Continuing on with our series of talking with reds ahead of the derby this week, after previously sharing the thoughts of Andy Mitten, Pete Boyle and Pete Shaw, we’re very proud to reveal that today’s interview is with Manchester United legend, Paddy Crerand. Paddy won the FA Cup with United in 1963 and reflects on his experience of playing for United against City in the 60’s.
Scott the Red: What are you memories of playing in the derby?
Paddy Crerand: The derby rivalry is back to where it used to be in the 60’s when both teams had tremendous sides. The City was jumping in the 60’s and leading the way for music, fashion, nightlife and most importantly football.
STR: What meant more to the players in your day – games against City, Liverpool or Leeds?
PC: City was always the one we wanted to beat and don’t forget that we had a lot of local boys playing at that time We never liked Leeds but neither did any other team at that time. Liverpool, believe it or not, we were always pals with. Many of the players, such as Ian St John, were big pals and both Sir Matt and Bill Shankly were best pals and genuinely loved each others company. Don’t forget Sir Matt’s two favourite other clubs after United and Celtic, were Man City and Liverpool.
STR: Are there any derbies which stand out in your mind for being particularly brilliant?
PC: The last few games have been fantastic the Micheal Owen, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane winners particularly stand out.
STR: Do you think City’s poor attendances in the cup competitions, despite discounted tickets, has finally disproved their fans’ lie about Manchester being blue?
PC: Do I really need to answer this stupid question? Manchester is more red than blue, always has been always will be. The crowds have always reflected this since the 1950’s.
STR: Do you wish Carlos Tevez still played for United?
STR: Which City players do you think would get in to our first XI?
PC: I don’t think any would walk straight into the team but the only three who would get into the squad is Hart, Kompany and Tevez.
STR: Do you agree with the manager that it’s daft to get all our fans down to London for the semi-final?
PC: Crazy and disgraceful. The FA talk about respect, what about respect for the supporters making all these fans from the North West travelling down South, stealing money off the fans for previous FA failings…
STR: What are your predictions for the game?
PC: Derbies are always close affairs no matter the occasion, but if Tevez is out and with the experience of the United players in these competitions, I believe that gives us the edge.
STR: With you there. Thanks a lot Paddy.