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Paddy Crerand 1962-1971 397 games 15 goals

November 15, 2009

Written by: Robi Prosser

Born in the tough Gorbals district of Glasgow, Patrick Timothy Crerand joined Celtic in August 1957 at the age of 18, but in all his games for them, he won only one medal, a 1961 Scottish Cup runners-up medal. In February 1963,Crerand signed for Manchester United. Three months after his move to Old Trafford, Crerand won the first of his many United medals, an FA Cup winners’ medal against Leicester City at Wembley. Crerand was still adjusting to the pace of the English game, but he was wise enough to intercept a long throw from Leicester City keeper Gordan Banks and he threaded a pass through a crowded penalty area, allowing Denis Law to do the rest.

“That was probably my best performance in a United shirt,” Crerand said of the match later. Crerand was a tough tackler, a ’60s Roy Keane, in the heart of the United midfield. He estabkished himself as one of the most constructive midfielders of United’s triumphant decade. His superb vision and ability to send long balls around the field and go on probing runs made up for his lack of goals, as he became a key member of the united side that won the league championship in 1965 and 1967, and the European Cup in 1968. Nobby Stiles, Bobby Charlton and Crerand formed on of United’s finest ever trios. crerand may of lacked pace, but his skill and enthusiasm made him popular with the supporters, who said. “When Pat plays well, United play well”.

Crerand’s unquestionable loyalty to Matt Busby and the club saw him give 110 percent in every game he played. At times Crerand was arguably to committed, and he could allow his temper to get the better of him. In Manchester United’s unsuccesful 1966 European Cup semi-final second leg against Partizan Belgrade, for example, he was sent off for fighting.

Two years later in 1968, Crerand was ever-present in the side that reached the European Cup final against Benfica, at Wembley. It was there that Crerand enjoyed his finest moment with United, giving an umblemished performance in the 4-1 victory as United became the first english club to lift the European Cup.

During his time with United he played 392 games and scored only 15 goals.

Crerand retired from playing during season 1971-1972, spending a brief period as assistant manager of United under Tommy Docherty before taking over as manager of Northampton Town in 1976. Crerand later worked as a publican in Altrincham, South Manchester, before becoming a local radio commentator on United. Crerand’s pro-United views, born out of long-standing loyalty and his contribution to the red cause, have given him legendary status among modern-day United fans.

These day Crerand work mainly for the MUTV channel.

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