"Great Moments in Football History" by Oz

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An early exit after 27 years: Sir Alex steps down in his own style

By Anthony Lopopolo

The numbers pop out of his resume like eyes out of a cartoon character: he won 27 major trophies with United over the same number of years; he outlasted 116 managers on seven major European clubs; and he’s won 75% of his home games at Old Trafford. Nothing satisfied his hunger for success, and his diet never consisted of anything but winning. He’s always the first man at Carrington, the team’s training facility in Greater Manchester, there before staff and players as early as 5 a.m. He’s said over and over that he has trouble envisioning life without football. Retirement was something he wasn’t exactly ready for. "Nobody’s getting rid of me," Sir Alex Ferguson told The Guardian in March.

Nobody – not the media, not the club, not his body – but himself did.

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"Cantona’s Collar", written and performed by Musa Okwonga

I’m everywhere that Eric is -
His shirts, I crown -
And, like excessive volume,
Some would turn me down.

I’m white iron, defiant from my toes to tip,
Yes, I am France’s most famous cliff
And Eric’s two-point plan for winning a derby 
Is: number one, lace boots; then, two:
Starch me.

I’ve seen umpteen glorious battle-scenes;
Look, I am football’s Bayeux Tapestry -
And for those who say of me “whoa, he’s arrogant”
I have two words:
"Trophy cabinet."

Filmed by Jon D Barker. Football x Poetry x King Cantona. It’s a beautiful thing.

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