It’s 25 years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed the contract that started his memorable Manchester United career.
For fans of a certain vintage, those words could elicit a wince regarding the march of time, followed closely by a flash of fuzzily sweet memories.
On the anniversary of his arrival, Solskjaer has looked back upon his part in United folklore during an interview with the club’s official website.
The Norwegian talks about the whirlwind move that swept him from the relative obscurity of Molde to front-page prominence as scorer of arguably the most famous goal in Red Devils’ storied history.
Of his memories surrounding the day he joined, he admits, “To be completely honest, I can’t remember! I remember…I went for a walk around Old Trafford and I met one of the stewards and he asked me who I was and if I was doing a guided tour.”
Although he was not overawed about playing on a grander stage, he does admit to looking forward to meeting a certain iconic Frenchman.
“I was looking forward to meeting Eric…That was one man I was looking forward to making an impression on.
“And when I scored (a debut goal) and I saw Eric running over, that was a special moment.”
He admits that Cantona’s decision to retire took him by surprise. In fact, he’d spent an evening partying with the iconic striker just days before the decision was made public.
“That’s just Eric for you – he had never mentioned anything when we were partying just two days before. It was disappointing but I really enjoyed my year with him. What a character. I learned so much from him.”
As a seemingly unassuming personality, it’s difficult to picture Solskjaer being on the receiving end of Fergie’s famous hairdryer.
However, even the ‘Baby-faced assassin’ incurred the boss’ wrath after receiving a late red card for a professional foul against Newcastle.
“Oof…the hairdryer I got after the game, and the reasoning why he gave it to me…Man United don’t want to win that way…I’d probably do it again though.”
Aside from looking back over his playing career, he also looks ahead to another season in the United hot seat.
On aspirations for his exciting young side, he admits that he’s encouraged by the rate of progress but expects further signings and a quick start to the new campaign.
“We’re progressing.” He says, “We just have to improve. Hopefully we can add some quality to the squad and we’re ready to start the season well. That’s the main thing – to start well.”
It’s an interview that provides insight into a figure whose likeability often obscures his steely focus and will to win.
Hopefully he’s on the cusp of providing a new generation of fans with the kind of beautiful memories he provided so often in his magical heyday as a player.