Manchester United and the Number 10

It seems Wayne Rooney may be on his way out of Old Trafford at the end of the season, meaning another great number 10 would vacate and leave the shirt for someone else. With this in mind, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at the legends that have adorned the shirt over the years.

Dennis Viollet – 1953-1962

Viollet is regarded as one of the greatest strikers in United’s history. Scoring 178 goals in 291 games, the local lad from Fallowfield won the English First Division twice part of the Busby Babes before surviving the Munich Air Disaster. During the 1956/57 season, Viollet claimed the European Cup Top Scorer as well as the First Division top scorer in the ‘59/60 season.

Denis Law – 1962-1973

The Scotsman made 404 appearances for The Reds, scoring 237 goals – placing him third in the club’s all-time scorers list. Law is the only Scottish player to have won the Ballon D’Or award, doing so in 1964. He claimed two first division titles in 1964/65 and 1966/67, as well as one FA Cup, two Charity Shields and the European Cup in 1967-68.

Norman Whiteside – 1982-1989

Whiteside signed professionally for United at the age of 17 and quickly became a household name. Scoring 68 goals in 278 in the league and cup, the midfielder picked FA Cup winners medals in ’83 and ’85 as well as League Cup and Charity Shield honours. Unfortunately, after moving to Everton for £600,000 in 1989, he retired from playing two years later due to a knee injury at the age of 26.

Mark Hughes – 1980-1995 (two years away during ‘86-‘88)

Hughes is a United legend who really made the number 10 his own, making 352 appearances and scoring 116 goals. Hughes’ honours list is a CV any player would dream of: Two Premier Leagues, Three FA Cups, One League Cup, Three Charity Shields, One UEFA Cup and a UEFA Super Cup.

Teddy Sheringham 1997-2001

Although it was only a brief spell at Old Trafford, It was certainly not insignificant. 46 goals in 145 games, Teddy will be remembered by every United fan for his contributions in the Treble-winning season of ’89-99. Scoring in both the FA cup final victory over Newcastle and famously in the Champions Final when he poked home from close range in injury time to equalise against Bayern on ‘that’ night.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy – 2001-2006

The big Dutchman bagged himself 150 United goals in 219 games. His playstyle was a self-proclaimed combination of a No. 10 and No. 9, as a striker who is also a team player and creator. He certainly did that and many argue he was one of the greatest United strikers of all time. Always reliable, Ruud loved a goal against the Gunners.

Wayne Rooney 2004-Present

Manchester United all-time top scorer. The statement alone is all anyone needs to know about arguably the greatest number 10. Rooney has been not only a world class player but a fantastic leader through his time at the club. If he does leave Old Trafford this year, it will be a shame but something every fan should respect considering what he has given to this club. A true legend and someone who will never be forgotten. Our number 10.