Gary Lineker.

Lineker says thank you to United fans

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has said a belated thank-you to the Manchester United supporters for the way he was treated in his final game in English football.

On this day, 5 May, back in 1992, the Reds beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 in the closing game of a campaign that had ended in agonising disappointment for Alex Ferguson's team. We had looked on course to end our long wait for the title, only for a fixture pile-up and late loss of form to contribute to Leeds United coming out on top in the last-ever season of the old Division One.

Despite the frustration of three successive defeats, and only one point from four games in eight days, culminating in a truly dreadful experience at Anfield, the home fans showed their class to not only cheer the team to a 3-1 triumph but give one of England's greatest strikers the respectful send-off he deserved.

Gary Lineker upsets the United defence.
Gary Lineker was a great adversary during his time in the old Division One.
“I'll never forget how wonderfully United treated me on that day,” said Lineker on Twitter. “And the lovely ovation from their fans. Brought tears to me eyes. A belated thank-you, as there was obviously no social media to do that back in the day.”

United at least signed off on a high, with Mark Hughes scoring twice and Brian McClair also on the mark, with Ryan Giggs providing more evidence of his burgeoning talent with a superb show on the left wing.

Lineker's consolation came with only two minutes remaining and he was to join Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan.

The former Leicester City, Everton and Barcelona striker had attracted strong interest from the Reds in 1985 and 1989, only to miss out on playing here. Clearly, the club still held him in very high esteem.

One of our own, Denis Law, summed up the mood perfectly when saying, at the time: “There aren’t too many great strikers around in the modern game but I was delighted that Gary Lineker managed to sign off with a goal for Spurs, against United, at Old Trafford, in his final league match before starting a new career in Japan. I’m sure that fans everywhere will wish Gary the best of luck on his travels.”

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