As you may know, Brian Greenhoff, the late Manchester United legend, was a good friend of this website. As part of the process of ghost writing his autobiography in 2012 I spent many hours with him and obviously got to know him well.
I know only too well how much he is missed by many who knew him at United – the number of people who came forward to contribute testimonials for his life story meant that I had to include forewords, introductions and separate encomiums.
Brian and I were about to start working on the book ’74/75’ when he tragically passed away – after receiving the permission of his sons, I decided to write it in his honour, and Tommy Docherty generously stepped forward to help me write it once he learned of it.
He also agreed to be interviewed in promotion for the book last October.
The story of Tommy’s kind nature doesn’t end there however and I wanted to share this story with you after being informed of him by Brian’s son, Brian Jr.
Brian Jr. sent Tommy a copy of the book and asked if he would sign it – he returned it with the note, ‘Simply the best’ on the page carrying the dedication.
He also included a letter for Brian Jr.’s son, Jack.
We have been given permission to share the contents of the letter with our readers – the emotional words reveal a soft side to the former Manchester United manager who is sometimes unfairly seen as simply controversial.
Your Granddad was a great player and pro. One of the best midfield players of his time at OT (Old Trafford). He later became a wonderful footballing centre-half. Yes, as good as Franz Beckenbauer. He was that good. Good company, good fun, I have many fond memories with.
We had some terrific times together.
May he rest in peace, never forgotten.
What a fine gesture from Tommy and what an incredible keepsake for the Greenhoff family to cherish.