Eric Cantona in The United Way

‘The United Way’ Will Chronicle the Glorious History of Manchester United

Being a Manchester United is a tale of highs and lows. But there’s no denying that the club has a storied history and unique legacy in the world of sports. From the tragedy of the Munich air disaster to winning countless trophies, the Red Devils’ story is one of perseverance and success. These highs and lows will also be the subject of The United Way, a documentary to be released next month.

And who better to chronicle that history than Eric Cantona, the legendary French striker who scored 82 goals for the Red Devils, but is arguably more remembered for kung-fu kicking a gobby Crystal Palace fan? Known for his defiant charisma and larger-than-life personality, I can’t think of many better candidates to tell a story of this ilk. Sir Alex Ferguson is probably the most qualified, but Cantona is by far the most entertaining persona to ever grace the Old Trafford dressing room if you ask me.

Co-written and narrated by Cantona, The United Way will explore the evolution of Manchester United and examine the social and cultural environment that shaped it. While it’d be easy to just focus on the footballing side of things, the doc aims to contextualise the club’s impact on the socio-political climate and detail how it became a cultural capital. Manchester United has influenced its local and regional economy in many ways, while also providing a blueprint on how to run a successful football club for teams all around the world.

Of course, that part of the club’s legacy is overshadowed by what’s happened on the pitch and in the backroom throughout the years. Massive commercialisation is great and all, but it doesn’t capture the hearts quite like Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solsjaer’s injury-time goals that defeated Bayern Munich for the Champion’s League trophy in 1999. Or how Sir Alex took a chance on some youth team players — known as Fergie’s fledgelings — who spearheaded the Red Devils to success in the 1990s.

The United Way will also feature some notable talking heads, including David Beckham (hopefully he tells the infamous flying boot story), Ryan Giggs, Bryan Robson, Brian Kidd, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Butt, Peter Schmeichel, and the late Tommy Docherty. BAFTA-winning composer George Fenton also provided the documentary’s score, so expect the film to be a stirring and emotional journey. As it should be.

The United Way will be released on Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW on 24th May 2021. The film is also available on Blu-ray, DVD & Download-to-Own from May 10. You can pre-order on Amazon here.

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