On 11th May 1997, when having played his last game and swapped his number 7 Manchester United shirt for his opponent’s, Eric made it to the changing rooms one last time, exiting like a rock star rather than a regular centre-forward, and thereby putting an end to a career beyond compare. From that day, the man dubbed the ‘enfant terrible’, the ‘wild boy’, ‘the brat’, but also crowned the ‘King’, as much for his on-field heroics as for his wild antics, has made a name for himself beyond the pitch like no other great sportsman before him.
As well as being an actor on stage and on screen – more famously for directors Alain Corneau and Ken Loach – he also paints, writes poetry and picked up photography, not merely as post-career hobbies, but as an extension of his lifetime achievement, stemming from the absolute necessity to express himself creatively.
Music was to be the last missing piece in his compelling quest, an omission that he made up for with his first two songs ‘The Friends We Lost’ and ‘Tu Me Diras’, for which he wrote the music and lyrics in English and French. Recorded and produced by Johan Dalgaared at the La Frette Studios (next to Paris), and enhanced by his unique voice, ‘The Friends We Lost’ and ‘Tu Me Diras’ show us a side of Cantona that’s intimate and deep. Supported by a very classic guitar-piano-string combo, it connects with you, putting an instant smile on your face, in the way a long-lost friend does when they suddenly reappear out of nowhere.