On This Day: Beckham's fantastic finale
David Beckham had one of the finest Manchester United farewell appearances when scoring a glorious equaliser at Everton on this day, 11 May, back in 2003.
Although it was still to be confirmed that the England international would be leaving his boyhood club, it was suspected this might be the last time we would see the midfielder grace the red shirt. It proved to be a memorable occasion as, fittingly, he provided a trademark free-kick that bent away from Richard Wright and into the top corner during a 2-1 victory at Goodison Park.
It was perhaps indicative of his character and the team's in general that we took three points from the game, despite going behind, when already being assured of the Premier League title. The trophy – the club's 15th top-flight triumph – was presented at the end of the match.
Beckham was to join Real Madrid but at least he signed off on a real high, with not many Reds scoring on their final appearance for the club.
It was something another iconic no.7 could not manage, though nobody knew at the time we were witnessing the end of Eric Cantona's professional career when West Ham United were beaten 2-0 at Old Trafford in May 1997. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jordi Cruyff found the net ahead of the Frenchman lifting the Premier League trophy.
At least there was a last glimpse of the skipper's vision, as his searching pass helped set up Cruyff's 83rd-minute clincher, when Steve Potts made a hash of trying to cut out the danger.
Central defensive linchpins Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand also signed off from their time with the Reds on this day, in 2014.
Juan Mata's free-kick earned a point after Rickie Lambert gave Southampton the lead in a 1-1 draw at St Mary's.
Vidic had announced in January that he would be leaving at the end of his contract, in the summer, to join Internazionale. It also proved to be his pal Ferdinand's final outing before signing for Queens Park Rangers in the July, after a wonderful 12 years with the club.
Another of our legendary defenders, Denis Irwin, played his 529th and last game for the club he served with such distinction in a goalless home draw with Charlton Athletic.
The Irishman helped Sir Alex Ferguson's men keep a clean sheet in a low-key end to the 2001/02 campaign.
He left on a free transfer for the team he supported as a child, Wolves, during the close season.
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