable goals are the two he scored against Barcelona in our 3-3 draw, the hat-trick he got at Leicester, our first goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup in the 88th minute before Ole scored the winner in injury time, scoring both goals in our 2-0 win over Inter in the quarter-finals, the opening goal in our 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the league before Ince went to score and kiss their badge, but probably most importantly, the last goal he scored that season. We were neck and neck with Arsenal for the league and with three games to go, he scored our only goal in a 1-0 win at the Riverside, giving us a vital three points.
All in all, he scored 47 goals in 95 league appearances for United, which works out at a goal every other game. Incredible.
Like too many footballers, Yorke got involved in the partying lifestyle and shacked up temporarily with Jordan, getting under the manager’s skin. We brought in Ruud van Nistelrooy and Yorke was shipped off to Blackburn for a meagre £2m. He then played for Birmingham, then Sydney FC, before Roy Keane revitalised his career by bringing him to Sunderland, where he played in the centre of midfield. He played just 3 games last season though and this week decided to call it quits.
Yorke spoke to the press yesterday about his decision, mentioning no other club but United when reflecting on his career.
“I’ve had the time of my life,” he said. “I hope people will say that I played the game in the right way with a smile on my face. I’ve been blessed really. I’ve played alongside some of the greatest players the Premier League has ever seen in Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Peter Schmeichel, and played for the greatest manager in Sir Alex Ferguson.”
His time with United didn’t end well but he provided us with some bloody brilliant moments. Enjoy this video and remember just how handy he was with his head!