August 18th 1998 v European XI
To mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich Disaster the club agreed to stage a memorial match, both as a tribute and to benefit the relatives of those players who had died and for the survivors and their families.
A Munich Testimonial committee was formed, comprising David Sadler, John Doherty, David Meek and Gordon Taylor, of the PFA.
Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Red Star were touted as possible opponents but in February it was announced Eric Cantona would bring a European XI to play United, thus presenting him with a chance to "say the kind of goodbye ... that we all wanted from him at the end of last season".
Many of the survivors were appalled and feared the Munich tribute would become lost in Cantona's return. Then the proposed date for the game, February 24th 1998, had to be changed because of an FA Cup replay with Barnsley the next day. The date was moved to the start of the new season to accomodate Cantona's prior commitments.
Further revelations after the game had been played that the player's agent received over £90,000 for Cantona's expenses further increased criticism of the club's actions and those of the Committee.
In truth Cantona's presence swelled the crowd (over 55,000 attended the game), and the benefit raised over £1m. for the Munich Memorial fund.