UTD Podcast: Why Lou has a soft spot for Ole
Lou Macari is the latest guest of UTD Podcast, in a tear-jerking episode hosted by Helen Evans and Sam Homewood.
In this latest instalment of UTD Podcast, which you can download from our official music partner Deezer and all of your favourite podcast apps, the former Manchester United man tells the story behind his charitable nature, how he was close to joining arch-rivals Liverpool, playing with George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton, and winning the FA Cup at Wembley in 1977.
The chat was held at Lou's homeless centre in Stoke as the popular MUTV pundit also poignantly explains how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Treble-winning goal against Bayern Munich in 1999 made him momentarily forget his personal heartbreak, after his son Jonathan had tragically committed suicide.
"Unfortunately, I did lose my son a couple of months before the 1999 European Cup final," says Lou. "I was employed at the time by Talksport. I think MUTV was just starting then and I'd agreed to go to the Champions League final to work for Talksport.
"I'd lost my son to suicide and the first thing I was thinking about was there was no way I am going to that final. There is no way I'm going to be at the stadium on the night of that game. But I was contracted to Talksport and my wife, and the other two lads I've got, both said to me: 'Look, go and do it. Go and do the commentary'.
"So I did the co-commentary with Alan Parry but the last place I wanted to be was in that stadium. I didn't want to be there. My two sons, I'd got them a couple of tickets, and they were there, obviously in the United end.
"The game went as we all know it went," he continues. "We looked like losing and I thought this is making it a bit worse, although football can never interfere with life and death.
"So I'm sitting there, doing co-commentary, and I think it's to the best I can. I was desperate to get through the 90 minutes, or 90-odd minutes as it turned out to be, and this is possibly why I've got a bit of a soft spot for Ole. I'm not ashamed to admit, when he put the ball in the back of that net, I lost the plot a bit. I forgot about my son. I did forget about him for probably 40 or 50 seconds, or even longer.
"I think I went crazy. Talksport still have the whole game's commentary and I think I went crazy. I'm going to ask them for it soon. I know I reacted differently to what I had [before] because he pops up and puts the ball in the back of the net and you get excited. After the game, I met my two sons, who went back the following morning, before I went back a couple of days after it.
"Travelling back on the plane, I remember when I was flying, going out there, and thinking: 'What am I doing here?'
"I was thinking I just hope he [Jonathan] doesn't get annoyed with me. Just the fact I've been to a football match... you've made me cry, son [Sam]."
Check out the UTD Podcast hub for links to all our previous episodes.