Opinion: Why Sealey is United’s best loan signing

Yet the manager’s faith in Sealey’s character and mentality proved well placed. Palace clearly tried to unsettle him with some rough-house tactics but he stood firm, making a few vital saves and keeping a clean sheet. This despite one worrying moment when the camera clearly showed him yelling at his wall ‘I can’t see’ (expletive removed), only to block Andy Gray’s free-kick with his legs.

John Motson, in commentary, remarked that the game may always be remembered as the ‘Les Sealey Cup final’.

Some 30 years on, the importance of lifting that trophy can never be under-estimated when telling the story of Sir Alex’s Manchester United. Sealey, who earned a permanent contract on the back of it, and helped us win the European Cup-Winners’ Cup in the following season, would later to return to the club in the 1993/94 season.

Tragically, he died of a heart attack in 2001, aged only 43, which is still hard to come to terms with. 

Yet Sealey’s place in our history will never be forgotten. And it will take some intervention from Ighalo to usurp him in my mind as our best loan signing. Let’s hope the Nigerian does at least have the opportunity to supply his own FA Cup final heroics in May.

The opinions in this story are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United Football Club.

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