The KC Stadium

Next Game

Hull City v Man Utd

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Old Trafford

Last Game

Man Utd 1 - 1 Arsenal

Sunday, 17 May 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Class of 99

Geoff Shreeves speaks to Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Last Updated: 12/02/13 at 19:01

Manchester United's legendary strike-force of 1999 are permanently etched into the rich history of the Premier League giants.

Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all made key contributions to the most successful season in the club's history as Sir Alex Ferguson's men lifted the UEFA Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup over 11 glorious days in May.

Ferguson has hinted that his current crop of forwards - Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck - are the closest he has come to matching the famous four of 14 years ago.

Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves has spoken exclusively and extensively to the 'Class of 99' about their memories of that season, how they worked together as partnerships, coping with the competition for places and their opinions of the men who are now filling their boots.

We never played together, virtually all week. We didn't work on anything, we were just two natural people doing what they believed was right on the football pitch.
Andy Cole

Solskjaer will forever be regarded as the team's super-sub, with his contribution from the bench at Camp Nou securing European glory for the Red Devils, although he reveals to Shreeves that he has never watched the entire match since.

Sheringham was also on target as United snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Bayern Munich with two injury-time goals, but the former England international admits that his form had been poor for long periods of the 1998/99 season until the dramatic denouement.

Yorke and Cole were regularly Ferguson's first-choice pairing for the key games and enjoyed an almost telepathic understanding at times, although Cole insists that their on-field unity did not come from training ground practice, as they were often pitted against each other.

Two natural people

One goal which stands out is Cole's strike against Barcelona in a 3-3 draw in their Champions League meeting in November 1998, but he told Sky Sports: "Everyone really talks about the one against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. People say 'it must have been rehearsed, you must have done that in training'.

"The majority of time in training we played on opposite teams - that was the crazy thing. Come Friday, we used to play England v Rest of the World. We never played together, virtually all week. We didn't work on anything, we were just two natural people doing what they believed was right on the football pitch."

Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lift the Champions League trophy

Yorke was always aware that Sheringham and Solskjaer were waiting in the wings to step into the side, and he feels the competition for starting spots kept everyone at the top of their game.

He said: "That is the beauty of being at United, you have to be on your toes every game, every training session, if you're not that is the sort of quality waiting in the wings to take your place.

"Whenever they were called upon they were ready to pounce and they were ready to take opportunities. It was very difficult to keep those guys happy, they stayed there because they liked the challenge."

I realise now I was a fantastic sub for him. He wanted me to work for 20 minutes like it was a full 90. I had 20 minutes to put 90 minutes work in.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

With the benefit of hindsight, Solskjaer accepts that he slotted into Ferguson's plans to perfection, giving the United boss 100 per cent commitment when he was called on from the bench.

Fantastic sub

He admitted: "You want to play all the time, but I always respected the players I had with me. I realise now I was a fantastic sub for him. He wanted me to work for 20 minutes like it was a full 90. I had 20 minutes to put 90 minutes work in.

"It was just in me to do my best whenever I could."

Sheringham's memories of the campaign are perhaps the least fond, with the former England international admitting the campaign, which ended on such a high, was perhaps bitter-sweet due to what had gone before.

He said: "It was a very frustrating season for me. For Manchester United it was fantastic, but for me, personally, up until the last two weeks of the season I was very frustrated.

"I got three goals up until that stage. I lost my place, couldn't get in the side, it was only until the last two weeks of the season I started the last game. I was rested for the FA Cup final and came on after six minutes, then didn't get a place in the starting line-up for the Champions League final and then came on and scored a goal in that.

"It was a delightful ending for me, but frustrating all the way through."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

QPR's Rio Ferdinand is astounded by reaction to his wife's death

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand has been astounded by the levels of support he received following the death of his wife.

Raheem Sterling would interest Manchester City – Sky sources

Manchester City would be interested in signing Raheem Sterling if he were to become available, according to Sky sources.

Alan Pardew not sure Crystal Palace can match fine season in 2015-16

Alan Pardew says it is going to be difficult to repeat Crystal Palace's sensational second half of the season when the 2015-16 campaign starts.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company