Remembering when a fan blagged his way into Man Utd's line-up before Champions League game vs Bayern Munich
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It has been 22 years since a fan blagged his way into Manchester United's team picture ahead of their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.
Karl Power, a lifelong United fan who was an unemployed labourer at the time, became an overnight sensation on April 18, 2001, when he made an unexpected appearance in front of 60,000 fans.
After both sets of players exchanged pleasantries ahead of kick-off, the father-of-two somehow managed to avoid suspicion as he walked on the Olympic Stadium pitch in Munich.
But as United lined up for their customary pre-match photo, Roy Keane and Gary Neville spotted the man – standing next to Andy Cole – with 'Cantona 7' on the back of his shirt.
Here's footage of that incident from back in 2001. Check out Keane's reaction after he spots Power.
So how did he do it? Power opened up about his master plan in an interview with The Sun soon after.
“We planned it like a military campaign and brought three United kits with us – red, white and blue,” he said. “Then we found out where the team were staying and got one of the directors to tell us what colour they’d be wearing.
“We then went back and rehearsed it all in our hotel room. We got a taxi to the ground, pretended we were with a TV crew, and the gatemen let us in.
“We managed to get down to pitchside and waited for the players to come out of the tunnel."
Power added: “Then with 20 minutes ’till kick-off, we saw an opening where there were no stewards and a couple of us walked all the way round the running track and ended up behind the goal.
“We sat with the photographers watching the warm-up. Then, when the teams walked out, I went to the players’ entrance and knew nothing was going to stop me.”
Throwback to when Karl Power lined up with the Manchester United team in the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich. Great effort. 😂 pic.twitter.com/sXjK8LHL56— Natter Football (@NATTERFOOTBALL) August 6, 2020
Speaking to The Guardian in 2016, Power added: “[Neville] points at me and says, ‘Who’s that?’, and I say to him, ‘Shut it, Gary, you grass, I’m doing it for [Eric] Cantona’.”
In the space of 12 months, the prankster would disguise himself as a cricketer, a Formula One driver and an England rugby union player. He would also make an appearances at Wimbledon.
But he would soon end up in Strangeways prison for a night after an incident at Old Trafford in 2003.