The Games That Changed My Life: Dwight Yorke
December 3, 1987: The Green Machine 1-2 Signal Hill Comp
Trinidad & Tobago’s schools finals drew five-figure crowds. My reputation was building – I was already in the national team. We’d won the league, and in the cup final we beat Green Machine, a big side in Trinidad, which has 1.3m people. Tobago has 60,000, so we travelled as underdogs. Did I score? Of course!
March 24, 1996: Aston Villa 3-0 Leeds
I’d not been at Villa long when Tommy Docherty said in 1991: ‘If that lad makes a First Division footballer, then I’m Mao Tse-tung.’ By 1996 I was their main man, which brought pressure. I was expected to deliver in the League Cup final against a Leeds side full of internationals.
Thankfully, I scored in a 3-0 demolition. We came close to winning the league a few times, but two League Cups were my only trophies there.
November 25, 1998: Barcelona 3-3 Man United
This was my first game at the Camp Nou, a stadium which would comfortably seat Tobago’s population! They had Luis Figo, Rivaldo and Pep Guardiola, under Louis van Gaal, but we were playing great stuff.
Sir Alex told us to attack and we did just that. Andy Cole and myself combined perfectly and I got two goals. We knew we were a match for the best.
May 26, 1999: Man United 2-1 Bayern Munich
The highlight of my career. The game was nothing like as exciting as the semi-final second leg against Juventus – we didn’t create a clear-cut chance until injury time, when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did their magic. We celebrated long into the night. I didn’t sleep for two days.
November 16, 2005: Bahrain 0-1 Trinidad & Tobago
People back home thought I was giving more to my club career than I was for my country – I was determined to prove them wrong and send Trinidad & Tobago to the World Cup finals for the first time.
I set up the goal, too. Caribbean people didn’t think I could lead as captain – I showed that I could. Our opening match was against Sweden in Dortmund. We were so proud to hear our anthem and see the flag. We drew 0-0 and I got man of the match.
January 20, 2007: Sheffield Wednesday 2-4 Sunderland
When Roy Keane asked me to join him, I’d been living in Sydney, loving life at 35. Then I was in the Championship thinking: ‘What am I doing?!’
We were in the bottom three when I joined but won the league comfortably and took 6,000 fans to places like Barnsley. At Hillsborough, I chipped the keeper as we won 4-2. I didn’t like the Championship, but I liked playing for Sunderland.
Yorke was speaking at the BA Legends tournament on his home island of Tobago
This feature first appeared in the September 2015 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. Subscribe!