Arthur Albiston

UTD Podcast: Albiston's role in Ole's transfer

Manchester United legend Arthur Albiston speaks highly of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the manager's home country, Norway, during the latest episode of UTD Podcast.

Albiston, who sits 11th on list of our all-time appearance-makers with 475 matches, tells several brilliant stories, from seeing Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best in the car park, to offering his FA Cup winner's medal to an injured team-mate, and meeting Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time.

The former left-back, who played for the Reds from 1974 to 1988, also speaks about his two spells playing for Molde, Solskjaer’s former club.

“It was fantastic,” Albiston recalled.

“I really enjoyed it. The young lads were so enthusiastic about English football, it was incredible. They asked me, 'how do you play three games a week, and all over Christmas and Easter time? How do you play them all?' It wasn’t Spanish football or German or French or Italian [that they talked about]. It was all English football.”

Arthur Albiston
Arthur Albiston played 475 times for Manchester United between 1974 and 1988.
Solskjaer signed for Molde from third-tier side Clausenengen shortly after Albiston’s departure from the north-west coast of Norway.

“He came a couple of years after I left,” Arthur explained.

“I was there in the summer of '92 and '93 and I think Ole started there in ’94 or ’95, because in the summer of '96, he came here [to United].

The Reds legend also revealed that he had a little role in Solskjaer’s transfer to United 24 years ago.

“I had a phone-call from the secretary at Molde, who said: 'We’ve just had a fax through here from the club [United]. They want to buy one of our players.'

“At the time, there was a lot of speculation over there [in Norway]. I kept in touch with people to know what was happening. They had a tall, very good, midfielder who went to Sheffield Wednesday, Peter Rudi.

“The secretary said, 'I thought they [United] were making an offer for Rudi but they’ve made us an offer for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. We didn’t expect that. Do you know Mr Ferguson’s phone number?'

“I said no I don’t, but he’s actually at Wembley now, I've just seen him on the television [watching England v Spain].”

Looking back at his time in Norway, Albiston wishes he had taken an opportunity to extend his adventure there.

“People over there were so welcoming and couldn’t do enough for us. The biggest mistake of my life was that I could have been a coach at the club a year after that. It was a big mistake not saying yes. If I'd had a crystal ball and taken the chance to go back over there, it would’ve been great.

“Ole epitomises what Norwegian people are like. They’re all like him.”

The full episode featuring Arthur Albiston will be available from www.manutd.com/podcast and various podcast providers from Monday afternoon.

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