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05/03/2013 16:59,
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Kitman recalls Reds no.7s

Albert Morgan has worked as Manchester United's kit manager since 1996. Here, in an interview for Nike to promote the new Manchester United Collection range of leisurewear, he shares his thoughts on one of the most iconic shirts in football...

What characteristics do you feel United's legendary no.7s share?
They’re all individuals but the main thing they have in common is that they’re winners. You look at Cristiano Ronaldo and he still shows that passion when he plays for Madrid – he’s a natural winner and he works very hard at it.

Do you think that’s what the number gives you – a sense of pride and a real will to win?
I think so, yes. They are very proud of the shirt, although I would say the no.7 has only come to light in the last few years. When they started putting the names and numbers on the shirts, that’s when it really went big time as it got more personal. I’ve had the privilege of seeing some great players like Johnny Berry wearing the shirt through the years but it was only a number then. When you started putting names to it – Eric, Ronny and the others, then it became more of a symbol.

What does the no.7 shirt represent for the fans?
The players that have worn the shirt are iconic figures for the fans, and Manchester United fans love to idolise their players. They see these players performing so well week in, week out and it just snowballs.

Why do you think the no.7 shirt has come to have this massive significance?
I think it’s the fact that our great no.7s have all been leaders. The one that really springs to mind here is Bryan Robson – he’s still a leader now and he’s 50-odd. We’ve been blessed with these great no.7s who know how to lead men both on and off they pitch, set an example to their team-mates and consistently score important goals.

In seven words, how would describe Eric Cantona?
I only need one: iconic. There will never be another and I don't want there to be because he is a top man. He helped others, and when he was banned he was absolutely fantastic with the young lads at The Cliff. I’d like to meet up with a few of those kids that he coached and see what kind of impact he had on their lives.

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