doubt blaming himself as United were poised to lose the European Cup final in Barcelona in May 1999. “I’d moved to London by then, and watched it round at a mate’s flat. I’d almost come to terms with the fact that we’d lost. Then Ole and Teddy came on.”
As you might expect, a near meeting with a former United legend proved typically bewildering. “I was waiting at Piccadilly. It was around 1994, and I saw someone I recognised. I was convinced it was somebody I went to school with. Then my girlfriend came up and said: ‘There’s David Beckham’. People look different on telly don’t they? My head always looks rounder.’’
From Best to Beckham, Karl’s all-time United legend is another no.7 gifted by the Gods. “There was that Nike ad: ‘1966 was a great year for English football – Eric Cantona was born’. He was the first player I saw at United who came along and made a huge difference.”
Karl predicts a bright future for the current United team. “We’ve got a good team, who all work well together. I think Carrick is fitting in well and Anderson looks promising and Ronaldo gets enough praise. If I had to pick one player it would be Rooney. Proper grafter.” He’s not done so badly himself. Karl Pilkington is living proof that Mancunian comedy is not solely the province of Manchester City.