Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.

'It was like we were born together'

Tuesday 13 October 2020 09:00

In the latest episode of the UTD Podcast, Andy Cole looks back at his extraordinary strike partnership with Dwight Yorke.

The former Manchester United frontman, who sits 17th in the club’s top all-time scoring charts with 121 goals, is the latest guest on the highly acclaimed show.

During a fascinating chat, Cole talks about his telepathic relationship with Yorke, who joined United in our Treble-winning 1998/99 season. The pair scored an incredible 53 goals between them in Yorke’s debut campaign, with Cole netting 24 of the duo’s total .

“The way he played complimented the way I played and vice versa,” Cole said.

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“I loved playing with him. I loved the energy he brought. Yorkie brought something out of me [that] I knew I had in me. He was on the back-burner and the way he conducted himself… This is what I’ve been waiting for.

“Me and Yorkie are polar opposites but we understood each other like we were born together. We’ve never argued, never had a cross word, nothing. We’ve never fallen out.”

Before the Trinidad & Tobago forward’s arrival from Aston Villa, Coley already faced competition from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Despite the fight for places, Cole did his best to make Yorke fit in straight away.

“With Yorkie coming in, I knew the position I was in,” our former no.9 said.

“I took Yorkie out to dinner, I took him house hunting, everything. A man who’s sweating doesn’t do things like that. If he’s going to come to United and be better, then so be it. I’m not going to cry about my position. If I’m here at the end of the season, we win the championship and I’ve played enough games, I’m involved in that as well. No resentment, whatsoever.

“I love Yorke like he’s my own brother.”

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One of the best examples of United’s devastating partnership was our goal against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League group stage in 1998.

A dummy from Yorke led to the ball ending up in the feet of Cole, who passed to his partner. The England striker instantly received the ball back before he slotted in a beautifully crafted goal in Catalonia.

“That goal, for me, is one of the best team goals in Champions League football,” Cole enthused.

“It was a great team goal, not just the interplay between me and Yorkie. The ball in midfield from Skip [Roy Keane] and then we played from there. A real quality goal.”

“That season and the seasons after, we scored a few goals like that, the understanding was phenomenal. No communications, we didn’t have to call, we just knew where each of us was going to be. That’s what, for me, makes it much more satisfying that we could play football like that without even communicating.”

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This telepathic connection is also one of the reasons why Cole thinks that the duo, in today’s football, would have been scoring goals for fun.

“Me and Yorkie had this conversations all the time,” the goal machine revealed.

“I’m telling Yorkie: 'I reckon I will get 40 a season'. Me and Yorkie have banter like this all the time. I look at this defending like 'wow… would you like to defend against someone like me? Come on!'"

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