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Wall hits Fan: Manchester United Star Does A ‘Cantona’… 100 Years Ago

When Eric Cantona of Manchester United did his amazing Kung-fu kick on an obnoxious Crystal Palace supporter seventeen years ago this month, I was there. By chance I was also an eye-witness thirty-five years earlier when United’s goalkeeper Harry Gregg spectacularly whacked a spectator at Luton Town in April, 1960, knocking him to the ground. That coincidence meant I was in a strong position as a BBC head of department in 1995 to point out very forcibly to colleagues in News and Sport that the media feeding-frenzy alleging that what Eric had done was ‘unprecedented’ was completely wrong. I repeatedly pointed out that while Cantona faced an eight-month ban, amidst calls that it should be for life, Gregg wasn’t punished at all, he just got a private rollicking from manager Matt Busby.

What I didn’t know at that time was that there was actually another precedent for the Selhurst Park assault, which happened exactly one hundred years ago this month…

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157 Comments

  1. King Eric says:

    Zigoo. No offence pal but couldn’t give a flying fuck about the aforementioned teams. When Messi singlehandedly wins a world cup I will hold my hands up. The man is top drawer but a fucking freak of nature. Does he EVER get injured or miss a single game? Odd.

  2. lordrt says:

    There’s only 1 “King” Cantona :)
    have to bring the scousers back to earth on saturday, and hopefully the lads will be up to the task for that, however just read that Nani could be out for about 1 month following his injury… any follow-ups on that?

  3. murty says:

    Mancini still doesn’t understand a final score:

    “I hope tomorrow they can change tonight’s result because they decided about Mario after the game,” said Mancini.

  4. 68Devils says:

    King Eric

    Great rant at 0.46

  5. YorYor says:

    King Eric, I reckon he’d get injured every other week if he played in the PL. But in terms of technical ability, he really is one of a kind.

  6. King Eric says:

    68Devils – Thanks mate.

    YorYor – Alright pal. Oh I agree.

  7. Paul Parker says:

    I’d never even heard of George Wall but I won’t forget the name now!

    Cheers Giles, especially for the perspective regarding violent conduct in the game. I’ve refrained from having a go at Balotelli over the Spurs stamp myself as I used to LOVE seeing Cantona stamp, kick and punch people on the pitch. Perhaps because I was a teen at the time. In fact, I think simulation in todays game should be frowned upon more so than an elbow or late tackle, but thats just me. Imo players like Cantona would lose something from their game if they lacked that volatility, so I’d hate to think how soft the game will be in another 20 years. Of course you need boundaries, but you’d think the top tier of English Football wasn’t a contact sport played by grown men ffs!

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