Saturday, 18 July 2009

Crerand, Robson at the clubhouse today

They'll be there for an hour. From 11 o'clock.

Paddy Crerand, 1962-71, 397 starts, 15 goals
Fiery Scottish midfield player who did the dirty work while Best, Law and Charlton grabbed the glory and scored the goals. Signed for £53,000 from Celtic in 1963, he played a key role as United lifted the European Cup for the first time five years later. His recent autobiography was called Never Turn the Other Cheek and he liked a challenge so much that he even tried to broker a peace deal with the IRA. "I met ten of them in the middle of the night in Derry," he said. "They were working-class lads and I told them that they needed to renounce violence. I said the only way of solving problems is by dialogue, not by shooting each other, but all they wanted to talk about was United and Celtic."

Bryan Robson, 1981-94, 437 starts, 99 goals
United supporters have become used to watching a team full of legends but for long stretches of the Eighties it felt as if there was only one truly great player at Old Trafford. Robson would run through brick walls for United and his body still bears the scars of the battles that he fought for club and country. Captain Marvel had to wait until he was 37 for a league championship medal but his determination to win at all costs kept United ticking over and in the hunt for trophies until Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford in 1986.

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