I was terribly upset to learn about the death of a good friend of mine, and a true Manchester United legend, Bill Foulkes this week.
It may not be well known to some but if not for Bill, I may never even have ended up at United myself. In the summer of 1975 I went on loan to Chicago Sting where Bill was manager and I later learned that he had recommended me to his old club; Jimmy Murphy scouted me and told Tommy Docherty to sign me and that was that.
For that reason alone I am very thankful for Bill’s influence in my life but he was a great, great man as well. He carried himself with the aura of the legend he was at Old Trafford but was so softly and quietly spoken that it almost was at odds with his tough reputation. He stands for a lot in the symbolic history of Manchester United; strength, bravery and recovery, and those are three traits that will live on at the club thanks to the effort he put in.
2013 has been a terrible year for this news; my old friend Brian Greenhoff, who died in May, then Jack Crompton, but also Tony Gubba who was known to us as a renowned broadcaster. On a personal level, Adam, the son of my old neighbours Ed and Chris Broadbent, died from cancer this year and he was only a young man with a young family. No news of death is easy to handle but there is some comfort in knowing Bill leaves us having lived a full and happy life and achieved many wonderful things.
Rest in peace Bill, and thanks for everything.