A lot has happened to Manchester United in the past 25 years and few could have foreseen that Sir Alex Ferguson would remain in charge for over a quarter of a century.
Back in 1988, it's fair to say we still felt a little starved of success. Sure, the FA Cup wins under Ron Atkinson in 1983 and 1985 were major highlights of my youth, but I guess I must have been desperate for the Reds to collect more silverware.
At least that's the explanation I can give for having something of a prolific attendance record for the Football League's Centenary celebrations, which appeared to go on for rather more than a year.
I'd already been present at an exhibition game at Wembley the previous August when Michel Platini provided an awe-inspiring performance in midfield for the Rest of the World, supplying some sublime passes to Gary Lineker. The Barcelona striker was unable to take any advantage and the Football League XI ran out 3-0 victors with Bryan Robson scoring twice and Norman Whiteside coming off the bench to convert a Liam Brady cross.
Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you can view the three goals online but Robbo's bone-crunching greeting to Diego Maradona, just as memorable as Platini's vision, is unfortunately missing from the footage. With English clubs still banned from Europe after Heysel, this was all the evidence I needed to suggest United still had the best players in the world - Paul McGrath was a rock in defence as well.
Yet obviously this did not sate my appetite as I was at Wembley again for the Mercantile Credit Football League Centenary Tournament – MCFLCT for short. With so many matches being played on the same day, I seem to recall the games being shorter in length than usual but United defeated Luton (2-0) and Everton (1-0) to progress to the second day of action.
I remember travelling to London convinced United would win the trophy but then I was the sort of fan who was upset when we used to get knocked out of the Soccer Sixes. Things started well enough against Sheffield Wednesday with Peter