What was supposed to mark the away debut of British record signing “Andrew” Cole (22) went down in football folklore as something much, much different.
Enfant terrible Eric Cantona’s feud with Richard Shaw turned explosive as the Frenchman saw red for the fifth time in a United shirt for lashing out at the Crystal Palace centre-back.
While Alex Ferguson and Co. hastily tried to rearrange his formation Monsieur Cantona made his way towards the tunnell where 20-year-old Palace fan Matthew Simmons had rushed to give his reportedly abusive and racist tuppence worth.
What followed has gone into football folklore as Cantona launched himself chest-high at Simmons before Peter Schmeichel and the Crystal Palace stewards led him away.
Cantona was banned for eight months, fined £20k, axed from the French squad and stripped of the captaincy. Palace withdrew Simmons season ticket.
With United missing their talismanic Frenchman they ended the season trophy-less for the first time in four years as Cole repeatedly fluffed his lines against West Ham on the final day of the campaign. Blackburn were crowned champions – despite losing to Liverpool at Anfield.
By the way, the game ended 1-1.
Will it kick off again tonight?