Nostalgia: The lasting legacy of the footballer nicknamed ‘King Eric’

Photo: Eric Cantona, former Manchester United and France football player © Mirrorpix

1966

11 July

No wonder Australian rugby league star Lionel Williamson looks a bit sullen. He was supposed to arrive at his new club in Halifax, but ended up in Manchester.

New Australian rugby league star for Halifax; Lionel Williamson, July 1966 © Mirrorpix

The talented Queensland-born winger traveled to London by jet but then decided to make the rest of the journey by train due to fog.

Williamson played one season for Halifax before returning to the Queensland side.

He went on to earn 11 caps for Australia, scoring six tries.

Eusebio de Silva of Portugal in London for the 1966 World Cup, 27 July 1966 © Mirrorpix

1966

July 7

Portuguese soccer aces Eusebio, left, and Fernando confront the press in Manchester during the World Cup group stages.

Portugal have played two of their group matches at Old Trafford, beating Hungary 3-1 and Bulgaria 3-0.

Their third match, a brilliant 3-1 win over Brazil, took place at Goodison Park.

Portugal were eliminated in the semi-finals 2-1 by eventual winners England. Eusebio was the tournament’s top scorer with nine goals.

2000

July 7

Former Manchester United star Eric Cantona is a picture of concentration during a beach football tournament.

He won the 2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup as player-manager of the France national team.

Former Manchester United and France football player Eric Cantona.15th July 2000. © Mirrorpix

Affectionately known as ‘King Eric’ to United fans, Cantona made 143 league appearances for the Red Devils from 1992 to 1997, scoring 64 goals.

He won four Premier League titles with the club in five years.

Prodigiously talented, Cantona could play as a striker, striker or attacking midfielder.

He was renowned for his creativity and his ability to score goals.

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