Players & Managers of Manchester United and Manchester City Football Clubs
Andrew (Andy) Cole
Born Andrew Alexander Cole on 15th October 1971 in Nottingham, England, Andy Cole transferred to Manchester United in January 1995 from Newcastle for a fee of £6 million. A striker, whose partnership with Dwight Yorke often results in him getting less credit for his efforts than he perhaps deserves, and his career has been dogged by criticisms of insufficient scoring and missed opportunities. Fortunately, he had the full backing of manager Alex Ferguson. Earlier he had played for Arsenal and then at Bristol City before moving to Newcastle in March 1993. His honours include England Schoolboy Player, England Youth and England Under 21 Player, and an England International. Later moved to play for Manchester City FC. Cole has acquired virtually every possible honour in English football, including the PFA Young Player of the Year award and the UEFA Champions League title. He retired from football on 11 November 2008.
Born Dwight Eversley Yorke on 3rd November 1971 in Canaan, Tobago. Played for Manchester United and the Trinidad & Tobago national team. He was transferred to United from Aston Villa in August 1998 for a fee of £12.6 million. Awarded the Carling Player of the Year title in 1999. Although there were initial doubts as to his ability, an early working partnership formed with Andy Cole proved a winner and doubts were quickly forgotten in the face of his spectacular goal scoring. His 29 goals in his first season established him firmly as a top Manchester United player. He actually played for Aston Villa for most of his career, but also spent time playing for Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sunderland. He was the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team until the completion of the qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and for this contibution he was made a Sports Ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago.
“The Doc” is credited with having been the man who broke the Matt Busby stranglehold on Manchester United. A stream of would-be managers had all failed in Busby’s shadow, but Docherty was a tough Scott who was very much his own man. He arrived at United at Christmas 1972. United’s fortunes had declined, and the Doc set about spending money to buy in new talent (Lou Macari, George Graham, Alex Forsyth and Brian Greenoff among them). He also brought George Best back from Spain. His plans failed, United were relegated to the Second Division, and Docherty bought in even more players (Stewart Pearson, Steve Coppell, Gordon Hill, Jimmy Nicholl and Arthur Albiston among them). Under his leadership and the new blood he’d bought in, United’s fortunes began to turn and improve. However, when a hitherto secret love affair between him and a United physiotherapist’s wife became public knowledge, he was dismissed, having refused to resign his post, to be replaced by Dave Sexton. Docherty moved on to manage Derby County.
Sir Alex Ferguson, OBE
Alex Ferguson arrived from Aberdeen to take over the management of Manchester United after the departure of Ron Atkinson in 1986. For several years he struggled to raise United’s fortunes, but it was the 1990s which were to be his decade, as he took the team on to higher and higher honours at home and in Europe. He had bought in a great deal of new skill – including Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Paul Ince, and Andrei Kanchelskis – and he had brought in Brian Kidd as a much respected coach. By 1994 he had assembled a team to be reckoned with. He was awarded Barclay’s Manager of the Year Trophy in 1993, and Sky Television’s Personality of the Year in 1994. During his time, Manchester United could be fairly said to be the most famous football club in the world. Currently the longest serving manager in English Premier (and possibly the world) football. In November 2011 the North Stand at Old Trafford was renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in his honour. He gave up his managerial position and retired in 2013.
Born 18th November 1963 in Gladsaxe, Denmark, and arguably one of the instrumental players who helped raise the Manchester United game to its recent dominant position in English football. Schmeichel also played for the Danish team, Brondby, and has several major honours under his belt, including European Supercup 1991, European Championship 1992, and League Cup in 1999. He transferred to United from Brondby in 1991 for a fee of £550,000. A renowned goalkeeper, with highly developed ball-stopping skills, fast reflexes and superb goal area control. Schmeichel made 392 appearances for United and scored 1 goal. He left United in 1999 for Sporting Lisbon. He also played for Gladsaxe Hero, Hvidovre, Brøndby, Sporting CP, Aston Villa and Manchester City in a career that lasted from 1981 until 2003. His son, Kasper, is also a professional football goalkeeper and plays for Leicester City.
One of Manchester City’s and Manchester United’s early great players, who was at the centre of a scandal in 1905, when while playing for City, he was accused of attempting to bribe an Aston Villa opponent in an attempt to improve his team’s chances of winning, despite City winning the FA Cup a year earlier, in 1904, having beaten their rivals, Bolton Wanderers by 1-0. Meredith was suspended for a whole year as a result, and then he was sold on to Manchester United. In 1907 he was among the founders of the Players Union in Manchester. During his career he won practically every trophy and honour that was available during the pre-First World War era.
Born David Robert Joseph Beckham on 2nd May 1975 in Leytonstone, England. Beckham signed as trainee for Manchester United to become one of United’s top players and goal scorers. At the age of 12 he won the Bobby Charlton Soccer Skills Award. He tried for his local team, Leyton Orient, and then moved on to Tottenham Hotspur’s School of Excellence, before moving on to Manchester United as a trainee in 1991. Beckham’s career has been constantly under the media spotlight, especially in view of his marriage to “Posh” Spice – the star-studded relationship is a constant magnet for tabloid journalism. Nevertheless, Beckham managed to keep his game on track despite media pressure. He was named Carling Player of the Month in August 1996, PFA Young Player of the Year in 1997, Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year in 1997, and Sky Sports Fans’ Footballer in 1996. Beckham left to join Real Madrid in Spain in summer 2003. In January 2007, Beckham left Real Madrid for the Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy signing a five-year contract with in July 2007, reputedly the highest player salary in the league’s history, with his playing contract being worth US$6.5m per year.. While a Galaxy player, he spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010. With his wife Victoria Beckham he has four children, Brooklyn Joseph, Romeo James, Cruz David, and Harper Seven. As of 2009, the couple’s joint wealth is estimated at £125 million. He played a major active role in promoting the London 2012 Olympics bid and subsequemntly most successful games. As of early 2013 he played for Paris St Germaine.
An unfortunate short-lived successor to Matt Busby as Manchester United manager during the darker days of 1969-1970, Wilf McGuinness had been only 31 when he took over, and his career was to be short and doomed. He was little older than the players he managed, and the Board of Directors never gave him full managerial status, having Busby constantly watching over his shoulder as “General Manager”. He made a career mistake when he dropped the illustrious Bobby Charlton from the team. After a few disastrous months, and losing the League Cup semi-finals to Aston Villa from the Third Division, Sir Matt replaced him after Christmas 1970 and he returned to coaching the reserves. During his brief management, United had been thrashed by Everton (at home and away), by Southampton, and suffered the ultimate indignity of being beaten 4-1 by Manchester City and then 5-1 by Newcastle.
“Big Joe” Jordan arrived at Manchester United in 1977. Bought in from Leeds United with Gordon McQueen, by new manager Dave Sexton. He left United in 1981. This rather forbidding gap-toothed player went on to be Lou Macari’s assistant at Huddersfield, after a brief and unremarkable spell managing Bristol City and Heart of Midlothian in Scotland.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Born 26th February 1973 in Kristiansund, Norway, Solskjaer transferred to Manchester United in July 1996 from Molde for a fee of £1.5 million. He was an instant success, ending his first season in a forward position as United’s top scorer with 19 goals. He was at Old Trafford for four seasons, and saw the team win the Premiership in 1997, 1999 and 2000, the FA Cup and the European Cup – both in 1999. He was awarded the Player of the Year Award for 1995-96. Known variously as the “Baby-Faced Assassin” and as “Norway’s Alan Shearer”. Played for the Norway national team.
Born Leonard Shaun Goater on 25th February 1970 in Hamilton, Bermuda, a Manchester City and Bermuda National team player, (although initially he had been a youth player for Manchester United). He transferred from Bristol City in March 1998 for a fee of $400,000 to play in a forward position, he arrived at top level football late in his career, after spending the best part of the previous decade in lower division clubs. He actually came from Bermuda to play with Manchester United, but this only lasted some 18 months, before being offered out to Rotherham on loan. There his 70 League goals caught the attention of Joe Jordan, the Bristol City manager, who brought him to Bristol in 1996. In the few years he played with the team, both Goater’s and Manchester City’s fortunes bounced back into Division One and ultimately into the Premier League. Goater was in his day City’s highest goal scorer.