Possibly one of the Premier League's most sensational transfers
With transfer sagas dragging on for months, there's not many shocks when it comes to clubs signing players. Back in 1995 a deal between two major clubs sent shockwaves through the Premier League. It’s unlikely this would ever happen again.
PA ImagesAll smiles as Alex Ferguson parades his prize capture to the eager press.
The 10th of January 1995 was quite a significant day in the life of the Premier League. Granted, Manchester United had already won titles but this day saw them prize away a major challenging rival’s star asset!
This was the day that the Premier League flexed the potential of it's financial muscle. Andy Cole was the hottest striker in the country, fast, agile, brave, good touch and had the golden currency of guaranteed goals.
Around that time and a few years previous players had moved for millions but generally from small clubs to more ambitious outfits but nothing had prepared football for this…One of The Toon Army’s favourite son departing for Fergie’s pursuit of domestic domination.
So much was the furore on Tyneside that the then manager Kevin Keegan had to hold a conference of the steps of the stadium as fans revolted the sale.
The local Newcastle papers were full of shock when it was revealed that their star man was off to Manchester United. Cole from Newcastle
"Only someone like Kevin could've done that!" Cole explains Keegan's address to the Newcastle fans.
PA ImagesCole had already proven he was a top marksman, but more was needed from him if he was going to succeed at Manchester United.Goalden Boy!
The Price Tag
As much as Andy Cole had proven himself in the Premier League, winning the golden boot in his debut season with the Magpies and amassing a total of 41 in all comps he was about to step into the limelight. He was Britain’s most expensive player at £6 million pounds and had become a Manchester United player.
From being the main man and having everything built around him at Newcastle United, he was about to have a part in the Manchester United story. Expectation is a weighty feeling. Some players thrive as big fish in small ponds others sink in the oceanic perils of competition. Whatever anybody says, you’ve got to have something about you to score goals at any level of the game. Even more so to do it in the Premier league, that is even taken up a notch when you play for a top 5 team.
Cole, although he says he struggled at first, still returned 12 goals in 18 games during his maiden half season. Unfortunately, with all the eyes of the world watching his every slip, mis-control or near miss that impressive ratio was overlooked. The player himself admits to heaping unnecessary pressure upon himself in the wake of the monetary title he bore.
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Andy Cole: HISTORIC football4football members competition
Goal scoring legend Andy Cole has given football4football members to own a their very own piece of football history.
PA ImagesAnything to do with Manchester United means success, if you're successful at manchester United then you are obviously in demand!The Main man
"You're trying to prove that you're worth £6 million!" The fee was initially a struggle for Cole.
PA ImagesThe wall of a team that is considered one the Premiership's finest.History makers
His initial seasons were very much a little stop start as he adjusted his game to fit into Ferguson’s system and also deal with a string of injuries. Once the bedding in period was over though, well Cole went into over drive. The well greased attacking machine that saw the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Beckham and the timely addition of Aston Villa’s Dwight Yorke saw a partnership that caused havoc all over Europe. He felt at home. Folk-law indeed has Ole Gunnar Solskjær as ‘putting the ball in the Germans’ net, but the historical campaign of 1999 both home and abroad owes more than much to the quite man from Nottingham who went about his business in a way he only knew how, by letting his goals do the talking.