Andrew Cole: The Games That Changed My Life

Andy Cole

The ex-England striker recalls his most memorable career appearances

August 21, 1993: Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United

I scored 12 goals in 12 games when Newcastle got promoted, but people questioned how I’d do in the top division. I scored my first Premier League goal at Old Trafford, in our third game after going up. Niko Papavasiliou fed me and I slipped the ball past Peter Schmeichel.

United were champions but we got a draw and it was a top display. That game was one of the reasons I got a move to United. Sir Alex [Ferguson] was impressed with my movement. I ended up with 41 goals that season.

March 4, 1995: Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town 

We were the first to win 9-0 in the Premier League, and I was the first to score five in a game. As a team display, it was one of our best. We were trying to win the title and the boss always told us to get as many goals as possible. Mine were all tap-ins but the Premier League is the hardest league in the world so it felt surreal to score five.

October 3, 1998: Southampton 0-3 Manchester United

The Dell was where my partnership with Dwight Yorke got going. It changed my Manchester United career. I had a phenomenal partnership with Peter Beardsley at Newcastle, but I didn’t have anything like that at United until Dwight arrived on the scene. That day at Southampton, I scored and Dwight got one as well.

We just clicked – everything was natural and off the cuff. We ended up winning the Treble that season, and our strike partnership is still spoken about today.

April 21, 1999: Juventus 2-3 Manchester United 

I don’t think anyone fancied us to reach the Champions League final after drawing 1-1 in the first leg at Old Trafford. Then we went 2-0 down in the second leg to a very special Juventus team. But once Roy Keane pulled a goal back, we played like men possessed.

I crossed the ball for the second goal and Dwight headed it in. Everyone talks about me scoring the third but I always play it down because the game was over by then; we were already going through to the final on away goals. It was special to be involved in that game. We should have got to the Champions League final many years before that, but... wow. What a feeling.
 

February 24, 2002: Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Winning the Worthington Cup with Blackburn was as special to me as my first Premier League trophy. I’d won the Champions League and FA Cup, so it completed the set. I got the winner in the final but it was a strange goal; I just got enough on it to put it in the corner.

A lot was made of it because Spurs were managed by Glenn Hoddle, and when he was England boss he said I needed five or six chances to score. But if I'd taken all five or six chances, I’d have scored about 500 goals. I’m more than happy with my overall goal record...

This feature originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!

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