Duncan Drasdo er daglig leder av Manchester United Supporters\' trust, den mektige fraksjonen United-tilhengere som vil beskytte United mot «folk som bare er interessert i å bruke klubben som et verktøy for å putte mer penger i egen lomme». Her er supporterlederens hyllest av sin helt, på vegne av titusenvis av United-fans i Storbritannia.
If you say the name Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to any Manchester United supporter theyll probably smile and gaze into the distance recalling that goal in Barcelona in 1999 that won the European Cup and The Treble. But that was just one of the astonishing feats performed by a truly legendary player.
In addition to his incredible exploits on the pitch he also showed unparalleled loyalty to the club and the supporters. His refusal to go to Spurs, when both clubs had agreed his sale in 1998 endeared him further to already adoring fans. He still has that contract, signed by both Alan Sugar and Martin Edwards, but never once contemplated leaving United.
His footballing feats alone would have been enough to make Ole a true legend of Old Trafford to stand up there shoulder to shoulder with the greats but Ole isnt just an extraordinary footballer, he is also an extraordinary man.
I think the one act that truly secured Oles place above all other players was when he spoke out in support of the fans during the battle to save the club from takeover by the Glazers. It was such a brave thing to do but it truly showed his integrity as a man. Just days before the takeover Ole was asked to become a patron of MUST (then called Shareholders United) and he new the risk with the Glazers poised to become the new owners but he didnt flinch in his response: I am honoured. I think it is important that the club remains in the right hands. I am absolutely on the supporters side and think the club is in very good hands as it is today. I am a United fan myself and only want what is best for the future.
He later explained further about his decision to support MUST (SU) It was simple, UNICEF had asked me to represent them, which is a cause dear to me and a great honour. I feel the same about your invitation. It was a cause just as dear to my heart and equally as much an honour for me. The fact that MUST is made up of United fans means a lot. Eric Cantona, a great influence for me, is a supporter and feels the same way about the club, I had no hesitation in accepting your invitation.
Hes helped the supporters\' trust in so many practical ways too - with his time and donations. He recently gave us a signed pair of his boots (which will be won this year by someone who joins MUST as a free member) and more extraordinarily when we asked him to autograph a few prints for us as a fundraiser he ended up signing 500!
Those quotes around the time of the takeover sum up so much of why Ole is even more than a special footballer on the pitch but also an extraordinary man off it too. Brave, principled, loyal and hugely generous - he is truly a man of great integrity who is universally respected by supporters. That is why he will always be a legend prompting the creation of a banner on the Stretford End that cleverly incorporates his name and number into that description: 20LEGEND
We couldnt be prouder to have him as a patron. What a footballer, what a man!
You can find out more about the organisation that Ole supports and join as a free emember here: www.joinmust.org/free
Chief Executive, MUST www.joinmust.org/free