One Night in Rotterdam: United legends gather to remember an epic journey
For anyone that remembers the epic European Cup Winners’ Cup run of 1991, attending the One Night in Rotterdam evening held at Red Square last Saturday was a must.
Just a Schmeichel throw from Old Trafford, some of the most popular players ever to wear the United shirt gathered to remember one of the most famous events in the club’s recent history as messrs Robson, Phelan, McClair, Pallister and Blackmore joined fans young and old to swap stories and reminisce about that night, as well as their time at the club as a whole.
After the match was replayed on the big screen and the 100 or so Reds in attendance had polished off their meals – not to mention several bottles of wine – host for the evening Pete Boyle invited the “Rotterdam Legends” to take the stage.
It’s fair to say that sometimes these after dinner events can be awkward and stilted as players reel off pre-written and heavily exaggerated speeches with the delivery of a nervous best man.
But it speaks volumes about the team spirit and camaraderie of that United side that these four former Reds sat and chatted like old pals at a school reunion rather than a formal function.
As chairman Boyle passed the microphone round the stage tales of Robson and McClair pulling an all-nighter in the hotel following the win went hand in hand with individual recollections of Ferguson’s most violent half-time outbursts, with the unanimous decision being that Gary Pallister was the most popular target for the gaffa’s wrath, while Choccy got away with murder.
As much as remembering the success in the Netherlands on that rainy night in May 1991, this was an opportunity to listen to players who represented the club during one of the most memorable periods in recent memory. So it was no surprise that the lads looked back on great moments in the club’s history – like Steve Bruce’s infamous house party in 1993 of course.
And when the anecdotes had run dry (not to mention the bar) and all the questions from the floor had been answered, like the true pros of their time that they are, all five mingled with supporters in the bar, happy to answer questions, share a drink and pose for a picture or five.
We can only look forward to a similar event when Rooney and Ronaldo et al get the beers in to mark the 2008 Champions League win in Moscow – but don’t hold your breath!