EVEN THOUGH Eric Harrison’s own football career was a modest one – he made 199 appearances for Halifax Town – his tutelage of Manchester United’s fabled ‘Class of 92’ ensures that he will be remembered as one of the game’s great coaches after he lost his heartbreaking struggle with dementia, the condition that claimed his father’s life.
Born in Mytholmroyd, he was integral to the development of a golden generation of young players, including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers. And while they did achieve fame and fortune, they never forgot the Yorkshireman who, together with the incomparable Sir Alex Ferguson, helped to make them.
Harrison’s legacy was best summed up by Beckham who said: “He made us understand how to work hard and respect each other and not just on the pitch. We won’t forget the life lessons he gave us.” And neither will football.