ManUtd.com's Adam Marshall is in no doubt that Peter Schmeichel is the best goalkeeper he has ever seen...
While Alex Stepney, Harry Gregg and Edwin van der Sar could lay obvious claims to the mantle of Manchester United's best-ever goalkeeper, the man most worthy of the accolade is, for me, Peter Schmeichel, who turned 50 today [Monday].
In my view, the 'Great Dane' was not only the top keeper in the Reds' history but was also, in my lifetime in any case, the world's number one.
There was an infallibility about him that filled every fan with the sense that the concession of a goal was never a formality, no matter how drastic the circumstances appeared. An attacker might race through unchecked or meet a cross on the full but there was still this formidable 6ft 4ins barrier to overcome.
Schmeichel was a giant and an imposing character - a dominant force in a team bristling with personality. He seemed to take every assault on his goal as a personal insult and was never happy with the defenders in front of him, becoming embroiled in regular disputes with Gary Pallister and, more often than not, Steve Bruce.
I remember there being quite some delay to the signing of the Brondby star, to the extent that some reports claimed United would miss out on him altogether. Thankfully, Schmeichel did join the Reds and, from my first sighting of him against Notts County in the old Division One, it was obvious he fitted the bill as the man to end Alex Ferguson's search for a world-class keeper.
Certain matches and saves will always be associated with the Danish international and most of these are well documented. The heroics at St James' Park in 1996, wonder-stops from Ivan Zamorano and Rene Wagner in Europe, the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal and many more.
Some outstanding performances in the European Championship finals in 1992, helping last-minute entrants Denmark to lift the trophy, cemented his status as the best goalkeeper on