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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Eric Cantona did one thing for Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt that blew Roy Keane away, says ‘nobody else would have done it’

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Manchester United have had some iconic names in the past, but arguably none more so than Eric Cantona.

The Frenchman epitomised everything that Manchester United did during his time at Old Trafford. He exuded class and charisma, but above all – was a simply phenomenal footballer.

He will go down as one of the most legendary players to ever play not just for the Red Devils – but in Premier League history.

But it wasn’t just his skills on the football pitch that made him a fantastic human being – as one story told by Roy Keane suggests.

  • READ MORE: Roy Keane: Inside the life of Man Utd’s greatest-ever captain

English Premier League - Aston Villa V Manchester United

Photo by Mark Leech/Getty Images

Roy Keane shares brilliant Eric Cantona story

In Keane’s autobiography, ‘The Second Half’, the ex-Manchester United captain shares a fantastic anecdote on Cantona – which just shows how special of a character off the pitch he truly was.

“In my early years at United, there was a players’ pool and each of us would get about £800 out of it at the end of the season for the work we’d done for the in-house magazines, the club videos. We were all on decent money and eight hundred quid wasn’t going to make or break us, so, one time, we decided to put all the cheques into a hat and the last cheque out, whoever’s name was on it, got to keep all of the cheques.

“We all put our cheques in except a couple of the younger players – I think it was Becks and Gary and Phil [Neville]. They opted out. They were new on the scene and didn’t have the money to spare, but Scholesy and Nicky Butt put their cheques in. I think I was the third-last name out, so I got a run for my money, but the last cheque out – Eric Cantona. He’d won about 16 grand.


“He got somebody to cash the cheques, he split the money in two and he gave it to Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt because, he said, the two of them had the guts to go into it when they couldn’t really afford it. I just thought ‘what a gesture’. Nobody else would have done it.”

‘What a gesture’ from Eric Cantona

Eric was truly one of a kind, and you can tell why everyone who speaks of him and used to play with him holds him in such high regard.

Gestures like this separate great players, from legends of the game – and Cantona fits that bracket to a tee.

It’s safe to say there probably won’t be many knocking about Carrington like him again.

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