For my Man Utd Cult Heroes XI I have chosen only from those who I have been fortunate to have actually watched play over the last 30 years.
Goalkeeper. Les Sealey.
This was an easy one for me. The way that Les stepped up in the 1990 FA Cup Final Replay, especially with the overly physical challenges put into him throughout the match by the Crystal Palace players that night, will always be strong in my mind. Added to that, I will always remember his bravery when he refused to leave the pitch in the 1991 League Cup Final despite his knee being cut open to the bone, as substitute goalkeepers were not allowed back then. A few weeks later, despite this serious injury, Sealey returned to the United side, with a heavily strapped up knee, in the 1991 ECWC Final, helping us defeat Barcelona. His bravery and determination on the pitch was matched equally off it by his brilliant personality.
Right Back. Mick Duxbury.
When I started watching United, I was always impressed by Duxbury’s versatility and contribution to the team. I have chosen him at right back, but I know that he was able to do a great job at whatever position he would be asked to fill in at short notice. Off the pitch, Mick is one of the nicest and most modest guys you could meet. Every Cult Heroes XI should have a versatile player like Mick in it.
Centre Half 1. Steve Bruce.
He was never the quickest, strongest or most skilful of centre halves, but that did not matter as he always gave his absolute best for the club. He was a natural leader and inspiration to his team mates. He was immensely brave too and the damage he suffered to his nose fully proves that. In addition he scored so many important goals for the club, especially those very late goals in the title run in against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993.
Centre Half 2. Kevin Moran.
Like Bruce, Kevin was so brave out on the pitch and was never afraid of getting hurt. The amount of cuts and stitches to his head over the years fully proved that bravery. My favourite memory of Moran will always be his clenched fist salute to the United fans at Villa Park in the 1983 FA Cup Semi Final as he was being stretchered off with a badly cut open head. Off the pitch, Kevin is another great guy to meet and enjoys a drink too. For me, I agreed with the banner made in tribute for him – ‘Kevin Moran a Cut above the rest’
Left Back. Arthur Albiston.
Arthur was another player who never let United down and was a regular week in, week out for over 10 years in the team. He fully deserves to be remembered as one of United’s greatest Left Backs, especially as a home grown player and 3 time FA Cup Winner. Arthur is still seen at most United matches and his love for the club remains as strong as it always has been.
I have gone for a 3 man midfield made up of 3 of the toughest players I have seen at United.
Remi Moses. A Manchester lad, Remi gave his best for United whenever he played for United and always got stuck in. Sadly for him, injuries restricted and ultimately ended his career far too early. It is a shame that Remi is no longer seen at matches, as everyone who saw him play for us has such great memories of him.
Norman Whiteside. What a player he was for us and he achieved so much at such a young age too. He is rightly remembered for those FA Cup Final goals but Norman should equally be remembered for what a determined player he always was out on the pitch. No opposition players ever fazed Norman, he was fearless. Unlike Moses, Norman is regularly seen at United matches and is still hugely popular with United fans.
Bryan Robson. For me, the perfect Captain and leader of this Cult Heroes XI side would be Robson. As my all time favourite United player, I couldn’t leave him out of my best XI either. Playing Robson in midfield alongside Moses and Whiteside would make it an incredibly strong midfield.
Forwards. I would go for a forward line of 3.
Brian McClair. Choccy was another of my big childhood heroes and I especially enjoyed his 1st season at United in 1987-88. Off the pitch, Choccy is one of the most intelligent United players there has been and this is equally matched with his personality too.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He will be best remembered for his winning goal in the 1999 European Cup Final, but there is so much more to love Ole for. He scored so many important goals for us throughout his time at the club, especially when he was brought on to change games for us. One of the most likeable players off the pitch too, Ole fully deserves all the love that United fans have for him.
Ruud van Nistelrooy. The most prolific out and out striker I have seen during my time watching United. Ruud was a real goal poacher. He was very popular with United fans during his time at the club.