United legend Eric Cantona was reunited with Sir Alex Ferguson and a host of his former team-mates earlier this month at the annual Football Extravaganza dinner at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel in London.
The Frenchman became the first foreign recipient of the ‘Legend of Football’ award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the beautiful game, the highlight of which was his four-and-a-half-year stay at Old Trafford. Sir Alex was on hand to present the accolade to the former Red-turned actor who was also joined by Peter Schmeichel, Steve Bruce and Ryan Giggs on the top table.
Simply Red front man and United fan Mick Hucknall and renowned film director Ken Loach, who worked with the Frenchman on ‘Looking for Eric,’ were also in attendance alongside the United legends, while a number of other well-known football personalities were among the 1,000-strong guest list including Gary Neville and Teddy Sheringham and celebrity Red Eamonn Holmes.
The dinner – celebrating its 15th anniversary – raised just over £416,000 for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins thanks, in the main, to an after-dinner auction featuring some unique football-related items. One such listing was the original script book used by Ken Loach during the filming of ‘Looking for Eric’ which was snapped up by keen film fan Sir Alex.
A special United No.7’s collection sparked a bidding frenzy, while a one-off canvas, created by renowned artist Sacha Jafri, documenting Sir Alex’s tenure at Old Trafford and featuring hand and foot prints and autographs from some of his star players fetched a staggering £85,000, a proportion of which will be donated to the Manchester United Foundation.