Manchester United fans were left distraught by in 1997 when Eric Cantona revealed his intentions to retire from professional football.
At 32 years of age, many felt that Cantona had more to offer at Old Trafford, none more so than Sir Alex Ferguson. We've heard before about how the legendary manager attempted to convince his star to stick around why he chased his first European Cup with United, but now the actual letter that Sir Alex sent to Eric has been revealed online.
The letter is strangely open, and is the type of thing you would see from an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend who has recently broken up with their partner and desperately wants to "remain friends" with the hopes of getting back together eventually.
Have a read:
When we re-started training, I kept waiting for you to turn up as normal but I think that was in hope not realism and I knew in your eyes when we met in Mottram you time at Manchester United was over.
You are always welcome here and if you just pop in unexpectedly for a cup of tea, no fanfare, just for a chat as friends, then that would mean more to me than anything.
More than a European Cup?
The parts on Sheringham and United's pre-season just seem a bit odd, like Sir Alex was trying to find things to talk to Cantona about. Also the following shows just how different a time 1997 was:
I still feel as we discussed at the end of the season that a top class striker is what is needed and that is always going to be the problem at our club as the financial restraints will always stop us getting the best because of our wage structure.
Not always, clearly.
A lot of Sir Alex Ferguson news has made it's way to the media due to the upcoming release of another of his books, but this struck us as out of the ordinary. We can't help but wonder if he sent a similar letter to anyone else.