Barthez, G Neville, Silvestré, Stam, Brown, Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Butt, Cole, Yorke, Cantona…..Cantona??
CANTONA in the Manchester United team in April 2001! That’s what thousands of stunned fans wondered as the Manchester United starting XI lined-up for an official photograph before their Champions League quarterfinal clash against Bayern Munich at the Olympic stadium in Munich on April 18, 2001.
Only Roy Keane noticed that a 12th man had joined his Red Devils on the pitch but by the time he could take any action the damage was done. Serial prankster Karl Power of Manchester had walked into the history books.
Power had made it to the Olympic stadium as part of a fake TV crew and reached the pitch from the players’ entrance just as the players lined up for the photo. Power thus became an instant hero as everybody wanted to know who the “Cantona of April 2001” was and the Manchester United photo with 12 men was published world over.
Two years later Power was banned for life from entering Old Trafford when he pulled off another prank at the expense of Manchester United, recreating a goal scored by Diego Forlan at Anfield earlier that season, in the return match against Liverpool.
In 2002, Power walked in to bat in an Ashes Test at Headingley. When the batsman got out and was walking back to the pavilion, Power walked in with all the gear on looking like the next batsman. He took his helmet off after reaching the pitch and walked back to the stands as the spectators cheered on.
In 2002, Power beat Michael Schumacher to the winners’ podium at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, managed to get onto the centre court at Wimbledon and played a shot just before a Tim Henman match and danced the Haka for the England rugby team on the side of the pitch at Rome.