Few players throughout United’s history have managed to touch fans in the way and to the degree Ole has. While a very good player it is doubtful he would make the first 11 of many fans top united teams ever, in fact over his United career he was rarely a first team regular unless injuries suspensions or players needed to be rested.
Moreover he joined the club not as a fan of the club but of all things a Liverpool fan. So what magical qualities have projected him to legendary status? Firstly he is a likeable man, he has no side or ego, whether he is, playing, scoring or creating a goal or being interviewed it is about the team the team come first, he sees himself as just another cog in the wheel. Never once in his United career can I think of a single incident his ego has come out.
Despite as we know numerous clubs after him and despite often being 3rd or 4th choice striker putting in superb performances when asked to play and always giving nothing less than a 100 percent we never heard Ole moan or even hint at a complaint to want away. Nor did we hear about him seeing out his contract or trying to manipulate a better deal. And when he was injured what did we hear – the likes of Alan Smith singing his praises saying how much he helped players recover both mentally and physically!
Ole can also consider himself very unlucky; he has had critical injuries at just the wrong time to become the number one striker at United and to take over Beckham’s place on the right. Many forget that in Becks last season at OT Ole had taken over the right birth and had been playing superbly well, unfortunately for Ole and United injury was to wreck what could have been a wonderful last four or five years as a regular.
And although it is easy to get carried away as Ole the man we shouldn’t forget that while he may not have made the all time great United 11 he would certainly have been the first choice on the bench. I seriously doubt we would have won as many trophies as we did without Ole, I genuinely believe he was irreplaceable when he was required he produced over and over and over again.
Hopefully Ole will stay with United in various capacities for life.
Paddy Crerand, “Ole is a man who is respected and loved by everyone at Old Trafford and, as far as I’m concerned, he’s up there with the likes of Law, Best and Charlton as one of the legendary figures in United’s history. Of course, that goal in Barcelona in ’99 is the one that everyone will always remember him for, but we mustn’t forget all the important goals he scored throughout his Reds’ career.
Arthur Albiston, “Ole has been a fantastic ambassador for the club and an icon for the kids. He will be a sad loss as he has made a huge contribution to United and none more so than in that European Cup final. I cannot listen to that radio commentary and not get emotional over it. I was behind the goal jumping up and down. We will never forget that.
Fergie –“In the case of Ole, he has 11 fantastic years he can look back on. Ole has achieved everything a player could ever wish to achieve.
“He has been a great servant to the club and has always remained a model professional in his responsibility as a player, in his demeanour and his manners have always been.”
We LOVE YOU OLE!!!