Treble Icons: Teddy Sheringham
Teddy Sheringham may not have had the biggest impact across the entire 1998/99 season, but he still made some undoubtedly vital contributions to Manchester United's historic Treble success.
Our former no.10 will be back at Old Trafford on Sunday for the Treble Reunion match, 20 years to the day since he scored against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions league final to help us complete our unprecedented trophy haul.
Tickets are still available for the 15:00 BST kick-off, which will raise funds to support the work of the Manchester United Foundation in the local area.
LET’S HEAR FROM THE MAN HIMSELF
“To be honest, just playing for United is something beyond my wildest dreams as a footballer. It’s a different level. There are different clubs to play for but you realise how big it is once you play for United. To have success at Manchester United is even better and, to do it all in the 1998/99 season, is one to look back on with a lot of fun. It was an unbelievable season.”
THE STORY OF SHERINGHAM IN 1998/99
The arrival of Dwight Yorke from Aston Villa and the blossoming partnership he developed with Andy Cole somewhat limited Teddy’s opportunities to shine. But he made enough appearances to secure a Premier League winners' medal, which proved to be the first major trophy of his career at the age of 33.
Teddy only netted five goals throughout the campaign but two of them came in two of the biggest matches of the season – in the FA Cup final win over Newcastle and Champions League final success against Bayern Munich.
He also netted our first strike of the campaign, in the 2-2 draw at home to Leicester City on the opening day. His only other league goal didn’t come until April, in a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford.
Teddy also scored a consolation effort against his former club Tottenham in the 3-1 defeat in the League Cup fifth round, which saw the quadruple elude us.
TEDDY’S OUTSTANDING MOMENT
This undoubtedly came in the final act of the campaign when Sheringham dramatically levelled the score in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp. He then set up the winning goal for his fellow striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and the rest, as they say, is history!
"Although it wasn’t my best strike, it found the back of the net so we were all delighted," said Teddy, when recalling his equaliser for UTD Unscripted. "I had to glance over my shoulder to make sure the linesman hadn’t got it wrong. I didn’t want to see him with his flag up for offside. I saw the flag was down and that was it. I was off to start the celebrations."
As for Teddy's impact as an early substitute in the FA Cup final, he once recalled: "Before I knew it, I'd exchanged a couple of one-twos with Scholesy and put us one-nil up with a shot through the keeper's legs. Wasn't it a lovely goal? Six minutes in, I'm not involved. Eleven minutes in, I've scored to make us go one-nil up against Newcastle in the FA Cup final. What a dream!”
EXPERT INSIGHT AND OPINION
Martin Edwards, United's chairman at the time, explains the decision to sign Sheringham from Tottenham Hotspur, eventually, in the summer of 1997...
"We were never going to pay £6million for a 31-year-old [Spurs' initial asking price], that's a crazy price to pay for someone at the back end of his career, but I can't think of any better player to replace Eric Cantona. They are slightly different in style but it is one big name out and one big name in. I feel our patience has been rewarded."
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE TREBLE SEASON?
Sheringham’s first-team opportunities were again limited in the 1999/2000 campaign but he was our top scorer in the following season, 2000/01, when helping the Reds to a third successive league title and earning both the Professional Footballers’ Association and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards.
The 2000/01 campaign proved to be his last at Old Trafford before he returned to Tottenham, where he spent two more years. Teddy then joined newly promoted Portsmouth for the 2003/04 season, scoring their first ever Premier League goal in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
Three years at West Ham followed as he helped the Hammers gain promotion to the top flight and became the third-oldest player to appear in an FA Cup final, against Liverpool in 2006. Sheringham ended a distinguished playing career of 24 years at the end of the 2007/08 season, which he spent in the Championship with Colchester United.
Since hanging up his boots, Teddy has embarked on coaching. His first role was an attacking coach at his former club West Ham before becoming manager of League Two club Stevenage in May 2015, spending nine months in charge. He also had a spell in charge of Indian Super League club ATK between July 2017 and January 2018.
Away from the pitch, he’s also appeared as a television pundit and carried out ambassadorial duties at his former club Tottenham.
A LEGENDARY ILLUSTRATION
Thanks to United fan and Old Trafford season-ticket holder Stanley Chow for his portrait of Teddy Sheringham. To see more of his ‘Treble Winners’ collection, visit www.thestanleychowprintshop.com.
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