Fan tale: The magical power of Eric Cantona


David was born in 1987, so the United team of
the early 1990s quickly caught the youngster’s eye.
But a friendly with hometown club Portadown
was his first chance to catch Cantona and co live
in action.

First, he had to get a ticket, though.
“There was a fella – who passed away in the
last couple of years – and he was for a long time
the caretaker at the ground or for the club: Nat
Richardson,” explains Young. “He’d be very well
known within that football club. He used to live
a couple of doors up from me and just generously
offered to get me a ticket for it. I’m not sure I would
have got a ticket otherwise, because they were
hotly in demand. Nat was the reason I got one.
It was like a dream to see your team.

“There was a festival atmosphere in the town.
This was a huge deal. Shamrock Park was built
up for the occasion; the stadium was set for
a carnival, in terms of the spectacle of it.”
And when Cantona strolled over, a magical day
was complete, and a lifelong memory secured.

“The picture still hangs up in my room!” he
chuckles. “I’m in the blue-and-white shirt. James,
my friend, is the one wearing the cap behind me.
His brother, Stephen, is the one on the left in the United shirt! And then Brian is to my left, with the red hair. I’m pretty sure that’s his dad with the camera on the far right.


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