Dwight Yorke's top team-mates XI
Manchester United were scheduled to take on Aston Villa in the Premier League today (Sunday), so it seems fitting that Dwight Yorke should be the latest subject of our top team-mates series.
A prolific forward for both clubs, Yorkie joined the West Midlanders in 1989 and enjoyed nine fruitful seasons at Villa Park, scoring 97 goals and helping them to their last major trophy: the 1996 League Cup.
The Trinidad and Tobago international then signed for the Reds in 1998 and was our top scorer during the best season in the club’s history, culminating in our famous Treble in 1999.
After leaving Old Trafford in 2002, Yorke went on to play for Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sunderland, but an XI constructed of his most common team-mates, with allowances made for position and formation, largely consists of Villa and United players, with two of our starting line-up having featured for each outfit.
Mark Bosnich (173 games with Yorke)
We start with the player Yorke shared a pitch with most often during his career, and the only man in this XI he played with for both Villa and the Reds. Mark Bosnich actually started out at United, before moving to the Midlands, via Sydney United, in 1992. He was first-choice between the sticks for the Villans for much of the 1990s, before joining Yorke at Old Trafford for the 1999/2000 season, when the pair lifted the Premier League title together.
Gary Neville (116), Paul McGrath (113), Ugo Ehiogu (152), Steve Staunton (148)
The majority of our backline is formed of Yorke’s Villa team-mates, including Paul McGrath, who played for Alex Ferguson at United before moving to the Villans in 1989. The defender played some of the best football of his career while in the Midlands, and won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in the inaugural season of the Premier League. His central defensive partner in our side is Ugo Ehiogu. The former England international, who sadly died in 2017, was a mainstay in the Villa backline throughout the 1990s. As was Steve Staunton, whose two spells at Villa Park are enough to earn him a place at left-back in our side. On the opposite flank, Gary Neville played with Yorkie on 116 occasions.
David Beckham (124), Paul Scholes (122), Roy Keane (121), Ryan Giggs (98)
No messing here: Yorkie’s most common midfield team-mates were our legendary first-choice quartet from that Treble-winning campaign! Dwight first started in the same team as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs in a 2-0 win over Coventry in 1998 and he had a particularly productive partnership with Becks, who laid on nine assists for our striker during that incredible season.
Yorke would later go on to play under Roy at Sunderland, when the Tobagan enjoyed something of an Indian summer as a deep-lying midfielder, helping the Black Cats to the Championship title in 2007.
Andy Cole (157), Savo Milosevic (88)
Let’s play a game of footballer association: when you think of Yorke, which other forward immediately comes to mind? Surely, your answer is Andy Cole? It seems fitting, then, that Coley is the outfield player Yorke featured alongside most often during his career, first as part of the sharpshooting partnership that netted 129 goals in just over three years together at United. That hit-rate gleaned five major trophies and numerous individual accolades, and the pair would later rekindle their great friendship at Blackburn and, briefly, Sunderland.
Completing the XI is Savo Milosevic, who was among the scorers, alongside Yorke, in Villa's 1996 League Cup final success. The Serbian forward had a decent-enough scoring record in the Premier League, but went on to greater things later in his career, not least winning the Golden Boot with Yugoslavia at Euro 2000.
YORKE’S FULL XI:
Bosnich; Neville, McGrath, Ehiogu, Staunton; Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs; Cole, Milosevic.
ON THE BENCH
As mentioned, the above are not necessarily the 11 players who played with Yorke the most: the likes of Giggs and Milosevic have been bumped up the order to conjure a workable formation. Yorke’s former Villa team-mates Alan Wright (123), Ian Taylor (114), Andy Townsend (108) and Mark Draper (99) are unlucky to miss out, while there was also no place for Phil Neville (103) or Denis Irwin (100).
Our substitute keeper is former Blackburn goalie Brad Friedel (71), the only man in the squad not to have shared a dressing room with Yorke at Villa or United.