PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Eric Cantona’s Kung-Fu- Kick
Take a trip down memory lane to one of the most sad and bizarre pictures of nineties Premier League. Here, ‘World Class’ Eric Cantona ended his playing prospects in England for 9 months in one single leg extension… (and a collection of punches after).
In 1995, at a United away game at Crystal Palace, the erratic Frenchman was first sent off for a kick on Palace defender Richard Shaw. Upon exiting the stadium, Cantona decided to unleash his inner Jackie-Chan with a kung fu style kick at fan Matthew Simmons, who upon seeing Cantona’s dismissal had descended 11 rows of stairs to shout abuse at him. Simmons (allegedly) said ‘Fuck off back to France, you French motherfucker’.
Because this became an incident of assault and went beyond the FA, the incident blew up to monolithic proportions. Cantona would later undertake 120 hours of community service, avoid a two week prison sentence upon an appeal, serve a 9 month club/FA ban, and pay a £20,000 fine. He would retire at the end of 1996/1997 season at the age of just 30.
Released in his Leading book last year, below is a photo of a letter that Ferguson sent to Cantona shortly into the 1997/98 season: