Continuing our ‘best ever’ series, today Manchester United legend Gordon Hill shares his.
Hill played for the club in a distinctive but relatively short period of 1975 to 1978 and made a tremendous impact, scoring 51 goals from the left wing.
In his autobiography ‘Merlin’ says that he would find it impossible to name a best ever eleven but has somewhat changed tack in order to provide names for us.
‘I’ve always said that the best United team was the one I played in because I wouldn’t swap that bunch of guys for anything,’ Hill told RetroUnited.com exclusively. ‘And that’s not a diplomatic answer, either. That team could have accomplished anything and the names deserve to be mentioned with any other in history. But that’s a sign of how good United are and the rich tradition they have. You could name six or seven ‘best ever’ teams with completely different players and they would be almost as good as each other.’
Hill is often asked which players he would have liked to have played with and those names are easy to roll off the tongue. ‘I loved watching Robson, Van Nistelrooy, Sparky (Mark Hughes), Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke,’ he admits. ‘Don’t get me wrong, those guys were great players and if others pick them for their teams you can have no grumbles. But for me, I have to go with my players.’
However, when forced into a choice, the former United winger does have one amendment to make from the team that lifted the 1977 FA Cup.
‘We probably needed a new goalkeeper, and Peter Schmeichel is one of the best ever, so I would add him, but starting with Jimmy Nicholl at right back – as good as Gary Neville, I would say – the team that played the 1977 FA Cup Final would be the one I would really say was ‘my United’,’ says Hill
That line up then –
Nicholl B.Greenhoff Buchan Albiston
Coppell McIlroy Macari Hill
Incidentally, when we spoke to Martin Buchan for the 1974/75 book, he agreed with Gordon, saying that 1977 team was ‘his’ Manchester United team, the team he instantly recalls when looking back at the players he played with.
Gordon Hill has a camp in Macclesfield in July – the details are available here.